Self Perceptions In An East/West Social Media Context

JoelEast vs West, Social MediaLeave a Comment

We are in an age of unparallelled self expression opportunities .

Every contact point with the customer is about the I of the Internet or the ME of social media.

However, there are distinct differences in the perception of self  of people who live in West as opposed to the East.

Of course the caveat here is that I am referring to  in ideological  West and East. Self expression has different motivations in the different cultures. This begins at the core of who we are, and even in the language we speak as we saw in Social Media And The Language Of Culture.

One intrinsic difference is in the perception of SELF in the different cultures.


In the West, the smallest unit in society is the individual. The respective individuals engage society at large from the perspective of one.

Identity is formed  as a totality of who the individuals are, what they have accomplished,  what opinions they have, and what they stand for. Therefore, traditionally, at 18 the individual is expected to leave the house and find his own way in the world, to discover himself and find his footing as an individual.  His rights are protected by law and his journey is one a projecting  and searching for actualization  in himself. Self , is the TEXT.


In Eastern societies however, the smallest unit of the society is the family unit. An individual’s engagement with society at large is  in the context of his own sense of being a part of his family unit. An individual has rights under law of course, however, as a vehicle for engaging  the world, he or she first needs to find context in terms of ‘which group do i identify myself with’. The engagement is after the process of discovering context. Self , is Subtext.

In social media engagement therefore, while the manifestation is similiar, the motivations are quite different.

One seeks engagement to validate self, self expression, personal rights and right to free. Each individual engages each other and tribes form by agreement and assent.

The other seeks to contextualize and seeks to define ‘self’ by association with …. a group, a family, a  tribe, and therefore tribe form by common engagement, the Self is subsumed  within the context of the larger agenda of the  tribe.


JoelSelf Perceptions In An East/West Social Media Context