Samuel James gives us a great article on the continuing effects of "expressive individualism" and how social media in particular enables it through the lens of Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling. Well worth the read. One of the better quotes:
Digital technology’s power to polarize us is intrinsic to its nature. Through its disembodying effect, and by giving us the power to curate and control our experience of the world, this technology offers the illusion of total self-creation.
He also states:
What Rowling’s story shows is that this power is a double-edged sword. When the “self” we create finds favor with the audience we’re trying to reach, it serves us well. But when our projected self is out of step with that same audience, the power of the social internet turns decidedly against us. Live by the social media sword, die by the social media sword.
I think this is true, not just of projected selves, but of our true selves. This is the effect of polarization generally, not solely a consequence of the "rise and triumph of the modern self." The solve for such hostility is not to attempt to adapt or pacify the other, or even to seek a via media between one audience or another. Rather it is to follow Christ regardless of the ebb and flow of popular opinion. It is to ground one's self not in one's self or in the ever-changing tides of the world, but in Jesus. "Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you..." (John 15:2o). Grounding one's self properly requires more than consuming more media or even a more diverse media. It requires the Word and the people that the Word creates. It requires liturgies that redirect us from what social media implicitly teaches us about inward focus to that of a focus on our own void of worthiness and Christ's ultimate worthiness which he freely offers to us.