First Impressions vs. Online Profiles

fry-meme-2

To explain the meme check out the like bar and comments on the grammy article from hotnewhiphop.com, a website with a fan base highly dedicated to hip hop.

In America, even though its quite a diverse country with people from every background intertwined within similar geography, there is no doubt that racism still exists and probably will never be completely gone. The reason for this is because there’s something extremely important when it comes to people, a first impression and the initial perception of someone you just met.  Because a big part of someones first impression is their image it is clear why race is so important.   Some of the examples in “21 Racial Micro-Aggressions You Hear on a Daily Basis” by Heben Nigato are very present in my own surroundings, especially at such a diverse university like Rutgers.  I see people judging people based on stereotypes, race being a large factor in stereotypes, and sometimes I am guilty of making these quick incorrect assumptions of people I don’t know based on their appearance.  I am an Italian from New Jersey . . . when I tell someone that I know that their initial perception of who I am is that of a character from the “Jersey Shore” reality show.  This assumption couldn’t be more wrong though as I’ve never been to a tanning booth, I don’t pump my fist to EDM music while my hair is spiked up in a unusual fashion, and I don’t have the same ignorant attitude that is part of this “Jersey Shore” stereotype, but this is definitely what some people perceive at first.  Its just like how Toure shares his experience in “Fourty Million Ways to be Black” when some black people he meets tell him that “black people don’t skydive”.  These kinds of bold statements enclosing every single person in the category of black or italian or whatever are outrageous because everyone is an individual regardless of what color they are, yet they will forever exist due to the ignorance of humans’ initial interactions with each other.

When social media is added to the equation many things can happen.  Social media like FaceBook allows you to essentially get to know a person you might’ve never seen or met before in real life, and this somewhat eliminates these true first impressions.  Social media allows anyone to tell anyone on the internet their life story, share a piece of their personality, and create a much more in depth “first impression”.  I believe that this kind of social media makes this racism and race based stereotypes much less extreme and gives people a chance to escape these setbacks to a certain extent.  Sometimes social media proves these stereotypes heavily exist, for example parody accounts on Twitter.  There are countless race based parody accounts that essentially try to make stereotypical statements, and some of them have millions of followers so many people can relate to this kinds of jokes because they are surrounded by these things in there life.  Social media can be a powerful force as it allows anyone to have a voice regardless of what they look like and this is going to positively affect the state of racism in this country and further eliminate it from daily life.

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2 comments

  1. Great Video!!! I was going to use that stereotype video as well. I agree with a lot of things written in this blog post. I also agree with your stance on social media in regards to the racist parody accounts. I think social media can add to racism because you can hide behind a a screen and say whatever you want to say and no one will never know it was you.

  2. Very interesting take on social media and racism. I think people are now aware of how powerful social media can be and trying to use it as a platform to influence their followers and other people. Great video too. I am other is a favorite of mine. (You should check out Nardwuar’s Interviews)

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