According to Morone’s “Democratic Wish”, individualism is a major contributing factor to the dismantling of the Civic Republican part of the process. Also, in order to bring about the communitarian Democratic Wish, there has to be a wide-spread agreement on changing the status quo. The reason Social Media prevents the Democratic Wish from happening is because those sites promote individualistic and unique views, despite their seemingly unifying tendencies.
Let’s be honest, social media sites are channels for people to be self-interested, to express their true thoughts and desires, and to be exposed to different views and opinions, and this self-reflection makes individualism so much easier to achieve. Due to this increased sense of individualism, it has become more difficult for an overwhelming number of people to bring about a change in the status quo. I’m not saying it has made it impossible, but the increased emphasis on the individual has reduced the need to look out for others. It appears now the extent of having interest in others is either commenting on their status or joining the same group or fan page as them.
It could be argued that social media pages make it easier for movements to gain momentum or public favor, but the amount of people who go past clicking “join group” or “like this page” and end up meeting up as a result of the group or page is a very small number. A movement can seem wildly popular when viewing it’s social media page, but many people simply join the group as a way to appear to be part of a movement, so others would be interested in seeing their personal views on their profile.
People are allowed to be unique on the internet, while the Democratic Wish would require a widespread need to essentially conform to a group that would be in favor of a change in the status quo. Sites like Facebook thrive on their ability to make users feel as if they are unique and non-conformists (despite the conformity of joining facebook to begin with), meaning these people have been encouraged in this era to hold their own opinions and be different from the next profile. (i.e.: Facebook stalking wouldn’t be Facebook stalking without individualism on each profile). People are constantly invited to Facebook events of protests, or are asked to join a page or group that supports a movement, but those are often ignored or joined without much thought. Even though people are exposed to movements like Occupy Wall Street, and can find out anything about it through these sites, people can also view any other movement, and any other page, and absolutely nothing forces them to attend such events, as the other post states.
Social media sites have given everyone a channel, thus reducing the viewership of each channel. This of course makes it more difficult for a movement to emerge from the masses, and for it to gain more passionate supporters because people are part of tons of groups on these sites, all with different goals. Also, these movements can fade more quickly because it seems there is always a new movement emerging, eclipsing the previous one. Social Media sites give people access to find what rings true to them, rather than giving people a choice of few opinions and movements to follow, as pamphlets would have at the dawn of the American Revolution.