EYE 2 EYE : Are we zombies or innovators

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EYE 2 EYE : Are we zombies or innovators

-Both agree that there are advantages and disadvantages to social media 
-Both agree social media can be easily abused 
-Both agree that social media will have a large impact on our future

-Both agree that there are advantages and disadvantages to social media -Both agree social media can be easily abused -Both agree that social media will have a large impact on our future

Aidan Scott/Talon

-Both agree that there are advantages and disadvantages to social media -Both agree social media can be easily abused -Both agree that social media will have a large impact on our future

Aidan Scott/Talon

Aidan Scott/Talon

-Both agree that there are advantages and disadvantages to social media -Both agree social media can be easily abused -Both agree that social media will have a large impact on our future

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Yes : Connecting with a click

Ellie Hand

In a world encapsulated by digital screens, social media has become an essential part of our lives.

It’s almost unbelievable that over a decade ago, social media was just starting to become a trend. Back in 2004, Facebook was started and marked a new age of digital connection. Twitter followed shortly thereafter, along with LinkedIn.

Hardly any of these platforms gained popularity immediately, but they grew with rapid speed into some of the most frequently used websites. In 2010, Instagram grew in popularity and quickly became a primary social media platform.

Apart from the unwarranted shirtless selfies, ridiculous “challenges” and hidden anonymity, I believe social media has ultimately benefited our society.

Social media has given us instant access to information that wasn’t previously as easily available. Other than the latest Kardashian scandal, the resources and content available at our fingertips is astounding. Something that automatically attracts me to Twitter is how fast you can access news.

When the government under the Obama administration raided Osama Bin Laden’s fortress in Pakistan, there was a nearby citizen live tweeting his observations of the whole situation through the night.

With so much information being shared and curated proactively, there are more angles available on different news stories. It allows the reader to navigate multiple sources across the spectrum, videos documenting in real time and first-hand experiences of a particular event. Having the availability to broadcast creates a new sense of accountability, and acts of injustice can now be condemned by a community and not just a figure of authority.

The media has also allowed us to connect with one another. You can easily catch up with someone you haven’t talked to in a while and keep friendships active even if you’re on the other side of the world. In some cases, people meet each other for the first time after originally befriending each other on social media.

Two girls met over Facetime after their dads became friends over Reddit. It’s been four years since the girls first met. From that day, the girls have considered themselves best friends, despite living seven hours apart. They finally met and it was absolutely adorable. Without Reddit, their friendship would have never come to be. This story is one of many, as many people around the world have formed bonds with one another.

While a majority of us groan at the sight of hashtags, they serve as a very important purpose for businesses and influencers. Hashtags were essential to Twitter in the early days – you could create one tied to a specific trend, event or topic, and filter out everything that didn’t relate to the hashtag. This was great for allowing a completely unstructured app like Twitter to enable focused conversation. They operate like keywords, and aid in advertising to sell products.

Speaking of product sales, businesses can now show their products and/or services on a global stand. A company had to gather thousands or even millions of dollars to be heard in most cases. A decade ago, very large companies with deep pockets ruled the roost. Only those businesses could afford to have wider reach.

Now, a small company can achieve global reach within days of launching their business when the cards fall right. Perhaps it’s via an ingenious video, by sharing opinions that resonate and haven’t been stated in the past or creating new knowledge that spreads like wildfire. Either way, startups now have stronger leverage when trying to break into the corporate world.

Overall, while social media does have its glitches, it has advanced our society in a way that we may have not realized. We have started taking this instant access to information for granted now that it’s less than a second away and at our fingertips. It’s important to always maintain digital etiquette in order to prevent these platforms from being abused.

As it continues to change and develop, social media will continue to improve our lives and spread culture to make our world a better place.


No : A Zombie Apocalypse of Sorts

Nick Harvey

As we know, technology today is more pervasive than ever. It seems like everyone owns a smartphone, whether that be the newest iPhone or one of those giant android tablets that you can hold up to your ear to make a phone call.

I mean, really, those things are huge.

It’s not just the boom of technology that’s causing a “zombie apocalypse” though. Whenever I’m out in public, in a restaurant, at a park, at the beach and so on, it seems to me that everyone is “glued to their phones,” as all of our moms would say.

OK, so maybe that’s just how we humans have modernized our lifestyles, and that’s not a bad thing at all. Granted, technology makes our lives much easier and more efficient in most ways, but I feel like our constant involvement with blankly staring at a screen is unhealthy.

According to Quora.com, “70 percent of people check their phones in the morning within just one hour of getting up, and 56 percent check their phones before going to bed.” Sure, lots of people feel the need to send the good-ol’ “goodnight streaks” on Snapchat before going to bed, God forbid you lose that triple digit streak.

That’s completely normal by now, what’s the issue in that?

Have you ever lost your phone, or didn’t feel it in your pocket and had a panic attack? That’s the kind of dependency on our phones that I’m talking about. It truly is an addiction. It’s been reported that many people have reported feeling very anxious and irritable if they didn’t interact with their phones within a week.

I fondly remember a time when I didn’t have my phone for a whole week.

About two years ago, I went on a backpacking trip through Big Basin Redwoods State Park, just north of Santa Cruz, California. The giant redwood trees and the serene ambiance were sublime. I backpacked through the redwoods with some friends of mine for a week, without our phones or any kind of beeping or buzzing technology. Just a map, some tarps and our giant backpacks along with the sheer beauty surrounding us.

After just one day without my phone, spending time with people and nature, and meditating in the silent woods, I didn’t even want to look back. I think that experience changed my outlook on the use of phones and how ample screen-time affects my desired care-free attitude that makes living and interacting with other people so amazing. Of course, when I got back home I wanted to check up on the NBA finals and resume my normal life in Oak Park, but there was something so special about being separated from technology and being one with nature.

Cheesy enough?

Nowadays, I’m more conscious about other people’s addiction to their phones. It really bothers me when I’m trying to have a conversation with somebody and they periodically check their phones as if they’re tuning in on a national breaking news announcement every other minute. Not only is this downright offensive and rude, but it takes away from the dynamic flow of a normal conversation.

What did people do before smartphones?

People had conversations, face to face. Is that too much to ask for? A genuine smile towards a person rather than a contrived half-smile while peering down at a phone screen. I honestly can’t even call that a conversation. And those people who are completely zoned in, spaced out in a void of their personal cyber world is just what we’ve come to. We’re slaves to countless distractions from a device the size of our hands. I like to consider this epidemic as a metaphorical “zombie apocalypse.”

But, hey, maybe I was just born in the wrong generation.

All rants aside, humans are evidently possessed by smartphones and technological devices alike. I truly do resonate with the parents and grandparents who have a “no phones at the table” policy – or at least mostly.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my phone, and I rely on it heavily to get through any average day. But a world without that kind of mindless dependence sounds quite marvelous to me.

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