Social Question

Shippy's avatar

How much does external media and pressure influence your self image?

Asked by Shippy (9870points) February 9th, 2013

Television, the Net, family, friends, peers, colleagues, society. How much do these influences effect your own internal barometer for what is OK for you? Does it make you feel less then, or more than. This can relate to things you own, where you live and also your own personal self image.

How much of this do you internalize? Or does your own barometer emanate from deep within? If you do use external sources for what is OK for you, how is it working for you?

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11 Answers

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

As we mature, we learn to understand and evaluate ourselves based on our own experiences, rather than from arbitrary external sources that aim to stand in judgment. Feedback from friends and acquaintances can help us formulate a view of ourselves. We learn what promotes better relationships and also what undermines them.

Pachy's avatar

I agree, @Dr_Lawrence. At least… we learn to try.

blueiiznh's avatar

I am fairly independent and somewhat avant garde when it come to most things. I am not a follower.
What influences me are things that educate me in researching topics of need or interest.
My eye for things, what I feel about things, and how I approach things come from me.
I am a person that has no issue respectfully questioning authority as an influence to what I feel either. The more I understand, the better and more effective a person I can be.
So yes to some influence, but it still is driven from inside me.

Coloma's avatar

I am my own person with my own style and haven’t watched TV in over 10 years. I do my own thing, always have. :-)

bookish1's avatar

A tough question to answer. I think I felt much more pressure to be ‘cool’ when I was younger, but even then I couldn’t have let external pressure influence my self image too much or I would have gone nuts. Now, I feel pretty comfortable being a feminine gay trans guy in a world that doesn’t want me to exist, so I have been pretty successful at ignoring all sorts of external pressures.

thorninmud's avatar

Certainly more than I realize. I believe that’s virtually always the case. If you have a self-image at all, that image is formed and maintained only in reference to externalities. It’s because you live among “others” that you have some idea of your self, and vice-versa. Self and other are mutually defining. And because this is a mostly unconscious process, I’m unlikely to see it in operation. I will assume that my self is an autonomous actor, deciding for itself how it should be, dammit! But then, isn’t even that notion something that I’ve absorbed from my cultural stew?

bookish1's avatar

@thorninmud : We sure have to at least pretend that we believe our selves to be autonomous actors… Sometimes I forget that I’m playing the game.

wundayatta's avatar

We are social creatures. That means that, whether we are aware of it or not, we are always paying attention to others. It matters not if they are real people or descriptions of real people, we are always paying attention to see how we match up. This is because status is what gives us an advantage. No matter what we do, we can’t do it without cooperation with others.

It doesn’t matter whether the information we get from ott he’s comes from media or directly from others, the information we get is equally valid. They affect our sense of self equally.

No one creates their self image from deep inside. We can only have a self image in relation to others. We do not decide. We are nothing on our own. We don’t even exist on our own. So of course media pays a very important role in determining self image.

The interesting difference is that in pre media times, our self image was made in respect to the local community. With media, self image is now made in relation to people all over the world. That is a significant change. Now values all over the world enter into self image. Is this good? I don’t know. It ups the pressure of comparison. Not sure it can go away.

woodcutter's avatar

I still wear clothes I’ve had for 5 or 8 years. They still fit fine and are in decent shape. Those jeans with the wear out marks in them new….never going to happen.

wundayatta's avatar

Five or eight? You’re such a wasteful snob, @woodcutter. I wear my clothes for ten or fifteen years, or until my wife secretly throws them out in the dark of night! ;-)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I do my own thing.

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