With my blog, I am not trying to say that technology is bad. Please remember that when you are reading. This is mostly just an outlet to express some feelings about how technology has changed communication.
Anyway, while I may say that it is ironic that we can communicate with each other so easily now but spend more time using technology to talk to each other than seeing each other in person, I do applaud how easy it is to communicate with people these days. I’m not talking just skyping your friends either; I’m talking about communicating with people you’ve never met or business professionals.
Sites such as LinkedIn make it easy to keep in touch with professionals that you may have briefly met after a speech they gave. While you don’t have to necessarily talk to them yourself, you can post things that they might find interesting or connect with people that they know. The fact is that you are connected with that person now and can potentially use that connection down the road more easily than if they just gave you’re their business card. They are more apt to remember who you are through social media than a random email down the road that starts “remember me…?”
Additionally, dating sites have made it easy for people who are literally worlds apart sometimes to meet and start a relationship. These people would have probably never met if not for dating sites on the internet!
Technology expanding communication like this is amazing to me.
I found an article in The Wall Street Journal entitled “Do New Apps Make Online Dating Too Easy?” by Eric Sasson and it brings up a sort of negative side to the ease of communication that technology has brought to dating and people in general.
The part of the article that I am referring to is towards the end but an interesting thing to note from the beginning is that men are the primary users of dating sites. I would have thought it would be women. I digress.
This article brings up that people are losing their courage by using dating sites instead of going out and meeting someone new. People would rather look at a multitude of pictures online than scanning for someone good looking in the crowd to go up and talk to. Why? The fear of rejection. Rejection over the internet isn’t as stinging as someone saying “no” to your face.
The article goes further to say that potentially humans may take dating and rejection less seriously because of the ease that dating sites has introduced. Humans may be more apt to break up with someone over an email than do it face to face. That is what the author means by taking these things less seriously.
I will leave you with a quote from the author: “Screening out all interaction with people whose interests or faces or lack of familiarity to us may seem efficient and less risky, but really it only pushes us further into our cocoons.”
It is now time to introduce a new social media site that you may or may not have heard of! Have you heard of Pencourage?
This social media site is like Facebook and Twitter but with a twist. The purpose of this social media site is to be completely honest and be able to share that with an audience. So instead of posting what you are doing, you would post how you are feeling or what you are thinking. It is sort of like an online diary where you remain anonymous but people can comment on your thoughts and perhaps give you advice if you ask for it. This site isn’t about how many likes you can get or how “cool” you seem through your posts. It is honest and simple. (Well, that is the purpose anyway.)
To check it out go to http://www.pencourage.com.
Here is another good dive into the ironic of being able to communicate more easily through technology and how face-to-face communication is affected.
In “Antisocial Networking?” by Hilary Stout The New York Times, a study is introduced that is looking at how “technology may be changing the very nature of kids’ friendships.” Since this study is still underway it is too soon to make any conclusions but the study is going to see if technology has made children less interested in communication face-to-face.
Additionally, the study is looking into if technology affects the experiences that help children learn such emotions as empathy and social cues in general. Stout says, “With children’s technical obsessions starting at ever-younger ages – even kindergartners will play side by side on laptops during play dates – their brains may eventually be rewired and those skills will fade further, some researchers believe.”
English: This picture is of two children on a computer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The article gives examples from parents who have seen the benefits and disadvantages of social media in their kids. One parent said that their child was more withdrawn because their child was using social media and texting. However, another parent said that their shy child became more outgoing because of social media.
Maybe the effects of social media on people are subjective and different for each of us. Maybe it is detrimental to some but positive for others. If you are interested, definitely check out this article.
For those of you who are looking for new social media sites to get connected with people who share the same interests as you, I have an article for you!
“10 Niche Social Networks You Haven’t Heard Of” by Matt Petronzio is definitely worth looking at. In the article, ten social networking sites are introduced that are not as popular as sites such as Facebook; however, they are worth looking at if you are interested.
Some of the sites listed are: Care2 where you can connect to philanthropic projects or share your own idea, My Last Wish where you can post things that are on your bucket list and find others that share items on your bucket list, Untappd where you can share your favorite beers and find new ones to try, and Book-in-a-Week where the budding writer can find tools and resources to further their writing.
There is definitely a site for everyone listed in this article. Check it out!
While I am on the subject of introducing new social media sites, I wanted to talk about a rather interesting site I stumbled upon on my journey through this blog.
Medium is an invitation-only social network site; you have to be invited to post on the site. You read correctly. Currently, you have to be selected to be able to post a blog on Medium; eventually though, posting will be open to everyone. From the researching that I did on the site, I couldn’t find how you get to be able to post but if you are interested, do a little further digging.
For now, those who cannot post can read, comment, and recommend blogs to others. Medium strives to produce “quality, rather than popularity.” These blogs are not about who can get the most likes or which blogs are the funniest, but rather intellectual and insightful blog posts. For example, one post is about growing up in Saudi Arabia.
If you are tired of reading posts about Justin Bieber, looking at random cat pictures your friends post, and the like, then definitely check out Medium. The website is simply medium.com.
We all heard and are still being updated on the events that happened during the Boston Marathon and while the people responsible are now either deceased or in custody, before they were identified and found, users of Reddit were going to try to solve who was to blame for the bombs first.
The users were looking at the mass collection of pictures that ended up on the internet from that day and were trying to analyze them and find the suspects. While these users were amateurs, there were trying to do good by using Reddit.
Their attempt turned out to be a failure. They were not able to identify the bombers by using the site but the fact that they came together to try to help is awesome. This is a positive to how social media sites are used to communicate with others. The FBI asked for the public’s help and the users of Reddit rose to the occasion.
While the users of Reddit gave the FBI misleading information at times, they were not experienced in finding criminals and were only trying to help.
To read more about this, look at these two articles: