By Teresa Russo – Collegiate Staff
When walking to class most students are using their cellphones or walking with headphones in their ears. It’s hard to believe that technology hasn’t always been used to shut out the world around us. I can’t even imagine how life would look if not a single person had a cell phone in their dominant hand, waiting it to ring, beep, or buzz.
When I come across someone without a phone, I wonder how they’re able to keep up with today’s world. It’s basically become a necessity to at least have a cell phone with texting capabilities. Anything your heart desires lies in the palm of your hand. In an instant you can become aware of news from all over the world.
Privacy Has Vanished in our Society:
With social media, privacy has become a thing of the past. Once you post a picture, thought, emotion or anything online, it’s out there forever, and there’s no going back. When you are tagged in photos on Facebook, those pictures can be seen by anyone.
Future employers can decide whether or not they hire you by looking at your Facebook page, stalking your Twitter account, or even your Instagram feed. It seems that looking into online activity is the new background check. It might not be fair, but that’s just how the professional world works these days.
Once you accept a friend request on Facebook, or let someone follow you on Twitter, or Instagram, you are opening someone up to your life. It’s important to remember who your audience is online. Use the power of social media wisely, or it can come back to haunt you.
People can see everything. Whether it is pictures, friendships, interests, or other personal information. Through social media they can easily figure out who your family is, what sports teams you like, your favorite music or where you went to high school and college. Whereas back before social media, people had to have lengthy conversations with someone in order to gain this type of information. Now it’s all available in an instant, and these days, you can know everything about a person without ever even meeting them or knowing them personally.
Dating and Effects of Social Media:
Social media and phones have made a huge impact on the world of dating and relationships. Not many people send love letters to their significant others anymore; instead they are constantly updating each other through the use of technology. From morning till night, couple’s are able to communicate with each other every second of every day, which has its pros and cons.
If you think about it, before phones even existed, there was more time to appreciate the letters sent, and time spent with each other. I feel like some of the mystery has been lost in our social media generation. It’s not very hard to figure out someone’s past or present; your life is basically out there for everyone to see. It only takes a couple minutes for me to search the name of the guy I met in the hallway, and find out if he’s someone I want to continue talking to. I think it’s a little unsettling to be able to find out information about someone at the push of a button. It also takes away some of the fun of meeting someone new, when you already know some of the basic facts.
Past Pictures vs. Present Pictures.
In past generations, moments were captured sporadically and kept in scrapbooks and boxes of pictures. People would have to wait to get pictures developed, whereas today our cell phones let us take and share a photo in a matter of seconds. In today’s world moments are captured, documented, shared and organized instantaneously in an online setting through Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Having the ability to look back on photos online and not have to worry about losing them is a great thing. I can document my life very simply and easily share my life through visuals by the use of cellphones and social media. Not to mention, cell phones can take some pretty awesome pictures these days.
Instant Communication vs. Cherished Communication.
Phones are changing the way people communicate with each other, making it simple, but perhaps less valued. A handwritten letter is definitely a lot more exciting to receive from someone compared to a text message. While of course I am guilty of texting, there is one person I still send handwritten letters to. My friend and I decided that we would send letters to each other when she went away to school, just to keep us better connected while she was away. The anticipation of a letter coming in the mail is always so exciting.
I cherish those letters so much and I take my time reading them. We also take the time to decorate the envelopes with inside jokes and pretty colors, just to make it more fun to spot in the mailbox. It’s almost like hanging out and telling each other all of our stories and catching up. We vow never to tell each other when the letter is put in the mailbox, that way the element of surprise is always included. It’s fun to write out all of the good things and bad things that have happened in the last week or so, and for me, it acts as a stress reliever as well. There are so many different ways to get in touch with someone in an instant, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even texting. Maybe it’s time to try waiting for a response, rather than receiving one right away. Patience is a virtue and I know I could benefit from practicing it more often. Try sending someone close to you a letter and see how they respond.
Overall, technology is advancing with many benefits to society. There is no need to look up a word in the dictionary or a topic in an encyclopedia when you can just Google it. It is also really hard to get lost these days. With things like a GPS or a navigation app on your phone you can keep in touch with family and friends instantly, and make it easier to connect and make plans.
Through technology, you can even use a digital calendar to stay organized and send yourself reminders. It has become obsolete to memorize your friends’ phone number, which leads to problems when your phone dies. Society has become dependent on technology, but not necessarily in a bad way. The reality is we use technology 24/7 and there really is no reason not to have it with you, as long you keep it in perspective.