I tried a little experiment out for myself a few months ago. Anytime I was with a group of people I would pull out my phone and do something on it. Write a text, check a Snapchat, it didn’t matter I would just pull it out. Surely enough, within just a few seconds almost everyone else in the group would do the same thing. I did this a few times with the same results every time. Why is this? Why do we feel the need to be on our phones all the time? Not just on our phones, but it is what we do with them. We go on Facebook, Twitter, and all these other social networking sites while in the company of others. I thought the point of social networking was to socialize while away from people, so why are we socializing on our phones while socializing amongst other people? Double socializing? Sounds like a bit much to me.
But it has become the norm. I have a Facebook because, well everyone has a Facebook and I feel like I keep it because otherwise I would be missing out on a lot of important things my friends have going on. That is, until I see my Facebook feed and find nothing but memes and Vine videos flooding it. I haven’t dived into many other social networking sites, but it doesn’t appear that I need to. It seems as though all social networks have combined into one big one because I don’t just see Facebook updates on my newsfeed. I see who posted what on Instagram and people hashtagging through Twitter. It seems as though everything is in the same space now, which I guess is good because it saved time logging into all those sites and looking at them all.
As mentioned before we are going through a shift where children as young as elementary school have phones that are smarter than a super computer from the 1980s. Regardless of what you may want to happen, students are going to be social networking in class since they have the means to. If you can’t beat them, then join them. Social networking can be distracting and has a lot of other cons to it, but it does have some pros. You can use social networking in a classroom to engage students in topics and share online material with students that they can watch on their free time. Also, I found a really cool site called edmodo.com that is like a Facebook you can use for a classroom. Students will have fun with it and teachers can use it for all types of stuff such as allowing students to turn in work, posting quizzes, and sharing information. Oh and of course, socializing.
I was watching Hot Tub Time Machine a while ago which is the story of a group of men who time travel back to 1986 with the use of a hot tub. One part of the movie really stuck out to me. Jacob, a teenager who is really involved in technology asked a girl for her cell phone number, but she doesn’t have one. He asks her for her Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter information but she doesn’t know what that is since it doesn’t exist yet. He finally asks her “How will I get into contact with you then?” and she replies “Find me”. He then says “That sounds exhausting.” This made me think of how crazy it is that in just a few decades we have made it so easy to get into contact with each other that you can do it almost any time you like. New technology is only making it easier with the use of social networking that you can basically track someone down by just reading their Twitter feed. It has made quite an impact on our culture, but it also keeps our noses down since our eyes are always on our phones. I’m just afraid that the only way we will be able to socialize in the future is through the use of social media.