How Social Media is Saving My Life

Normally when I think of how people use social media I think stalking people on Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube.  Basically my thoughts generally generate around social media not being something that is constructed in a way that it is live saving.  I always here the stories of how social media helped connect people who haven’t met in years or long lost high school sweethearts, but generally that is where it stops  The way social media is currently saving my life is something that I have never thought I would use it for.  That is talking to complete strangers that have one common characteristic and are in their 40’s and 50’s.  That may have sounded weird but the reason I’m contacting these people using social media is for an event I’m planning for graduate brothers of my fraternity.

My task is to plan a dinner and event so special that people who graduated before I was born would be so interested that they would pay money to attend.  That’s when social media came in.  I created a linkedin account years ago and never used it.  Never thought I really would because I never truly believed that social media was that effective.  I thought the site would be misused like another social media site with flash player games, but I was wrong.  I contacted one graduate.  He then gave me the information of another, and so and so on.  That led to over one hundred emails.  One graduate added me to a group with over a hundred more.  This website that I thought would not be effective created a whole new concept to social media to me.  Then this led to Facebook.  The site that I used for years and only has distracted me from school was even more helpful.

I learned that when these sites are used effectively, they can actually serve beyond its purpose.  This made me intrigued to look further how Facebook could be used in a positive method.  It led me to this, http://www.ajc.com/news/business/consumer-advice/students-turn-to-social-media-to-find-jobs/nWGYn/ , this talked about how a college graduate with no experience was able to get a job for CNN as a voice actor just because of social networking.  One thing he did led to another, that led to another, and so on.

Then minutes later I came across this article which was a person being fired from their job because of actions posted on a social media site, http://www.wdrb.com/story/21244236/potato-licking-good-photo-goes-viral-kfc-employee-loses-job .

It all came across to me that social media is what you make of it.  It has very enormous benefits that can change the way your life is in a heartbeat, but also has the power to make you be outcasted.  I only used social media before to be socially in touch with my friends in family, but this new experience opened the door to a benefit of things seen as no good such as Twitter and Facebook.

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Does the internet spoil your brain?

Initially going into this post I thought I was going to talk about how the internet makes people lazy or how it distracts us from doing things useful in life.  Maybe even how the internet maybe this blog made me take an hour more then I planned because I was distracted on what so and so is posting on facebook or the latest trending topic on twitter.  Then I realized when I needed a news article to relate to what I’m writing about in this post, the first thing I did was search Google and Yahoo news, that the internet made my life a thousand times easier.

Although people can find anything out in the span of one minute and forget it thirty seconds later.  The opportunity for them to learn something new and possibly stick is much higher then the chance that they would go to the library and research it.  On top of that I don’t think people realize when they ask this question that because of the internet book and learning supplies are much cheaper.  An accounting textbook for Rutgers is 257 dollars, the online version is 100.  The internet, in my opinion, just opened up the chance for more students to afford a textbook and have the opportunity to gain knowledge.  The average student can’t afford to spend 250 dollars a textbook and will most likely not take the class, eliminate the opportunity to learn, or cut as many corners to succeed, which would still not give the student the best chance to learn.  Without the internet, it is eliminating the chance for some students to learn.

With that being said your probably thinking that of course when you highlight the learning tools of the internet that it wont make you dumber but what about things like Facebook?  To my surprise, evidence points out that Facebook actually makes you smarter.  Apparently Facebook exercises your working memory, since you have to keep up with your hundreds of friends, and in the end results in enhancing your intelligence.  It can be seen in this article.  Though the article does say that Twitter may make you dumber, one out of the two major networking sites isn’t bad.

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So the last point ill reach to is the difference from researching something in the real world vs. researching something in the cyber world.  In my opinion there is no difference, other then the time wasted driving to your library or real world resource.  I’ve come to realize that anything I had to find in the library, I was able to find on the internet a thousand times faster.  And honestly if it was something I wasn’t interested in researching myself, I don’t remember anything about it today.  I believe its not a book that makes a person learn more, but the interest that person has on the subject.  I’m a political science major, and if you make me go do a research project on chemical engineering then I wont be able to recite you one thing from my paper most likely two months later.  Not because I don’t care, mainly because that’s not something that sparks my interest and it will be replaced with knowledge that pertains to my life.  When technology was not around as much as it was today, the primary source of learning was to go and do things on your own.  But because the times have changed doesn’t mean we should take our new advancements as a curse.  The internet isn’t killing our brain because it is giving any person in the world the chance to learn something new in seconds and is accountable for most of the new technology we use everyday.  I just made my first blog ever and if it wasn’t for the internet then I wouldn’t be able to share this wonderful occasion with all of you 🙂