We may be individuals, but as unique as we all are, somewhere out there many of us feel the same about some things. We identify by media consumption, attending venues, and displaying common signals.
Sometimes our beliefs are volatile - they spark deep conversation and may even invoke emotional responses. Other times our beliefs are just a quietly displayed symbol solidifying our values in the minds of others. We do this both subconsciously and consciously if we're wearing our favorite T shirts or driving our favorite car.
Technology is amplifying this communication technique as we move deeper into a symbolic language not for brand but instead for story recognition. We're living in a world of icons and images that represent common stories universally acknowledged by that quick nod, wink, or salute. We let others know we're on the same page with merely an image. We don't need dialog to feel the sense of belonging... We can move the social needle with a simple symbol that tells everyone's story.