Throughout history it is pretty clear society has ushered in new inventions and technologies with trepidation (often the more conservative or elderly demographics) from light bulbs in houses, and television sets in living rooms. This is a condolence shared today. A reoccurring theme in the social media debate is the anxiety directed towards societies youth, are teens impressionable victims or the forerunners for expanding the capabilities of online social media?
We are living in a world in which babies develop the ability to operate i-pads before walking (which is literally one of the most basic aspects of human development) which is crazy. There is suggestion that my generation ‘grew up online’, but when in comparison to some babies today I cannot fully agree. I suggest that our childhood was much more focused on afternoon TV programs then being online, we have developed alongside the rise of social media. We have grown up with social media enough to grasp a thorough understanding of online interactions whilst having somewhat of a grounding as children who lived without it. I have a younger sister and I observe a much higher dependency on online resources and social media at the age of 12 than in my own experience, will generations develop a dependancy to instant access to resources, unable to comprehend an alternative lifestyle? Perhaps any hesitancy I may convey is simply revealing an internalised fear of the unknown, as apart of human nature. Instead of succumbing to dystopian illustrations of the future society should clutch to the positive outcomes. That future generations will be so well informed of current affairs that change and reform will be brought about much faster; or, consider the innovative forms of education that will be available. An initiative in UNHCR camps for Somali refugees offers education through online means allowing students to see the world in pictures and video’s in an interactive space,
“We are grateful for this e-learning project as it has opened a window to the world for refugee students”- Leonard Zulu, UNHCR’s senior protection coordinator in Dadaab.
This is the future society should focus on.
Today the phenomenon of social media is used for all sorts of purposes some positive, some negative and some just controversial. There are existing societal issues that have been only been made more controversial and complicated with the development of social media and online content including drugs, pornography and violence. Issues specific to the development of social media draw parallels with existing societal issues (especially regarding youth) which can include sexting, cyberbullying and more recently the radicalisation recruitment amongst teens. Evidently there are major issues surrounding the negative capabilities of social media. However, as history would suggest this will not inhibit usage but rather motivate progress and innovation for societal and social media platforms.
Thank you for stopping by,
*1. Ostermann, S. (2015). Innovation: Instant Network Schools open up a new world for Somali refugees. [online] UNHCR. Available at: http://www.unhcr.org/54d21aa26.html [Accessed 14 Mar. 2016].
*2. H2bsafetycentre.com. (2016). How we can tackle radicalisation?. [online] Available at: http://h2bsafetycentre.com/how-we-can-tackle-radicalisation/ [Accessed 14 Mar. 2016].