Technology is pretty phenomenal. In just 30 years we went from the Commodore 64 to literally being able to type up an essay on your phone and e-mail it to an entire group before you go to YouTube to watch fail-videos while you are sitting on an airplane. So why shouldn’t this huge advancement in human achievement be a pivotal part of our social lives?
It’s a digital age. We work on computers, we have class on computers and we can do a staggering amount of things from our phones. It’s only natural that we incorporate some of that into our personal lives.
After all, we already have very digital lives. Facebook reports they currently have 955 million active users. 955 million is a very impressive number when you consider each of those digits represents a living human and according to the US Census Bureau, the population United States is only 311 million.
With more people on Facebook than total people living in the United States it is probably fair to say that Facebook brings us all together in a digital sort of way. It is a site where you can post photos, show your family what you have been up to the last year and a half since you moved and play games with people in the cubicle down the hall. Better yet, you can instant message the person down the hall. An entire office building can be perfectly silent and yet conversing through their instant messages. That’s useful when you want to talk football while the CEO is inspecting carpet tiles.
Combined with Twitter—a micro blog platform that works like a high-speed message board—it is possible to connect with a lot of people without ever leaving your office.
E-mail is almost instantaneous and works just fine, we have to wait days for snail-mail. It no longer makes sense to rely on old techniques like paper mail to carry out business and communication with these old methods. Same with the telephone, it used to be you had to call someone whenever you wanted to say something, and possibly leave a message if they weren’t there. Instead, now we just send a text message which is like a mini e-mail. It just makes sense.
The most amazing part is you can do all of it from a phone even if the phone is not state-of-the-art.
Facebook and Twitter have been used to help fight revolutions in the Middle East. They have been considered key tools used by protesters to communicate and coordinate. Carol Huang of The National said countries in the Middle East such as Egypt and Bahrain experienced large jumps in Facebook users during their demonstrations. The growth was between 10 and 29 percent depending on which country.
While some have accused Facebook and Twitter of being the instigating force behind the revolutions in the Middle East, many simply regard the sites as useful tools utilized by protesters and rebels.
Back in the states, people have been utilizing social media to look for love too. Jason Kincaid of Tech Crunch notes sites like Zoosk—a popular dating website—are interlinked with Facebook and are used for finding short-term relationships or just friends and is popular amongst younger people and students. In the other ring is the serious dating website Eharmony founded by Dr. Neil Warren and uses a series of complicated parameters to find ideal matches for people.
It’s kind of significant when people are using the internet to find romantic partners. Yet perhaps the most significant element of digital communication is that it allows us to stay in touch in ways we never thought possible 30 years ago.
The digital age is something to embrace, and we will just have to iron out all of the wrinkles as we go along.