Saturday, January 30, 2016

Technology & How Society Benefits

It is unquestionable that the way society communicates on a daily basis has changed dramatically within the last year, let alone 10 years or more. However, what has been debated frequently and questioned by all generations is whether the change has positively or negatively impacted the social dynamic of the world we live in today. My point of view is clearly biased as I type this while it saves to my computer, iPhone and every other imaginable device I have, yet I believe the way I communicate through technology is quite preferred to the way those communicated when my parents were this age.

On any given day at any given time I am able to reach out to those I desire to speak to, despite their locational distance from myself. I am a Colorado kid attending UNL for many reasons, yet I am unsure I would of chose to go out of state if I was unable to text, call, FaceTime, or Email my family and friends from back home whenever I want. The beauty of being able to do this doesn’t hinder the brilliance of being able to talk to somebody next to me on a subway or bus, but rather expands my communicative circle to decide the priority of conversation which benefits me at a given point in time. As a student seeking a major in business I greatly understand the value of meeting strangers that I can potentially add to my network and help me in the future. Although this most definitely can be achieved without the use of technology, it isn’t nearly as efficient. As time advances so do the means for communication within the social and business aspects of society. The efficiency to reach out to people through phones and computers is seen in every aspect of communication between people. I recently experienced this while seeking to play collegiate soccer and have coaches contact me through phone calls and text messages rather than letters. Although I didn’t end up playing in college, the ability to advertise myself to coaches and schools would have been nearly impossible in todays world without the means of technology. This singular example is just one of many ways that the advancements of communication have created a better and more efficient way to reach out to whomever wanted.

Technology is clearly helping society in more ways than hurting it and I believe the reasons for those who oppose it have yet to experience the full potential it offers. There are negative aspects to any major change in society, but the positives so greatly triumph in this particular change that the communication movement to add technology as a key component is happening and it’s better to embrace it than argue it. The exquisiteness of approaching somebody in person to start a conversation hasn’t disappeared at all, but rather is seen less often because it isn’t any longer the only form of meeting somebody. This can’t be perceived as a bad thing, because the variety for communication has grown greatly with the addition of social media which gives those the chance to not only interact with more people, but in ways unavailable to previous generations. Freedom to communicate through social media on phones, tablets and computers is a responsibility and with this comes the unfortunate reality that some will take advantage of it and overuse it. This is where many who oppose the extensive use of social media are correct, when particularly teenagers can’t hold a conversation with somebody in person because they are used to being able to think about what they want to say or respond with before they type it in an internet based conversation.

Overall, of course social media through technology and in-person interactions need to be balanced, but to eliminate one completely is absolutely absurd and therefore to say that the introduction to social media talk has impacted the world negatively is a completely false statement. Being able to talk with those internationally has created a beautiful way of sharing thoughts, experiences and stories to those wherever they may be and therefore I am grateful to live at a time that embraces the importance of communication diversity.


