When reading our class assignments for this week I found myself especially interested in The Mask, by Kimlyn Bender. I found its overarching idea, that by putting on a mask we can more readily circumvent our own ethical standards, resonated with me. I think in today’s day and age our closets are filled with masks and we often display them when we go online. I admit I am not the biggest fan of social media; through it I routinely see fighting, bickering, and shortsightedness that represents the worst society has to offer.
I think one of the largest problems with social media is that it provides an audience and a stage with which we emphasize the masks we commonly associate with (whether they be political, religious, etc). The disconnection that online comments and forums provide allow the loyalty that we have for our masks to often overpower our civility. In the modern social media age, I feel like we too commonly see ourselves only as the masks we wear, and any discourse quickly devolves into a us vs them mentality. I feel that people like their masks, and they want others to only wear the masks they wear while asserting that everyone else is wrong. This mentality is especially dangerous, and it is exasperated by the ability for people to surround themselves with exclusively likeminded individuals – allowing for reinforced misconceptions and misinformation to run rampant. The us vs them mentality leaves little room for conversation, or compromise and, in my opinion, is creating massive holes in our social fabric.
If “we cannot expect ethical behavior from a society which is motivated purely by incentives and expediency; ethical conduct is not always profitable or practical” what can we do to ethically counteract the ‘me first’ and consumeristic society that is taking hold in the modern age?