If one were to look back over the last decade and try to find some element that affected society as a whole from a technical standpoint, there would be a couple of possible contenders. The advancement of smartphone technology in such a short time is certainly impressive, for example. However, the impact of social media, while intertwined with the smartphone is something that made even more of an impression. Consider just how easy it is to see what is happening on the other side of the world, through the accounts of real people rather than filtered news channels. Twitter and Facebook were huge parts of the Arab Spring, and they are important to help people keep in contact and updated during disasters.
The Effect on Communication and Connection
A decade ago, it was very difficult to find and connect with people that you once knew in high school or college, even with the power of the web. When you moved away, most people lost touch permanently. The social media sites, such as Facebook and Google+, are making it much easier for people to find one another and reconnect, even after decades of being apart. The sites are a great way to see what is happening in the lives of friends and family, and to meet new people who have similar interests and thoughts to yours.
The youth of the world is often the most ready to adapt to and learn to use new technologies, and they are certainly at the forefront of social media of all types. They have more technological know-how than many of older generations as well. Social media, therefore, is certainly having a rather large impact on their daily lives for good and for bad.
Those who spend too much time on social sites, or who take the abuses of online bullies seriously on the sites could have some issues. For parents, even those of teenagers who are 16 and 17, it is important to watch to make sure that social media sites do not take over the lives of children. When used appropriately, it can be a very good thing.