Social Media has revolutionized this generations way of communicating. Information is shared instantaneously on a global level in a way it has never been capable of at any point in history. We are living in the age of technology that past generations could only dream of. The premise of the book 1984 does not seem so far-fetched now that we have a bracelet that can project an image on your wrist replacing a smart phone. It is a matter of time when it will not seem so unreasonable that a car will fly and be fueled by recycling (FYI that was a Back to the Future Reference in-case you missed). But as with any changes one should be cautious of the information being shared.
Everyone has experienced junk email, junk snail mail, and marketing scam phone calls. It should not come as a surprise that the same is now a constant daily practice on every social media platform. There is nothing wrong with double checking and triple checking a source before sharing bad information and news with your followers. It is always good practice to avoid falling into a scam trap. With the advances being made on a daily basis in technology scammers are making just as many advances. Viruses and malware are spreading even faster, are more complicated and can expose things we never intended to share.
There seems to be a belief that now that we live in 2014 and have made leaps and bounds in the field of technology that it has translated to how we handle our personal experiences and lives. This generation growing up now as preteens, teens and young adults have no sense of decorum or privacy. Every experience needs to be showcased as if we all live in fishbowls. The problem with this mentality is once something is out there for the whole world to see in the black hole that is the internet it cannot be taken back. Your opinion, your experience, your personal life is now fodder for anyone globally to dissect and ridicule.
This takes the concept of “Reality TV” to the extreme. Everyone is feeding off of other users’ experiences or what they say they have experienced. The younger generations are not learning to converse with their peers or elders. They take information on an open platform as it is without first checking the sources to confirm the information is accurate and real. We live in a culture of instant gratification which is impacting the direction in which our world is headed in. Students are no longer opening a book to confirm the source of a bit of information so there is a constant spread of bad history, incorrect news and a constant flow of negative opinions and damaging experiences to people who do not deserve it.
Social Media along with the technology we have at our finger tips are powerful tools. These tools can change lives, can spark a revolution for good or bad if used correctly. Everyone should know how to use these tools but as with everything there should be a disclaimer or an unspoken rule that we do not forget that they are tools only and to constantly question the information presented. We should want to continue to practice the habits our teachers gave us in researching papers or essays in school. Beware the power of Social Media on your personal life and question something that is spread so easily but has no real source to show its worth. Social Media is going nowhere it is here to stay. We have embraced it and there is no reason that we shouldn’t. We just have to remember we have to live and enjoy our lives so we can share real factual experiences instead of living vicariously through someone else.