  1. Think about when my parents or your parents were growing up. If your mom or dad had a crush on somebody in their classroom at school and wanted to communicate with him or her outside the classroom, they exchanged home telephone numbers on a piece of paper. Nine times out of ten when their crush called the house phone, your parents’ parents answered the phone first and had the choice to invade their privacy. If there was more than one landline in the house, their parents could always pick up the other phone and join in on the conversation without their awareness. You can see how this could be frustrating for teens living with their parents without any type of privacy.
    House phones are no longer popular; cell phones are the new trend. Nowadays children have all the information they need at their fingertips, to some extent it could be overwhelming. Due to technology advances today children are definitely exposed to more adult content information. A child can literally teach himself almost anything by using YouTube. Social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat has changed the way we communicate on the daily bases. For example, when I was about eleven years old, cell phones weren’t mainstream yet for teens so I lived life more in the moment. Youth lives weren’t documented because we didn’t have anything to document it with. Now it seems that most people from children to adults have to take a picture of their lunch they had today, a football game their watching, a concert that they are at, or picture of their face aka “selfie” everyday constantly seeking attention.
    My friend called me out at a Nebraska Huskers football game four months ago because I had my iPhone 6 out during every play trying to a capture a Kodak moment that I can show off on my Snapchat story so all my friends can view it to see how cool I am. He told me to just live life in the moment and don’t worry about being on my phone, its not too many times students like us get lucky with sideline seats to a Huskers football game! I dwelled on what he said for a minute and came to the conclusion that he was right, as Americans today we no longer live life in the moment.
    Communication through technology definitely has its perks. We can form and maintain long distance relationships, form and maintain international business, promote entertainment to gain revenue, and most importantly send global messages about good or bad events happening in today’s society. For example, the Black Lives Matter movement would not have been so popular if it was not for technology advancing into these social media sites. Social media can be taken too seriously or not serious enough. Most employers of a corporation used social media sites to make a hiring decision. This could be bad for a low monitored person that doesn’t care what the public thinks about them and post pictures on the media of him or her drinking alcohol and partying all the time. No corporation who is serious about their reputation wants to hire someone who drinks alcohol and party all the time from the looks of their social media sites.
    A person can also take social media sites too seriously. Investing most of their time everyday looking at people’s profiles, commenting on a lot of peoples pictures, comparing and contrasting their lives to others, and taking a thousand pictures before they post that one daily “selfie”. People like this are usually always on their phones or a computer, not necessarily focusing on their goals because they are focusing on everybody else’s. This can cause an individual to not reach their maximum potential and limit their selves because they are too devoted to a world that doesn’t have a reality.
    Technology has definitely changed the way we communicate for the better. Social media sites can be beneficial or detrimental to us depending on the way we use it and how frequently we use it. I can’t wait to see what will be the next trend of communication through technology, the Google glass?

  2. When I think back to my first cell phone I remember it was the grey/silver Motorola Razor. I was in the 6th grade and at the time it was the phone everyone wanted. Fast forward to 2014 when my 11 year old brother also got his first phone while in 6th grade, but instead of getting a flip phone that took you forever to type out a simple text, he got my old iPhone 5s. Right now he has Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat at his fingertips, while the best thing I had on my flip phone was Tetris. Comparing my story of my first phone to my little brother’s story really makes me think about how much technology has advanced in such a short time and also how crazy the advances are going to be in the future.
    Out of my generation I have also felt like the odd one out because I just never really got into social media. I have a Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. like all the rest of my peers but I was never really an active user on those sites. Sure I’ll go on them but I never really post much and I never really made it a routine to check my Twitter feed when I got up in the morning like most of my friends do. I’m not against those sites like some members of past generations are, but I just never really found a need to post my whole life on those various sites. Attending UNL while being an out of state student has changed my views on communication through technology a little bit because right now technology is my lifeline and I rely on it to communicate and stay up to date with various events in my family and friends lives. I’ll go on Facebook or Instagram to see photos of my friends and family and look at what’s going on in their lives, but for some reason I still don’t find it a need to post things myself. Yes I do post the bigger events in my life like prom, graduation etc. but I never post things daily like some people do.
    Even though for once technology and social media are my friend, when I’m back at home I never really us it like I did before I went off to college, there are still many downsides to social media. Something that was addressed while I was in junior high school and in high school that say my older sister never experienced was getting lectured about cyber bullying. Instead of children picking on each other while on the playground, which I’m sure may still happen, children are now turning to sites like Facebook or Twitter to pick on their peers. Cyber bullying was present at my high school so we would have assemblies about cyber bullying and the affects it has on others and now since the younger generations are being exposed to social media and technology at an even younger age they too are now having assemblies about cyber bullying at elementary school levels.
    While I do admit to using social media more due to me being hundreds of miles away from my family and friends, I do think there are limits that people should have with social media and technology. Technology can bring people together using all the out of state students as an example, but I do think there are some draw backs like cyber bullying and some users being glued to their phones what seems like 24/7. We can’t hide from technology because it is a part of most of everyone’s daily lives, but I do believe that self-control and a healthy balance with technology and social media is needed to maintain relationships with friends and family as well as being able to be alone sometimes.