Social Media: How We Communicate

...and what it says about us as a species.

We are living in an age of rapidly evolving technology, a time when all the information our brains can handle is right at our fingertips. A whole new world of potential has opened itself up to the human species and its impact on the way we communicate is undeniable.

Communication Evolves: There once was a time when someone was limited to a certain number of personal and professional relationships. You socialized with your family, your neighbors, those in your community, and you’re co-workers. Your social life was severely limited by the laws of physics. Then along came the telephone, a device that allowed people to communicate at incredible distances. This was the start of our species linking together in ways that had been impossible during our infantile days hunting buffalo and doing our best to survive ice ages. With each passing decade, we’ve innovated new and improved ways to stay connected.

 As far as social networking is concerned, it was only a matter of time before our all too human desire for social stimulation would lead to linking together as a collective, each person casting a web of personal relationships that stretches across the globe. Everyone wants to feel popular, we want to feel like people genuinely care about the things we’re doing no matter how trivial they may be. Facebook and the like let us indulge in our own vanity, it’s a narcissist’s wet dream. It started with the younger generation but what fuels its popularity appeals far beyond any age demographic.

It's Not Just Text Happy Teens: Middle aged adults are now able to check the life status of those they went to grade school with, to catch up and reminisce about more youthful times , all without the awkwardness of a twenty year high school re-union. Is this a positive? It depends on the situation.

How would you feel about your husband or wife catching up with their old high school sweetheart? What about your boss reading the posts made by your drinking buddy? Social media has made its way into the very fabric of all our lives, not just the millennial generation.

 Secrets Don't Make Friends: Privacy is most hard hit by this technology. With every app and feature released we are encouraged to open up just a little bit more about our lives, even things that could be potentially dangerous. Whatever happened to the days of not sharing personal information online?

We have gone so far as having our current locations announced to hundreds, if not thousands of people. Do you really trust everyone on your friends list? Do you truly want the world to see everyone you talk to? Whatever happened to having secrets?

Accidental Auto Biography: We are going to be one of the first generations where our children and grandchildren google us to learn of our legacy after we pass. What kind of things are we really leaving behind for the world to remember us by? Thirty years from now, are you really going to want to be remembered for drunken status posts and pictures of playing beer pong?

So You Say You Want A Revolution?: We have entered a brave new world and how it alters the course of human history - only time will tell. Already we have seen that social media can have great effects on geo-political situations. We now reside in a world where borders no longer separate cultures.

This has lead to situations like Egypt and Libya where citizens were able to broadcast their oppression to the world, gaining support, and drawing the swift help of the international community. The trend here is for the globalization of us as a species.

Eventually, it’s inevitable that we become so irreversibly linked together that we truly become one race, one people, all global citizens. It will be interesting to see the evolutionary impact this technology will have decades from now, and even more so…what will replace it?