Speakout: Social Media




Chatting in real-time with family in Africa

Imagine without social media how will people interact. How will the military deployed in Afghanistan interact with their families back home? It will be the slowest and pathetic mode of communication to use. Most of the time even members of the same family use social media to communicate because they don’t work together to have that face-to-face interaction.

Personally I use social media everyday to interact with my family in Africa. It’s fast and real. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Skype are creating new opportunities among the youths and also they acquire technical skills they need in the digital world.

The students are also using social media to connect and engage with their fellow students and their teachers and professors. Shyness experienced in face-to-face is eliminated in the social media. Student group discussions are done in the social media sites and the outcome is enormous and in real time. Social media is advancing in our everyday lives and there is no need of going back to the Stone Age.

In my opinion the social media is advancing and it is supposed to be encouraged and to compete globally in networking it should be used diligently.

—Edward Mosomi

Nostalgic for days of land lines, letters

Is social media good or bad? I guess that depends on the person. Personally, I don’t think that it is very beneficial to the mass community. It just makes us a lot more socially awkward (in a face to face context), and quite a bit more inverted into our own lives.

Sometimes I actually find myself reminiscent of the good ol’ days when you had to actually pick up a land line and dial a phone number that you actually remembered, or grab a sheet of paper and a pen to write to a friend who lived a few towns away; but the funny thing is, I really didn’t even live in those days! (At least I wasn’t old enough to use a phone).

I just wish that I had, so that it wouldn’t have to be weird if I called up a friend to ask them if they could do something that night, instead of sending them a message on Facebook. I would also love to not have to be updated on everything that a friend has done that entire day!

—Kennedy Aeshliman 

A short history of social media

Is social media good or bad in today’s society? In order to answer this question, it is important to find out what “social media” is and what the purpose of having it is. According to the Merriam Dictionary, social media is “forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.”

According to WDD by Cameron Chapman, social media first started, with Usenet systems “first conceived of in 1979 by Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis. Usenets let users post articles or posts to newsgroups. This was a great concept. It allowed users to post any small town events and make them become national events.

But soon after this, social media started to become more and more common. Anyone was, and still is, allowed to create chat rooms and spaces where they can connect with anyone around the world. This is a great step in technology, but as a society, it is a great downfall.

I encourage you to look around, if only for a moment, and notice the others around you. Notice how many are on their phones.   Notice these people sitting next to other people making no attempt to talk or interact. I believe we are at that stage in our society where technology is surpassing human interaction.

Some people are having conversations with others only on an electronic device, never once meeting face to face. The kids aren’t playing outside but instead they are playing inside with their phones and tablets. Online dating and blog sites are everywhere causing people to lose person-to-person interaction. Social media is one cause for our society’s laziness. And it will only get worse. This is why I think social media is a bad thing in today’s society.

—David Massmann

Always online with instant ‘friends’

Social media has definitely influenced society in many positive and negative ways, especially within the last decade.  Young adults who are college students now were growing up and had the privilege (or not so much) to watch as a majority of the world was evolving into the Twitter and Facebook-addicted zombies that we are today.

I personally have experienced the trend: I had a MySpace when that was popular, a Facebook as soon as my friends all got one and now I will not deny that I have a Twitter that I check hourly—if not more.

All of these sites, as well as the countless others, have created a new type of world. This new world, though has many positive aspects, is impacting how people socialize negatively: face-to-face communication is more uncommon, people are constantly chatting with one another and many do not even know how to have “alone time” anymore, and most importantly; social media quickly gets students and workers very off-task with the jobs that they have at hand.

—Leah Waite

Does social media expand or limit our networks?

We are communicating more than ever; social media shapes our relationships with people. It all depend how you perceived it and how you use them base on your social needs. For example the good things I see in them are: They remind me all my family and friends birthdays as well as especial occasions and dates, through their interactive calendar; They keep me updated with news and information that I can personally tailor to my taste; I am able to find out the current status of my friend and family by following their posts.

On the other the bad things I see in social media are: Our lives and personal information become too public; We lose the privilege of anonymity and security by posting too much information about ourselves that could fall into the hands of wrong people; It segregates people into groups that share similar believes and opinions instead expanding the network people you socialize with.

—Luis Berroa

Social media makes everyone a reporter

I feel that social media has its pros and cons. On one hand, you now have instant access to worldwide news and events. Such as disasters like the tsunami in Japan, earthquakes in Mexico and Hurricane Katrina.  It can take the normal, everyday person, and turn them into a news reporter and/or journalist, even though they have no skills or training in either area.

I think that the sky is the limit, but I do see many downfalls.  Especially when it comes to Facebook, Twitter and Myspace. With these sites I see an enormous amount of personal information and data that should be just that. Personal.  Yet people are just giving it out freely, such as personal photos, names, addresses, vacation plans, etc. This is too much information for criminals and other people who would use it to take advantage of and harm others.

—Robert Walkowaik

We’re no longer social, just addicted to media

Setting your translucent white bag next to you, you sit on the brown stained bench outside your favorite department store, your fingers frantically searching for the words to let your best friend know about the great deals from within the red brick building that you just exited. In your excitement, oblivious to you, an old man dressed in dirty tattered clothes stops at the dark gray garbage can at the end of your bench, reaching in he produces one lone empty, sticky Pepsi can, carefully placing it next to its brothers inside a bag similar to yours; life.

Deaf to the world around you, you sit upon the plush green grass of the park. Uncontrollably your fingers search for the music to be transmitted into the blue earplugs bonded to the side of your head. Unaware, behind you a young child flails her arms, screaming out for a rescuer to free her from the dark blue almost black waters of the small lake; death.

You’re standing in front of a friend’s coffin, her hands folded across her chest, you notice the small red rectangular box under her ice cold fingers. Maybe she’ll text you?

When social media becomes the master and humanity becomes the slave, it is no longer social—just media.

—Phillip Hammitt

READ: Student Speakout on social media from Cambridge Campus


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The Campus Eye Staff
The Campus Eye is published by students of the Cambridge and Coon Rapids campuses of Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Campus Eye articles in print and online represent the opinions of the writers and not the college or the student body.