A few weeks ago, a major event happened on the campus of my university. It brought attention to the school that is often not seen: roads were closed, a helicopter landed on our school sports field, emergency vehicles were everywhere, and our parking lots were closed.
That evening, I had a conversation with a student who I live with in residence. She had gone home for the weekend, and a conversation about the situation at our school was brought up.
Her father’s girlfriend’s daughter’s boyfriend knows me, and in this conversation, it was discovered. How? Social media, of course. I posted about the event on Twitter, which he saw, associated it with Laurier, and associated that with who he was talking to. Amazing.
This definitely demonstrates how social media can reach so many different audiences, how far that reach is, and how social media keeps this world connected. If Twitter didn’t exist, the resident of my building and I would have never known we had this close degree of separation.
My question for you: Is it scary or exciting that we are so connected?
Please share your thoughts!
Its both terrifying and liberating. We have always been connected, its just getting easier to see the connections that have always existed and for them to grow and reproduce. Its also making it easier for the weaknesses and vulnerabilities we have always had to be exploited with increasing anonymity. As I post this, I know that many people that I may not be totally comfortable sharing my life with will have access to my tumblr url and its entire 5 year history of my posts. Things that I regret, things that I would rather have no one see again are public, and while I have made my peace with that by changing my current practices, its humbling to know that these tools that bring us into relationship can also be used for serious harm.
And that’s without going into how people are mistaking contact over social media with real relationships. The occasional “hey” “hey” conversation on facebook or political debate on Twitter is no replacement for real human connection (in whatever form that takes for the individual in question). I don’t think I’m reading too far into statistics on anxiety, depression, and loneliness to think that the invention and developed ubiquity of the internet had something to do with it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet and social media. It has brought me great comfort and support in many times of need. It has given me an outlet at times when I have needed it and it has allowed me the chance to stay in contact with people that in other time I may have lost contact with due to distance. But there are concerns with this #connected world.
Great thoughts here - I love how you say it is easier to see the connections grow and reproduce.
In addition - your history online, great point. In life, we can forget our past, but social media does not allow for that: positive or negative effect?