Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sarahah, "social selection" and the vanishing boundaries of selves

Kaleidoscope's never ending supply of field knowledge concerning the peculiarities of his species has never been better since the inception of Orkut. He was an Orkut addict at that time, then he reluctantly joined facebook and now a third revolution is in its inception the Sarahah.

Facebook and symbolic interactionism:

Kaleidoscope is watching old and almost forgotten scholars of sociology coming alive with facebook. The school of though which looked at human being as symbol creating and interacting species - the symbolic interactionism. How does his species satisfies symbolic interactions possible is by making a series of ideas of self. The self is Social and individual. It is social in so far it is objective and hence requires a particular mode of presentation. On the other hand there is an individual and subjective self which is constantly there - some call them as the true self.

Kaleidoscope, however, is sceptical about the existing boundary between so called subjective and social self. Does they differ? As pragmatists might say actors and world are in constant dynamic process of interaction and creation of each other and with facebook boundaries between self and world is in a constant process of juxtaposition and perhaps started to blur years ago.

For example facebook page gives you space to nurture your objective self - social self to get its fullest and acceptable presentations. You never present what you are. For example in any given day you are not going to upload your profile picture randomly. You usually chose from the best ones. The category best has a social meaning within. Hence, in a process of "Social selection" you put on layers of make up. You tend to be happy unless a different presentation is needed, participate in a cause, think for future and whatever suits you.

Sarahah and the rise third order constructs:

Now that you are completely immersed in postmodern endless succession of depthless presents through presentation of your layered self suddenly there is a resurgence of your subjective self through "Sarahah." Sarahah is asking you have honest feedback from your friends anonymously. No matter how you have presented yourself towards the world, your presentation of self had another layer of meaning - another layer of objectivity - another layer of "social selection." Now you know what people 'actually' think of you - now another camouflage. People will never say what they really think about you - they will only say what they think you need to listen to or perhaps what would make them feel better to say about you. Moreover, when you tend to repost what people have said about you in Sarahah you (most likely) tend to select those which pleases you.

Now Let us allow Kaleisdoscope to make it little clearer

In facebook:

Reality - Your thought - Your presentation - others reception - your 'socially selected' presentation (second order in facebook) - others' reception (second order) - continuation of your social selection, the cycle continues.

With Sarahah:

Reality - your thought - your presentation - others' receptions - your 'socially selected' presentation (second order in facebook) -  others' reception (second order) - Others' 'mentally filtered' (since anonymous) reactions - your (filtered) repost in facebook (third order).

The third order construct will continue.

Kaleidoscope would love to end by remembering Manning (1992)

The overall tenor of The Presentation of Self is to a world in which people, whether individually or in groups, pursue their own ends in cynical disregard for others... the view here is of the individual as a set of performance masks hiding a manipulative and cynical self.

See if you like:

Manning, Philip (1992) Erving Goffman and Modern Sociology. Stanford University Press.

Goffman, Erving (1959) Presentation of self in everyday life. New York: Anchor


  1. Timely. What is happening to this world?

  2. I never knew such theories exist. Wonderful explanation kaleidoscope

  3. wonderful, thought provoking and timely! so well done...

  4. It is indeed a very apt post. The world needs a fresh engagement every now and then. And the social media apps just wait out there for gorging down the humanity and take it down the rabbit hole. People are offered the blue pill and the red pill (reference drawn from The Matrix) and they do exactly what is expected of them. Resistance is weak...and hence the third construct will definitely continue.

    1. It is taking down the entire humanity to a new depression. No doubt!