Posted by: Sami Smith
Most aspects of my life involve social media. Not just because I am a journalism student, but because it is how this era is. Communication is evolving, and the way we talk to each other is directly impacted by the vast growth in the web and social media. I embrace this as the way things are. However, after seeing a post on the Fast Company site, I had to think twice. The post was publicizing a social media push to tweet at a plant to convince it to grow faster. These messages were sent in text-to-speech technology, which was tested against a plant given no “encouragement.”
I thought “Wait. Am I actually being asked to tweet at a plant? To encourage it to grow? It may have some scientific back-up, but is this really where social media is heading?” So where is social media heading? What aspects of our lives will we soon be able to control with a tweet? And what consequences could this have on the media dependence of future generations?
This coffee pot is controlled by Twitter. You set it up, and tell it to start with a tweet. Seemingly innocent, but I can’t help but wonder where the line is for every day tasks. I like to think there will be certain parts of our lives that will remain untouched by the influence of social media—aspects that will remain human and personal. Many of us understand that the realm of communication is changing rapidly with the development of new media, but will some things be preserved? Will we soon be sending well-wishes for lost loved ones via Skype funeral? Will regular doctor’s visits be conducted via the Internet? Where are the bounds of online schooling? All of these issues are intertwined with our media connection, and many have the capabilities to be morphed into new types of cultural norms. There need to be boundaries. We need to keep communication lines open so that we can still understand the compassion, love, fear, and sadness that humans are designed to experience in life. I hope that social media stays relevant, global, and viable to spreading truth and entertainment, not overreaching or taking over every day human tasks and experiences.
Where do you draw the line for social media in your communication with others? What every day tasks are you okay with controlling via social media? Are there any practices or routines that will not be influenced by the Internet in your life?