Social Media Verses The Renaissance

When you hear the word “Renaissance,” the terms that come to mind for most people would be “rebirth” and “new ideas.” What really makes the Renaissance be set apart from other eras is that it recognized individualism and respected human worth. Social media today allows this same freedom and a spirit of discovery. Avenues such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms, allow sharing of creativity and self expression with a click of a button. Some people apply this is by taking “selfies,” also known as self portraits. In this way, we create a preferred depiction of ourselves and use fancy filters to sculpt our faces. Similarly, it was during the Renaissance that people began utilizing natural light and doing self portraits. From the source I found, it shows a picture of one of the first self portraits taken by the artist Artist Jan van Eyck. It is safe to say that it took him several hours to create this art form of himself, unlike today where you can use natural light and create a self portrait within a manner of seconds on a camera phone. As the Renaissance period understood, people today find the “selfie” not only a record of one’s appearance, but it also offers a vivid sense of a person’s presence. Being apart from loved ones especially makes the selfie or creating a video a fun way to stay connected with friends and family.


Social media also provides opportunities for people to spread ideas, such as opinions on politics to values and religion. We can use this tool to reach a large amount of people, including being able to reach influential leaders to share ideas with. The Secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council, Monsignor Paul Tighe, believes that social media can be used to spread Christianity and draw people to God. The platforms we are given, can be used for the greater good. He stated that “The magnificent churches of Rome were built during the first Renaissance using the new technology, art and engineering of the time. Young people can now do the same today using the wonderful new technologies at their disposal including new media” (Kerr).

There is a connection with the idea of social media being used to spread faith and creating a self portrait. Both topics can be linked to the idea of social media being used as a tool to spread art, creativity, and new ideas, just as the Renaissance Period once did. With all these great benefits though, there is an issue that comes to my mind. That issue is that social media can be addicting, I think we all can admit that. It can cause someone to lose touch with the real world as well as want approval from “likes” and “comments” from peers, which can cause a lack of self esteem. Can you imagine a world that is so caught up in media that people do not know how to communicate with others in person or have the skills to read social cues when someone expresses their appreciation for you? That is why it is important for us as Minnesotans to use the tools given by social media in a purposeful way, but also know the importance using media consistently so we do not get left behind in an evolving technological world.

Primary Source:

Twitter Source: David Kerr




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