What You Make of It

I think that technology and social media is detrimental to personal connections and human interactions only if we allow it to be.  For example, Snapchat streaks are not in themselves bad for friendships or a ‘sunk cost’ unless we make them into a big deal.  There is nothing inherently wrong with sending pictures back and forth for 500 days straight.  The problem arises when people over read into social media actions such as viewing Snapchat streaks as an indicator of a strong friendship.  Personally I think that Snapchat streaks have helped me build new friendships as the initial snaps might be to start a streak, but the continual conversation leads to a strong friendship.  Maybe we all need to take a small step back in investing so much thought into these social media platforms, but on the whole I think they have enhanced connections between people.

 

Some say that with social media, one cannot “unplug” and can create a sense of loneliness, which I have sometimes felt, but I believe that social media just places more responsibility on each of us to monitor themselves and also be comfortable with their own life, not getting caught up with doing things just because other people are.  Social media is a great enabler, but can have a detrimental influence on all of us if we get caught up in maintaining a certain online personal that is not actually representative of oneself.

 

It was quite interesting to hear Latanya Sweeney describe the change in Washington in terms of how political and dysfunctional congressional hearings have become.  The media has focused on the dysfunctional and toxic nature of the Executive branch, but Sweeney gave us insight into similar characteristics of the Legislative branch.  It is concerning to hear how everything has been a political fight as politicians care more about their seats and party than actually making the country a better place or fighting for their own beliefs.  Politics have seemed to devolved into a two-sided war in which neither truly knows what they are fighting for, only that they are fighting against their opponent.

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