Pros and Cons of Social Media and Modern Day Technology
I grew up with VHS tapes and an Elmo cassette player. The most technological advanced video game I played was my Tamagotchi (it kept dying though, what the hell?), and eventually when I discovered Webkinz, I was the proud owner of a solid 18 pets(z). I got my first iPod when I was 12 (a pink nano that I thought was broken when I accidentally ripped the headphones) but I eventually upgraded to an iPod touch, and finally I traded in my Blackberry for an iPhone 5 during my freshman year.
However, that’s not the case for kids today. They have iPads by the time they’re 4, most of them already have laptops by the second grade, and iPhones no sooner than 9. They have Xboxes and Wii’s and Samsung Notes. Not only that, but there are 10 year olds with Facebooks, and 8 year olds with Instagram, and little 4 year olds named Chloe appearing in vines. It’s insane, and it’s not going to help the future of our world. Because let me tell you, knowing how to go viral on twitter isn’t going to help these kids survive the zombie apocalypse.
So, without further ado, here are my Pros and Cons of technology (and in extension, social media.)
I have to say, without Google, I would be royally screwed. When writing an essay or studying for a test, it’s just so easy to look up the information. Even the most pointless facts are right at my fingertips. (ie. What is Channing Tatum’s middle name? Answer: Mathew) Search engines helped advance the world in ways most people could never imagine. I mean, imagine having to go the library and I actually research information. It’s horrifying. Google knows everything and I’m sure one day it will grow a mind of it’s own and take over the world. (It will happen. Sci-fi books/movies have warned us). Even the simple things like GPS’s and Amazon make our lives faster and easier. Why go to a store when you can shop online? Why use a map when Siri can tell you where to go? These little pieces of technology are all part of the bigger, faster world of today.
Con: Lack of Privacy
It’s probably the biggest, most cliché complaint about social media but it’s so true. Nothing is private anymore. You like a girl/guy? You stalk them on Facebook. A college is interested in recruiting you? They’ll find you on Facebook. You’re face is plastered across Instagram and your ideas are circulating on Twitter. People online feel like they know you-and really?-it’s kind of scary. And I’m looking at you, teenage girls (not that I’m not one of them) when I say people put their lives on these sites. Filtered pictures of their coffees, tweets about their moods (ie. ‘Sleep is just not happening tonight’ nobody cares), and 5 paragraphs essays about their boyfriends/girlfriends (I’m really happy that you’re celebrating your 1 month and 2 week anniversary, but please go post about it somewhere else). Privacy just doesn’t exist anymore. Everyone knows where everyone is/what they’re doing 24/7 and it’s not healthy. The weirdest experience I’ve had online was when my friend’s younger sister friended me on Facebook. Her profile picture was a stuffed animal and in her biography it said she went to the middle school. She didn’t though. She went to the elementary school. She was eight. The words eight and Facebook should never be in the same sentence, unless you’re talking about the amount of people that you actually talk to on your friends list. Facebook, Instagram, twitter-they all have great things about them, and I’m not saying you should delete your account because of the privacy issue-but there should be limits. And if you’re telling your eight year old that it’s ok to have a Facebook, imagine how open and naked (physically and hypothetically) they’ll be by the time they reach high school.
If you use social networking sites correctly, they’re actually pretty great. Besides the fact that they can be used for fun, writers and comedians can appreciate twitter while photographers can use Instagram. These apps give professionals a chance to get their talents out there and go viral. Lot’s of people have gotten famous thanks to social media and youtube (ie. Jenna Marbles). Even journalist can write for websites like Buzzfeed and create blogs. Before social media, that was impossible. App creators can make millions and it gives people opportunities to make a living out doing something they truly enjoy. The social media age is giving more creative, imaginative people a chance to have the limelight. Who needs scientists if you have 2 million followers on twitter? Oh, priorities.
As my mom would tell me when I watched too much T.V, “It’s melting your brain.” Video games have literally taken over the world. My brother was reduced to tears because he didn’t get an Xbox. What has the world come to?? The screen and the mindless motions of playing a video game hypnotize kids, and even adults. Instead of going outside and playing games (I dare you to ask a seven year old to play tag. They’ll be so confused) kids talk to their friends over the Xbox or compete against them in games online. They don’t move. There’s no way that can be healthy. Michelle Obama would not be proud. Also, no one reads anymore. Pick up a book goddammit! You might get a paper-cut, but you’ll live! Video games are causing your kids to gradually grow dumber, despite what their teachers tell you. No, I’m sorry, mindlessly killing fake zombies will not help them learn algebra. Or even survive the zombie apocalypse because virtual zombies won’t really eat you. Just ask Carl Grimes.
Social Media and technology have advanced greatly in the past decade, and I honestly think out nation is so entranced by the progression that we’re not thinking. I constantly have my phone by my side, and I don’t think I’ve gone a day without checking Instagram. (Once, I posted a picture of my iced chai. And I enjoyed it). I succumbed to the temptations of angry birds and flappy bird (what’s with all the birds?) and currently my new obsession is Jelly Splash, which is basically Candy Crush but with jelly. Social media is a part of our everyday lives, and I think if we’re going to move forward with it and use it to our advantage we need to learn how to control ourselves.
I miss my Tamagotchi.