Students using their cell phones while waiting for their class to begin is a common sight in the halls of any university.
Older generations or particularly pretentious peers scoffing at the seemingly constant use of cell phones is nearly as commonplace.
“Modern technology is making this generation antisocial!” is the oft heard battle cry of social network opponents.
While a certain legitimacy may be attributed to the argument that emotion can be difficult to assess and communicate over a non-vocal medium, the argument that people are losing touch with their ability to successfully interact is ill-founded.
Now more than ever, people are communicating, interacting and building relations with a larger number of people than before the social media boom.
The freedom social media, blogging and news sites allow for the exchange of ideas enables its users to experience a higher awareness of issues common to people of all walks of life.
I believe that to the open mind, such an exchange of ideas allows the newly aware peer to sympathize with an individual that is experiencing a hardship the other may not be aware of.
To be aware and sympathetic of the struggles a person or group of people whose experiences differ from yours strengthens interpersonal skills.
Skills that will be seen as highly useful in our economic climate and its much-needed rehabilitation.
The freedom for the exchange of ideas has radically altered social justice, activism and the overall awareness of the numerous injustices suffered by marginalized people.
As a feminist and environmentalist, online mediums have greatly aided personal research and opened my eyes to the struggles of feminism and environmentalism over a broad range of socioeconomic statuses and the legislative concerns faced by international citizens.
Smart phone technology and social media networking also benefits users who tend to struggle with socialization.
As someone who suffers from crippling shyness, I am so grateful for the opportunities offered by texting and instant messaging.
I find it much simpler to skip the anxieties caused by painful silences and avoided eye-contact of a fledgling relationship in favor of online and cell phone communication.
My closest friendships started from brief face-to-face introductions and blossomed from online and text discussions.
Without the aid texting and social networking, I wouldn’t have dreamed of being able to muster up the courage to ask a friend for an impromptu cup of coffee.
Love it or hate it, social networking and its technology is constantly at our fingertips.
The choice is yours to adapt and take advantage of these changes or remain woefully behind in an era of fast-paced change.