We live in a digital age. Smartphones, iPads, social networking, GPS systems, Skype…all of that is a part of this generation. The Internet is not just a hobby for us anymore. It’s a lifestyle. We have changed the ways in which we communicate with others and share our ideas. While I will always have a soft spot for the printed media (in fact, I vow to never buy a Kindle), seeing the effects that this has had on the way our society interacts has been nothing short of remarkable.
Nowadays, we are able to discuss our opinions through forums and can even comment on blogs and Yahoo articles. Those are our outlets of discussion, and I personally think they are a lot easier than debating face-to-face, which can be intimidating. I know I feel more nervous about speaking my mind with people when I am with them…but the Internet is different. You can think before you type and there’s a lot less pressure of writing certain opinions. You can think the matter through, and you don’t need to endure of those awkward moments or be aware of certain social cues.
I have an especial affinity towards blogs (which may not come as surprising). Unfortunately, people tend to view blogs as less formal, which is probably due to the fact that basically anybody can post and write anything they want online via outlets such as WordPress, tumblr and even Facebook statuses. Yet, at the same time, anybody can type something on Word and print that out too and staple it and call it a magazine. Just because you write for a magazine’s blog doesn’t mean you’re not writing for the magazine, because you are. Just through a different medium. Insightful and informative blogs may not be magazines, and they may not be the daily newspaper, but they deserve respect too. In many ways, they are currently shifting the way we as a people think and perceive the world more than any other media today.
If anything, the Internet has made the spread of news and opinions even better. It’s faster, easier and more convenient. Every time a major world event occurs, the news goes viral online. This leads to discussion, communication and notification to other citizens all over the world in a matter of hours, even moments. (Don’t tell me you didn’t Tweet about Bin Laden’s death.) The spread of the news is instant. In the past, perhaps people would have called each other’s friends on the phone, and citizens would have waited until the next day’s issue of the newspaper came out with more details. Now, we barely have to wait long before the AP comes out with a new updated article online.
Of course, that’s not to say we should all sit on our butts all day staring at the computer screen replying to the comments on Yahoo articles. I just thought I’d point out some of the meritorious effects that the Internet has had on society, since I am constantly going ga-ga over books and rejecting new technology. But enough of my chatter. I’d love to know what you think.