There is an ever increasing pressure on individuals to have a social presence on the internet. As children are growing into a world built upon socializing to the masses with their thoughts, popularity, wit, and attraction, it’s hard not to look away from the strain that causes on their psyche. In the video above from Q Ideas, Micah White is interviewed and shares his findings on research and pursuits of activism against big brand corporations. White defines and critiques our society’s expressions through social media and demands on what it means to be human.

Busting ads. It’s an insane amount of advertisements we see in a day. Billboards line the highway, local and national commercials block our television shows, popups transgress our phones and games, and there’s always those nagging car ones on the radio that make you wonder if your friends in advertising deserve any kind of praise. You may see or hear up to 300-3,000 ads in a single day!

What are these commercials promoting about happiness and fulfillment?

Facebook suicide. Often, our social presence is commercialized to publicize our own lives. White offers that we are in a “demand generation” which uses our life experiences and friendships to package adds. 8 hours of a day are consumed by looking at screens and promoting ourselves to others.

Are screens and social media promoting relationships, or just placing more emphasis on the device in our hands?

Cultural jamming. Big brands like Nike and Apple have recreated what is cool. White claims that, “Vandalism is a very good way to get out there and spread a message.” Some engage in this to combat commercialism to put business and apparel back into personal hands. Big business has created an essence of value that we must buy into to be part of the culture.

Do you see this as a particular problem? What will it take to reverse it?

Being human. With such a large presence of life lived online, there is a vague perception of what it means to be considered a valued member of society. With so many platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. we are being told what is cool. As these expectations scroll down our timeline there are pressures to define what our identity should be and what it means to “be human.”

What pressures do media and culture create on identity and what it means to “be human?”

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