Technology’s Influence on Society

This past weeks class has really left me wondering about how technology has influenced society in the past few decades. While there are so many positives, such as connecting with people from around the world instantaneously, there are many things we must begin to think critically about. Our norms in society have changed so much; for example, wishing people happy birthday over facebook, or a post of sorts, rather than phoning, meeting in person, or sending a birthday card. Of course, there are many other ways technology has changed the way we live our lives for better and worse.

Photo Credit: tecmark UK Flickr via Compfight cc

In the past ten years, social media has influenced the lives of many. Whether it be through Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. people young and old are posting online. One thing that I learned in this past class is that the pictures you post on Instagram are not owned by you, but rather the Instagram holds the rights of your photos. Crazy, right? I think this is where reading disclosures, licensing agreements, articles, or educating yourself in some manner becomes so important. Educating ourselves about all that social media entails allows us to become better educators that are able to teach students about how to be smart on social media and on other parts of the online world.

The article The IRL Fetish – The New Inquiry discusses some interesting theory regarding the effect of social media and how we value it in today’s society. This article revolves around the common obsession of focusing on being offline and focusing on “In Real Life” rather than an augmented digital space. For example, individuals are thinking and talking about being offline and are, in a way, chastising those who are using social media. What I have taken away from this article and this weeks class, is that it okay to be online using technology, such as social media, but do it in a way that adds value to your life and to remain critical and question what is found online.

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2 thoughts on “Technology’s Influence on Society

  1. Hey Kaytlyn,
    I like that you brought up the societal norm of wishing someone a happy birthday. It is really interesting how technology has almost completely replaced certain ways of doing things such as the simple task of wishing someone a happy birthday. Now that I am thinking about it, on my birthday I get wished a happy birthday by a few people depending on where I go that day, I also get several cards from friends and family, but on facebook I get about 50 birthday posts! There is no question why this is happening. Obviously pressing a few buttons is easier then buying a card or making a phone call. While this alone may be harmless, the simplicity that can come with technology can be a cause for problems, especially for youth. So, all this to say, I completely agree with you. We definitely need to educate students how to be smart when it comes to social media!

    -Tiana

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    1. The concept of receiving birthday wishes through digital means attracted my interest in this post as well! Yes, it is just one small example but for myself personally receiving a handwritten card in the mail or being wished happy birthday in person makes my day in comparison to reading through simple messages on platforms such as Facebook. Despite all of the wonderful perks of technology, we can not allow it to eliminate face to face interactions or actions that demonstrate more effort and care.

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