Alexandra Samuel, in ‘Plug in Better Grant: a Manifesto and Malcolm Gladwell,’ in ‘Small Change: Why the Movement Will Not Be Tweeted,’ says that technology has both benefits and pitfalls in terms of online social relations. If technology is used properly, it will bring about social improvements and enable people to become better organizers. However, if self-discipline is not exercised, it can be harmful for users, associations and organisations. In the 1960s, before the conception of social media, people had close ties, which allowed them to develop strong interpersonal relationships. Online social relations have overtaken the tradition socialization methods and facilitated distance connectedness of individuals. It has enabled opening of communication that has led to the discovery of information that is delivered among a vast amount of people.
Gladwell states that, Social networks are effective at increasing participation by lessening the level of motivation that participation requires (Gladwell 437). This implies that the networks help people to express themselves in various ways such as getting song lyrics and sharing their experiences with friends. Individuals find it easier to express their feelings in social sites such as the Facebook than doing it face to face. It is possible to learn other peoples experiences and life history by scrolling their pages. The sites also allow people to post likes, comments, exchange addresses, and find life partners among others. Again, people can nowadays keep good relationships with friends and relatives without meeting physically. According to Gladwell the world, we are told is in the midst of revolution (42). This means that the world continues to experience technological changes, which will allow more people to be connected globally. The social media is likely to change the way people interact and do business benefitting several individuals.
Samuel writes that of our always-connected lives are that they can leave us feeling less connected to the people who matter most. This quote shows that the social media can be very addictive and may disconnect individuals from very important persons in their lives. For instance, when people spend too much time chatting with friends or blogging they tend to forget their families and close friends. This may lead to break ups especially for these with families since they may spend more time chatting than they do with their close families. Social media users may focus so much on people they have not met and pay little attention to parents and siblings. However, in case of problems that need intervention online friends may never be available. In this case, social networks play a role of separating people who should care for one another. According to Gladwel, the platforms of social media are built around wak tis for instance, Twitter allows people to follow others yet they have never met, have no common interests, and may never be of significance in case one faces some troubles such as sickness. Facebook is meant to keep up with people one has no physical touch with and share ideas. People have thousands of friends in Facebook but very few in real life situation showing that the social media is causing a rift between real and virtual worlds. Social relations in the internet are likely to cause emotions depending on people one interacts with. For instance, friends are hostile and a follower is likely to acquire the same mood thus one can be influenced by a stranger. The social media is likely to change peoples moods depending on the kinds of friends one socialize with. In addition, people try to compare themselves with others and may have a feeling of inferiority which can be very stressing. For instance, if somebody sees photos of friends, classmates, or colleagues he/she may be negatively affected if they seem more successful. This can lead to stress and sometimes an individual may become too depressed to work.
Gradwel argues, Use the Internet to reinforce your resolve to focus on what matters most to indicate the benefit the technology has on the users if used properly. This shows that the internet is one of the biggest technological achievements today due to the changes it has brought to the world through connecting people. This proves that technology has changed the manner in which humans interact with one another, the way they do their purchases, as well as improved their working conditions. The internet social networking and the use of cell phones has a big impact on the way people interact with one another and their connectedness. For instance, people do not need to go to banks to make some transactions, since online payments are possible, and selling has become quite convenient. Actually, technology has brought very many changes and human beings are finding it easy to solve many of the problems regardless of distance of separation. However, technology has affected peoples privacy due to increased connectedness and the vulnerability of networks. In addition, it has affected peoples social life since many are spending most of their time socializing using the advanced technologies. Samuel argues that there are many things, through, that networks do not do well (47). He gives an example of companies that sell cars and how they use technological networks in organizing their many suppliers in different parts of the world (47). However, they do not utilize it in designing their vehicles since networks do not offer a centralized leadership structure. People must use the internet and other technologies wisely to avoid disappointment in life. Over-reliance on some machines such as robots can be very harmful to the society since the technology renders some human skills obsolete. For instance, robots that can talk and smile are being used to offer company to the aged. This is a tendency to replace human affection with a machine although it may never provide full satisfaction.
In conclusion, the opening of communication that has led to the discovery of information delivered among a vast amount of people is very important. Technology plays an important role especially in communication and socialization in which it brings several people together. The internet technology has changed several things in the world especially socialization, marketing, and development among others. The social media such as the Facebook and Twitter have brought many people together through online relationships enabling sharing of ideas. However, if not utilized properly, technology can be very harmful to users especially if they become addicted to it. Some people spend too much time chatting with friends on social media and blogging leaving little time for relatives. Information technology has improved communication in many parts of the world in connecting people and facilitating friendships. However, it should be utilized properly to maximize its usefulness and reduce cases of destruction to the users.
Alexandra Samuel. ‘Plug in Better’: A Manifesto. Retrieved 24 March 2017, from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/02/plug-in-better-a-manifesto/252873/
Gladwell, Malcolm. “Small Change.” The New Yorker 4.2010 (2010): 42-49.