In this day and age, communicating face to face has become almost a rarity. I actually remember writing an essay concerning the effect of technology and social media on romantic relationships in which I concluded the following:
”In conclusion I believe that communicative technology is a great tool, but it shouldn’t be over used, especially not in a relationship. If you want to get to know someone better, personal interaction is better than the use of technology because you get to know the real person. There are no rehearsals or backspaces, there’s real conversation which can allow you to decide much better if this is really a person of interest. If you are constantly texting, you have no idea what’s happening on the other end”.
I remember writing this essay and asking myself how I, myself, use online spaces, especially social media. I decided to take a trip down memory lane…
When I was in the sixth grade, our teacher made us create a Hotmail account. This is where working with a computer started for me which in this day and age is pretty old. I see kids as old as 5 already working on computers and iPads like professionals. After I created my Hotmail account, my fellow students talked me in to signing in to MSN messenger. MSN messenger is MSN’s chat room. I used MSN for a few years but I used it mainly to talk communicate with my friends about when we were going to see each other again. I will admit that it’s actually where I began chatting with the boy I first kissed, i was too shy to flirt with him in person. You can’t really think about what you want to say in person, when your chatting, there’s backspace and the ability to easily say “Be right back”.
But in this generation it’s gotten a bit worse. My 15 year old cousin once told me about a few memories she has on facebook. Memories! Online! I mean….Really??? Shouldn’t memories be with actual people interacting with one another in an physical setting? Anytime I think of the word “memories” I think of millions of pictures I’ve taken in the past, of me in a tree and of my friends and I playing tag outside. My younger cousin thinks of pictures, text messages and message history on Facebook.
After MSN messenger came the famous MySpace. MySpace was an online space where people posted what was on their mind, their pictures, and had a certain order they put their friends in. Once again I was talked into using MySpace by my friends. If it wasn’t for peer pressure none of this would have happened to me. I didn’t use MySpace that much, I didn’t find it that entertaining, MSN was a lot more fun because It was chatting, I was talking to people.
Not long afterwards, Facebook came a long. It took me forever to get a facebook account. Actually I didn’t even get one, it was made for me by once again my great friends. The reason I really began to use facebook was because I loved the innovation in the social network. There’s so much you can do on facebook it’s amazing. I have always been kind of the class clown, so I mainly use facebook to post funny quotes and pictures. Many people prefer to use facebook to air their dirty laundry to all the 2000 friends they have on there. Different individuals have different ideas on how to express themselves, some people are very open with their personal lives and some are not. I am one of the latter. I prefer to use facebook for a more “public purpose” instead of reciting my life story on it. I recently became part of a few different private groups on facebook in order to communicate school projects. Even for project communities, we have our own little facebook page where we post all our documents. There’s also another entertainment page on facebook which I created, that’s where I post all the jokes that might be a little inappropriate for my own page, because now a days, even colleges look at your facebook page.
In conclusion, everyone has a different perception on over use of online spaces, in my opinion overuse includes staying inside and working on Facebook or Tumblr when you can be outside feeding the ducks with your friends. I know it might be a silly example, but you know what I mean. Overuse is what makes us isolated from the rest of the world, and it can actually cause loneliness. It’s amazing how many facebook friends someone can have, but anytime you see them in public they are alone. It’s even more amazing how, on someones birthday, 1765 people post on their facebook wall, but they don’t get a single phone call or visit. In my opinion, I would pick a few phone calls and visits over a million facebok posts.