It seems there are a lot of posts today (ironically) circulating around the Web about how to “unplug” and condemning social media and “kids” (aka 15-25 yr. olds) who are attached to their devices. While these articles make some valid points, I think people are tacking too much onto the hate-mobile for technology.
I don’t hate technology nor do I condemn social media. After all, without it, how would I connect to you all?! Most of my class materials are now online; it’s how I learn. I can keep up with my friends who are living all over the country, some all over the world. I can hear about world events and participate in organizations who are strategizing and providing aid with the click of a button. Technology is powerful, yes, but we shouldn’t fear it because it holds so much power.
I think where people are getting hung up is that there is so much information available. It’s easy to sit there and read through something halfway before thinking, “What is this doing for me?” I think that statement is important for every aspect of life and it may seem simpler to apply it to more tangible, every day routines than an Internet scroll-through. Your web searches probably are more personal than deciding to clean your floors because you don’t live in a barn.
Now, I can understand where people get aggravated by the social media and Internet frenzy. If I was standing on top of a beautiful mountain or having a heart-to-heart with a relative or friend, Facebook is not relevant. Nor is taking so many pictures that you’re actually enjoying the scenery only through your screen.
However, all this online activity has opened a door that has remained sealed for centuries: solidarity. People suffering in Paris are no longer a transatlantic trip away. The wars in Sudan are no longer on another planet. The Koreans facing horrid daily events are no longer just a newspaper article. They are all people and events that have been brought to life thanks to the Internet. We can learn more and be connected in ways that were impossible before.
I predict that communication will flow even more freely in the future. Technology is not the enemy, but rather the new key for the human experience. This is our chance to speak about our experience and listen and have compassion for other peoples’ experiences.