The introduction of technology has made many impacts to society. The world moves so fast now. Information that used to take weeks, maybe months, to get across the country can now travel twice that far in a fraction of that time. With the world moving at such a fast pace, it’s easy to assume that not only will the speed of things change, but people’s behavior will change as well. Today, if a professor cancels a class they will most likely send out an email to all their students. The students just need to make a couple clicks to see if class is still on.Order now
Before, students wouldn’t know unless they traveled all the way to their classroom just to see that their professor left a note on the door saying that class is canceled. A change in behavior because of technology can be good or bad. I think that in today’s world, people are more likely to do things that they would never have considered doing before social media came along. The technology, mainly cell phones, and social media make our society much more courageous. One prime example of technology giving us courage is cyberbullying. People say cruel things when they are behind a screen.
If you stood face to face with a person that you hate, odds are that you wouldn’t say as hurtful of things as you would if you texted them. Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging are mediums for bullies to find, pursue, and attack victims verbally and emotionally. Cyberbullying is a very big issue in the United States. According to Guard Child, a website that offers statistics on cyberbullying, almost half of young people experience some form of cyberbullying and 10-20% experience it regularly. Also, 87% of people who admitted to being bullied, said that Facebook was the medium for the abuse (Cyber Bullying Statistics | GuardChild).
Before technology, cyberbullying didn’t even exist. When people bully someone over a text message or over Facebook, the abuser feels a false sense of security. Almost as if nobody can trace the bullying back to them, since nobody physically saw them pestering anyone else. If bullies encounter their victim face to face, they would not be as brutal as they are online or over text. They might still bully other people, but just by being face to face with their target, odds are they will not be as harsh. The screen between two people is what gives bullies the courage to be extra mean.
Cell phones have also made it easier for people who are less comfortable in social situations. Introverts and people who are shy might have a hard time reaching out to people and making friends, but technology makes it easier. Before modern technology and social media came around, the only way to ask someone out on a date was to do it in person, unless you sent them a letter. Now, people can message somebody and ask them if they want to grab a quick cup of coffee or see a movie. If their crush says no, the rejection is easier to handle because nobody else saw them get turned down.
This has made it much less daunting for people who are not so comfortable in social situations. Cell phones can assist people in asking someone out, but they can also offer a quick sense of comfort if the date isn’t going well. I’ve been out on a date before where things have not been going spectacularly, and I pulled out my phone to take a quick glance at Twitter. For a second I focused on something that I was comfortable with, and then I returned myself to the date because I was trying not to be too rude. It felt weird to me that I kept running to my phone at every awkward moment.
I forced myself to be courteous and be attentive to my date. It reminded me of how people tend to use their devices as an escape. Escape from awkward situations or uncomfortable silences. Our phones may give us more courage to push past our comfort level because we know that at any time we have our device to save us from our discomfort. Not only does it make it easier to talk to people, technology also makes it easier to ignore people. Riding on the shuttle displays a perfect example. Often, when I’m hitching a ride on the shuttle to North Campus, almost everybody on the shuttle is completely silent, noses buried in their phones.
We live in a culture that cannot stand silence. The silence on the shuttle makes us uncomfortable, and instead of breaking the silence by making nice conversation with a fellow student, we dive into our phones to prevent dealing with social interaction. Being on our phones during the ride gives us a distraction for a long enough time that we can ignore the awkward silence. One time, I went to my cousin’s wedding and I didn’t know anybody there. I mean, my family was there, but they were all distant relatives and I’m not close with any of them.
I felt very awkward, but it was not as bad because I had my phone in my pocket. I knew that at any moment, if I felt awkward standing by myself in the middle of a crowded room, I could pull out my phone and feel not so left out. I don’t have a tough time making small talk, but there were times where everybody around me was already in the middle of a conversation and I was not going to be rude and interrupt them. I promptly retrieved my phone and proceeded to open Twitter. The sole purpose of me scrolling was to ignore the awkwardness of standing alone.
But had I not had my phone, I probably would have wandered around aimlessly. Had I been wandering around aimlessly, people would have looked at me funny, thus making me feel self-conscious. But since I had my handy dandy device on me, I bypassed all the stress of feeling self-conscious. Sharing masses of personal information over social media is the norm now. All you must do is go to Facebook or Twitter and search for someone. If you find their profile, you can learn a plethora of information about them just by looking at their posts.
Also, most people will put some information about themselves in their “bio” to give strangers who stumbled on to their page some information about them. Didn’t our parents teach us not to give out information about ourselves to strangers? Yet here we are, posting private information that literally anybody can see. In Hal Niedzviecki’s essay “Introducing Peep Culture”, he says that people overshare things on the internet. They give away personal information for free, and I agree with him. I know that I sure do give information away for free.
When people see my profile on Facebook, I want them to like me. To make them like me I feel like I need to give them enough information about myself to prove that we share common interests. When did we become so oblivious to the threat of strangers? Is it solely the technology that has given us the courage to freely post intimate information about ourselves? Not only is it normal for people to post information about themselves, but it’s easier than ever to find out and post information about others. In class, we looked at a blog that was about a girl named Sara (Photos of Sara.
She Doesn’t Know Me. ). Basically, this man made a secret blog and would follow Sara around and take pictures of her for said blog. I think the whole situation was weird. I feel that it took quite a bit of courage to post that blog, because what good could come from it? Are there any benefits obtained by stalking someone? Also, think of the backlash that could have arose from it. Sara probably could have filed a restraining order against him. I think that social media is what inspired this man to go out of his way to follow Sara around.
This man realized that on the internet he has an audience. Without access to an audience, he never would have followed Sara around because there would have been no point. Without social media, what would have been a positive outcome of stalking her? The only good thing that came from it was a good laugh and a little fame from making a funny blog. Without that, Sara could live her entire life without worrying about being followed around like a celebrity. All in all, I think the influence that technology has made to society is a positive one.
I believe that social media has made it easier for people to meet and talk to other people, but I can’t ignore the fact that our behavior has been altered due to social media. I think that centuries ago, people who left home to go find and explore new worlds had genuine courage. Today, we have a different kind of courage, the kind that tells you that if you ask your crush out on a date she’ll say yes. The strength that we’ve been gifted has positive and negative aspects. Technology and social media is the cause behind our youth’s new sense of bravery.