Social Networks have changed the way individuals interact with one another and produced a more socially entangled society. Through their simple interfaces and ease of access, nearly every person with a computer or smart phone has been attracted to a social network. Facebook in particular has been effective in attracting all sorts of demographics ranging from pre-teens to grandparents to even babies (no I am not kidding you).
The success of Facebook spawned from the wishes of college students to become better acquainted with one another on a digital platform. Its demographic quickly spun off into other directions as anyone who wanted to keep in touch with peers or relatives was able to sign on to the site and see immediately posts and updates posted by other users. The attraction that Facebook had on its users was likely due to its ability to allow someone thousands of miles away to keep in touch with their friends, family and peers instantly with a mouse click. Although some demographics that Facebook retained have dissipated, it still holds onto the majority of many communities with over a billion registered users.
The current age we as human beings live in allows for the streamlining of all available information into a readily available feed of constant media. Broadcast media and journalism have changed drastically due to the changing nature of information and have evolved from past methods of coverage into online websites and 24/7 news coverage around the world. This streamlining of information enables for optimal coverage of news events occurring live with updates to the situation made nearly instantaneously as they happen.
Modern events like the Ebola epidemic in Africa receive 24/7 news coverage on all mediums of information outlets. Twitter, a social networking site, has become a platform for news organizations to provide reports to, posting short tidbits of information on the matter and usually linking readers to the extended story itself. Sites not even meant for news coverage find themselves engulfed in current events around the world as the average user of the internet is not able to escape what is happening in the world around them. Never before has the average individual been so aware of what is going on in the world around them before this age of information.
If I was asked how the expansion off the Internet has affected my life by a peer, I might say halfheartedly that it has helped me find more entertainment in my spare time: but that would be a lie. The vast improvements made to the internet through the years I have been alive have done so much for my advancement as a not only a student but also a human being. While I may be able to find aid while trying to complete my Calc homework through online resources. I can also find works and articles that have helped mold my views and beliefs on certain subjects and discussions that normally only adults would be concerned with. I would say in truth that the internet has helped me mature (of course this is ironic considering I still frequent sites like Reddit while looking at pictures of cats) as an individual through the examination of events and discussions occurring around the world.
By growing up in a small and consolidated town in which most other children knew only the town and its immediate surroundings as their world, I was never too concerned about the events occurring outside of the “bubble” that my peers and I knew. But through the internet I was able to view different perspectives, life changing perspectives, throughout the world as an observer. While there may be a whole mess of terrible actions committed around the world, there is also an even greater amount of charity, beauty and kindness that thrives in the wake of terrible events that grip both communities and even entire nations. By seeing this, I was altered in the way I went about even the most mundane of tasks. I would, even to this day, not take anything for granted and take every ounce of kindness bestowed on me and strive to return that kindness back into my world. Just as the television and newspaper were my parent’s general means of acquiring news, the internet became my gateway into observing the events of the world we live in.