Through studying sociology, I am convinced that in order to further the discipline properly in this digital age, a crucial examination of the methods of discourse and rhetoric used online must be implemented into the field. I see furthering my education in a digital context as the epitome of that examination. The internet is a place where we are seeing structural forces replicated and perpetuated. Never before has there been such an opportunity to learn so much about the thoughts and feelings of the people. It is my long-term goal to earn a Doctorate in sociology, specializing in digital sociology. I want to dedicate my time to understanding the digital age, and I believe that committing myself to academia is the correct approach for this.
To understand the climate of the internet is to get a better understanding of the norms and values of our current and future society. One must be technologically savvy, as well as sociologically savvy, in order to understand how the internet is both a replication of the offline world, and an influencer to the offline world. I believe that I have the skills necessary to analyze this replication and influence and hope that through continuing my education I can hone my skills and gain a more thorough understanding of this relationship.
I have a desire to find out what people are saying online about a multitude of topics including race, gender, politics, and numerous other subjects. I not only want to know what people are saying, but I want to know who those people are, and why they are saying what they are saying. I hope to find patterns in my search, and I believe that working on my research skills will better equip me to understand and identify the new and old patterns that are being carried out online. Two important questions I have are: How are the old patterns being perpetuated online? How are emerging patterns online transforming our culture offline?
I have been an avid Redditor for seven years now. Most of my time online has been spent scrolling through comments sections. Whatever the platform, I have always been fascinated not just by what is being posted and shared online, but by the comments underneath the content. The internet, social media platforms most notably, has given anybody with a WiFi connection the power to share their thoughts with the masses. This is why I live in the comments section on most platforms. Where else is one going to find the true reactions beyond the number of shares and likes?
It is because of my long history obsessing over the internet that I believe I should be a digital sociologist. I have always wanted to know how it is that people came to act certain ways, and I see research as the way to do find out.