I hadn’t heard of the term epigenetics before this module. There are two different sides to this debate, some argue that genes make our behavior while others counter that the social environment we are raised in determines our actions. Researchers have found that these go hand in hand. Two people might share the same gene for tallness but one might be slightly shorter than the other if they grew up in an environment with less nutrients. I believe that it shouldn’t be a debate between the two ideas but a combination of the concepts that will help us understand. Certain cases involving children who were isolated from birth show severe stunted social growth and skills. But it has been proven that if caught early enough, they can be put through rigorous therapy to make them functioning members of society. Another case was a man who was born American but grew up in a Chinese family shows no signs that he is not completely Chinese others than his appearance.
We also grow depending on others. The book discuses Mead’s “I” and Mead’s “me”. A concept that part of us is unpredictable and impulsive, you cannot even think about it or it won’t exist anymore. And the “me” part of us is what is learned through interactions with others. If you reflect on “I” it becomes part of “me”. This also depends on your environment when learning to balance the two in socialization.
There is a certain window where children are learning normal behaviors and if that window is missed they cannot grow normally. But part of that depends on the brain. Two men can have a gene for anti-socialness but only one will develop it in adulthood. That man grew up in an abusive childhood while the other had a happy life growing up. Researchers have found that certain genes can exist but are only important and will be activated depending on the individuals social upbringing.
Today we have technology and online communication that has drastically changed these ideas. Now because of smartphones and being virtually connected to the internet every minutes, users have a whole new level of social interactions that help them grow as individuals. Before the internet people had public selves and private selves. Private selves were parts that not many people knew about simply because they did not have access to share it. But now with social media and youtube people are able to share every part of their lives with no trouble. Now it is no secret what your friends do with their lives when you’re not around, you no longer have to inquire. Certain gaming communities allow us to become another identity and experience from that perspective. It has been found that games such as Second Life do not affect real life as much as real life affects Second Life. All of these are important because people can now experience life from another character without consequences. Playing a soldier in a war game without the risks of going to war. While it may not be even close to what it is like in real life, this technology has allowed us to be so much closer to one another and change the way we socialize for good.