Tech-NO: Social Media’s Role in Today’s Society

Everyone has a computer. Your parents, siblings, friends, and relatives. The list goes on and on. While the computer is a tremendously useful tool that allows us to access information and contact people with the click of a mouse, it has its downside. There is something seriously lacking in today’s society, and that is the ability and desire people have to communicate effectively in person with each other. Today, with the ease of email, Facebook, and iChat/Skype among other means of communication, people are no longer interested in meeting face to face, whether it be to catch up, just spend time together, or even conduct a job interview. It’s always “email me”, “Facebook me”, “Skype me”, rather than “Let’s grab lunch.” Even businesses are utilizing social media outlets such as Facebook to advertise their companies, creating a “viral” word of mouth, rather than people physically talking about the business. “Going viral”, is all about making the video or advertisement on the web that people see, enjoy, and share with all of their fellow social media-heads. The popularity of these viral ads are very easy to comprehend; they cost little to no money or man power, and spread whatever message one wants to get out there with lightning fast internet speed for the entire world to see. So what is the real problem with this new obsession with Social Media? As I touched upon earlier, all of the personal relationships people used to maintain are now falling by the wayside. Taking a trip across the country to spend a week with a family member has turned into a quick 5-minute video chat, and the relationship isn’t as strong as it could be. As for job interviews, how much can one person really show about themselves through a screen? A firm handshake and eye contact is regarded as a form of respect and purpose, and little subtleties like this will be lost if we do not stop the madness in time. Understanding the value of human contact is part of what makes us human.