SOCIAL MEDIA: The Underground Press

Telegram? Radio? Newspapers? Nah.

We are living in a time where the world is very much open to us. We can just contact anyone around the world at any time, with just a few keystrokes. Or we can just get our Smartphones and search for the latest issues whenever we feel like we’re missing out on something and too busy to even turn the TV on. Or we can just bid that newspaper boy goodbye and log in to our accounts and be informed of the latest news. The Internet, more so the social media, was originally just one ultimate constellation of ideas our predecessors have worked on long before it became the commercialized mass information and entertainment blitz it is today.

The roots of social media stretch far deeper than anyone can imagine. Although it seems like an ordinary trend to most people especially today’s generation, sites like Facebook and Twitter are the natural outcome of many decades of social media development.

Now we may ask the question, what impact and change has social media imparted for the world and the people in it?

Through the years, we have seen at how the internet and social media have been enjoyed by people to do various things and bring extraordinary joy to the world. One of the most advantageous things the internet has done for the people is that it provides as a vessel for the awareness campaigns of nonprofit organizations. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are a cost-effective means of spreading the message and getting support. It has raised concerns on certain issues reaching millions of people around the world.

Social media is also a very effective medium for teaching the youth. Children are growing up in an unusual time. This is the generation who have lived and grown up with a ubiquitous Internet. Surely, the interest of these school kids in learning is much greater as the Internet is involved and utilized. Teachers have also been influenced in getting much needed information from the Internet, making their job easier than doing manual research in the library. In a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 69% of the teachers say that the Internet has a ‘major impact’ on their ability to share ideas with their students as well as with their co-teachers. To a classroom connected to the Internet, no place is more than a few clicks away, expanding the opportunities for mentoring.

The social media has also made it superbly possible for individuals to discuss very crucial topics, widen their personal knowledge about certain issues, and discover and unravel things they have not known long before the advancement of technology. Say for example, young adults around the world, who are the major users of the Internet, are now more involved than ever in their respective country’s politics. These teenagers can just take a research of the biography of an aspiring candidate and judge whether they would vote for that certain person or not. With just little effort on pressing buttons. We are provided by these social networking services an accessible and powerful toolkit for acting on issues that affect the economy and the welfare of the country. Debating and discussing are just two of the things young people do, be it in a local, national, or international context.

On a not-so-serious note, the Internet also helps us in getting what we want without exerting much effort. It meant online shopping. It has become a popular shopping method ever since the Internet had a takeover. People can save time, save fuel, and save energy. Admit it, we all get tired walking around and choosing the best dress in approximately seven stalls. Majority of the online stores also offer prices that are much cheaper than what you will find in the mall.

Social media has taken over our lives. What’s shocking is that fifteen years ago, we were still bulging on the library and taking out the massive encyclopedias to search for something. Fifteen years ago, we were still waiting for the mailman on our front porch to give us the awaited letters from our dear friends. Fifteen years ago, we would go to the market and spend five pesos just to know the latest buzz. Now, we can just do all these just by pressing certain buttons and Voila! Our questions have been answered within five seconds.

The Internet has really given us an opportunity to see things from various perspectives, voice out our own opinion to the whole world, and even send love to the people who we miss from the other side of the globe. There may be good changes, but not all consequences of technology are good ones too. We just have to remember that in the end, we still have to keep our life centered in reality and use social networking and the Internet as a small portion of it and all would be fine. And if we cannot, maybe it would be time for us to turn off our Smartphones and personal computers and go outside our house and smell the scent of real life happenings.

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