The world is changing.
Change is difficult to deal with. But we should never think that the change that we are going through now is any different than the change that other generations went through. We are not a special flower, and we need to stop thinking that the technology that we have, and the way we use the technology, is somehow going to destroy the world. I’m sorry to burst bubbles, but social networks are not that big of a deal.
That’s the idea, right? The general consensus is that Twitter and Facebook and all the rest are “destroying” the youth and we are “losing” something as a people. That’s what people think, right? It’s just not true. It’s silly to think that. These things were created by people for us to use. It can’t destroy us anymore than this plastic chair I’m sitting on can destroy us. You could say that Social Networks are akin to drug use and not plastic chairs, and I respect that analogy. In that same vain, sitting on your back deck with friends and beer is akin to drug use, too. You can say that sitting on your back deck with friends is better than sitting online and talking to friends because the back deck is a physical thing and the internet is not. The very idea that the physical is better than the ethereal is debatable. But, slowly, as social networks grow more and more popular, it is becoming less debatable and more nonsensical. It doesn’t really matter.
It is the intent that matters, and social networks can’t change your intentions when it comes to you and your friends. A healthy, mature person can have a Facebook account and use it to keep track of all the hundreds of people that you are blessed with meeting over the course of your life. Knowing people isn’t a bad thing. It’s a good thing. And living in Washington D.C. and keeping up with your friends in LA and New York and Chicago by way of a Social Network is also a good thing. It is your intention that matters. If you are using Social Networks to help keep your life positive and fulfilling, then there is nothing wrong with it. If you are sending pictures of your penis to people you don’t know, that’s the problem.
Social Networks are created by man, and man’s faults will be its faults. Technological innovations will not be the end of our humanity. It won’t save us, either. They will just exist. Denying yourself the opportunity to use these tools isn’t a mistake. You can do what you want. But you shouldn’t judge people who do use them. It isn’t a yes or no answer. Instead of demonizing our quickly changing world, it’s better to analysis it, think about it, talk about it. We are smart. We can do it. And, after all is said and done, we’ll be better for the doing.