The advent of technology has brought with it numerous changes in the society. One of the most affected areas is communication. Technology has replaced the traditional ways of relaying messages over long distances. Emails, tweets, and the Facebook Posts have gained ground at the expense of letters, telegrams, and the faxes. These social changes have transformed the contemporary societies in several ways. For instance, meeting friends is very simple, since one has to send a friend request to a total stranger and the two become friends in a matter of minutes. Businesses, politics, organizations, civil societies and many other associations have been enhanced by the social media. In other words, the social media is a powerful tool for communication and social advancement. On the flipside, online communities are a dangerous place. Cyber-bullying, fraudulent dealings, blackmail, and the spread of propaganda have been accentuated by the online media. Just like anybody else who is enthusiastic about the Internet, I have had both awful and awesome experiences with the social media. However, I do not wish to discourage people to use it, but I will recommended, based on my past experiences, the ideal way of using the internet in the most productive manner possible.
My first encounter with social media came when I opened a Facebook account. I was 16 years then when I got my first smartphone. It wasnt new, but it served all the purposes that I imagined a smart phone would do. Most of my friends were already on Facebook but I shied off from opening an account due to the numerous bad reports I had heard about cyber bullying. On this particular day, I decided that I was ready to come face to face with the online world, something that my friends praised often. With the help of one of my friends, I logged into the Facebook website and followed all the prompts necessary to open an account. In a matter of minutes, I was one among billions of Facebook users. One of the first things that Facebook required me to do was to add a profile picture. I did not have a picture that would fit an online display at the moment, so I took one instantly and uploaded it as my profile picture. I also downloaded a picture of my favorite sport car from the Internet and used it as my cover photo. I had been told that it was not safe to put my name as the username, so I quickly designed a pet name and added it instead.
After one week, I had received a hundred friend requests from my classmates and family members. I needed no classes on accepting the friends, so I confirmed all of them immediately. I was delighted to see that I made 100 virtual friends in less than a month, something that could take me a life time to do. Additionally, the Facebook operators gave suggested to me a number of groups that they thought I was interested in. What struck me is how they knew that I was interested in their offers, because surprisingly, all the suggestions looked appealing to me. Within one more week, I was a member of more than five groups, one of them being my former schools blog. Since then, I came to learn of other social media platform that did more or less the same as what Facebook does. All the online platforms virtually connect thousands of people with a common interest: to share with the world. I thus joined many other social media and became a world citizen, connected to billions of Internet users remotely.
Since I established my online presence, I have experienced both the good and bad sides of the Internet. For example, I have made purchases of goods online at a price that is far much below that in the grocery store. I have also kept track of all my former classmates by looking at their online posts. I once joined an online course which I did not complete. The reason being my failure to finish this course was time insufficiency. Online courses, as I came to learn call for ones patience and persistence. For an online student to graduate in a course, they must complete all the tutorials and assignments. Since these learning materials are offered over the internet, and in bits, it implies that a learner must spend a lot of time attending to the course. Due to my commitment to other activities, I failed to give my online course all the time it needed. One important thing I have learned with the Internet is that it promotes globalization. According to Ritzer (18), new trends are emerging everywhere as people try out new things they have learned through the internet and other sources. I am this not surprised that fashion, customs, music, and culture have spread widely through the internet. From my experience, I have realized that everybody is embracing the social media for all manner of reasons, and users should apply this tool prudently to avoid or minimizes its potential damages.
Ritzer, George. The McDonaldization of society 5. Pine Forge Press, 2008.
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