Oh No! The Internet’s Down! Whatever Shall We Do?

I recently watched an episode of South Park where most of the country’s internet goes down.  Most of the residents of South Park, Colorado pack up and head to California in hope of finding some internet.  It’s sad to think, but many of us, when we’re at home and our internet isn’t working, don’t really have much at all to do (when the truth is that we could actually probably go outside, exercise, read, clean, do something to fill that gap that’s even more productive).  In fact, the only thing we can focus on is getting the damn internet back up and working again.  It’s not to say that we’re to blame for this attitude (well maybe some of us..).  In fact, in some ways, society has forced us to grow ever so reliant on new forms of technology to get things done, especially bureaucracy.  Think about it.  The way we apply for jobs, the way we pay our bills, and file our taxes.  This can all be done online nowadays.  Not to mention that if you’re a student currently enrolled in school, your teacher most likely requires that you logon to blackboard and/or submit your papers online.  We don’t go crazy when technology fails because we’re technology addicted people.  It’s because society is requiring the average person out there to do everything online.

Texting and instant messaging has perhaps made some of us less likely to talk on the phone

Does modern day social networking increase or decrease the quality of personal communication?

That’s a question I’ve thought about quite a bit.  The dominance of Facebook in social networking through multimedia is what made Mark Zuckerberg Time’s person of the year for 2010.  With Facebook, we have ways of catching up with old friends we perhaps never thought we’d see again.  We can check our friends’ statuses daily.  It’s great right?  Well consider this.

If a facebook user happens to browse through their friends’ facebook statuses, would that facebook user be less likely to directly contact that friend to personally ask them how things are going because they already know from seeing their friends’ statuses? Perhaps.  And in some way, this new form of social networking discourages phone conversations or sometimes even meeting in person, in effect diminishing the quality of personal communication.  It also gives things the tendency to be taken out of context whenever they’re over texting.  But the answer to this question still remains a big, “It depends…”.  Perhaps seeing a friend’s facebook status would make the user even more interested in inquiring to an even greater extent about how things are going in their friends’ lives, thus encouraging the user to engage in further social interaction on an even deeper level.  It’s all a big, it depends.  But for the most part, its probably a good thing.  Let’s give technology one thing, overall it sure makes things a hella lot more convenient.


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