Yesterday I came back to my dorm and realized my phone was missing. I have never lost my phone before, never mind on a college campus that I have known for a little more than a week. It was uncomfortable, not having that little device stuck in my pocket. Anxiety struck. I had plans to meet up with a friend from home for dinner, but had no way of letting them know where to meet. Another worry that came into mind was the likely scenario of someone finding my phone and snatching it to sell or use for themselves. I do own an iPhone, and if kids were to steal a phone, it would be a smartphone like mine that was carelessly unlocked.
Whilst in this frenzy I became cognizant of how I do rely on Social Media for some things. I was mostly concerned with the possibility that my friend may have thought I flaked. (-__-) Eventually the girl I was with received a call from my number. The kid on the other line explained how he had found my phone at the top of O Hill and was trying to call recent numbers until he found the owner. It was nice to be reminded that there are good souls in this world.
It would be pure hypocrisy to deem social media in its entirety as bad. In ways it can be used beneficially. Artists around the world are discovered through websites such as Tumblr and Society6. Underground musicians can find fame through a video upload onto YouTube. The possibilities are vast and available to virtually anyone with a computer.
Personally, I use Instagram to post my photography and Facebook to follow UMass events. Twitter…that is simply a guilty pleasure. The downside to social media is that obviously it has the potential to be a distraction. Thank goodness my calc professor is a stickler for cellphone use. I would not be able to do well in that class he had not threatened to kick students out upon using any technology (besides a graphing calculator, of course).
As technology advances, it seems to be that people are less connected to the reality in front of them. People walk along crowded sidewalks with their eyes lowered on their phones and iPods; focused on a new tweet rather than their surrounding atmosphere. There is irony in the fact that social media has the power to disconnect yourself from the society outside of an app.