As the common statement goes,” the world has turned into a small village.” This is not to disgrace the size of the earth as stated by scientists before, but an acknowledgment of the continuous advancement in technology that we have experienced over time.
In a small village, you do not need to spend anything on transport to reach out to your very immediate neighborhood since it is just a hand stretch away. The same concept is applicable in the communication sector with the advancement in technology. As long as we have some airtime in our phones, our families and buddies are either a phone call or a single text away.
Did you know that the first-ever smartphone was known as Simon Personal Communicator and it was created in 1992 by IBM? Now you know! It was the first phone to meld the functions of a cellphone and PDA(Personal Digital Assistant). Besides it being used to make and receive calls, the Simon prototype could also send facsimiles, emails and cellular pages. It had extra features like apps for calendar, address book, calculator, scheduler, and notepad. IBM also demonstrated that the phone was capable of displaying maps, stocks, news, and other third-party applications. Despite having the snazzy features, the Simon was cost-prohibitive for most and was only useful for a very niche clientele.
In 1926, during an interview for “Collier” magazine, legendary scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla described a piece of technology that would revolutionize the lives of its users. This is what he said, “When wireless is perfectly applied, the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this but through television and telephony, we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.”
More of this is seen and experienced with the introduction of the iPhone,15 years later after the Simon came into place. iPhone also was not owned by many for the same reasons that I stated for Simon. However, with time we have been able to see iPhone and Android phones being cost-effective to almost all classes of people. In a way, we can say that this advancement has really impacted the communication sector in a great way and has made things somehow easier. Thanks to IBM, Apple and Android developers.
Responsible Use Of Social Media
It is at this point that social media companies like Facebook and Twitter took off, allowing users to connect and share information online without requiring the IT skills needed to build a traditional or even a professional website. As smartphone popularity grew, they became natural hubs for social networking, and these two technological advancements in communication grew in tandem.
With the tremendous growth of the social networking platforms, catching up with the old and childhood friends has become as easy as dozing in an afternoon session during a mathematics lesson after taking a heavy meal like ‘ugali.’ Though sometimes it is not as easy as it may seem to be since some people don’t use their real names in most social media platforms. Up to date, I am still on a mission to find a childhood friend of mine by the name Sam G. It has been more than a decade now since we last saw each other. If you have any news of his whereabouts don’t hesitate to let me know.
My late great-grandpa used to narrate to me stories of how they used to communicate with each other given the fact that there were no mobile phones those days. The common and only mode of communication available was letters. It would take days, weeks or even months for the letter to be received by the other party depending on the distance and availability of the mode of transport. However, this used to perfectly work for them.
One thing that fascinated me as he narrated the story, was their commitment to keeping their words. Despite the challenge of the mode of transport, our forefathers were able to make it in time whenever they agreed to meet. Sun was the watch back then. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the 21st Century with the common excuse of traffic jams. Anyways, a story for another day.
It is so disappointing to learn the fact that we have allowed our gadgets to control us instead of us, ‘the inventors’, controlling them. In this time and age, you will be surprised to see how people put much of their time on their gadgets. Chatting is the common phrase being used. People chat while walking and some even don’t care if they’re on the road or maybe they may step on a sharp object – God forbid. Some people have been hit by vehicles not once or twice just because their concentration is 95% focused on their gadgets.
Families have been broken simply because the couples spend their time on phones chatting instead of having time talk about family matters. Parenting has become extremely worse; a baby on one hand and the gadget on the other. When the child grows up the parents have no time for their kids since they have a busy schedule and that is inclusive of chatting.
I witnessed several head-on collisions between two people along the corridors of the university when I was in college. These accidents never happened between two blind people but those whose eyesight was okay. The cause being? Of course having full concentration on their phone probably but not always true, on their social media accounts.
Please do not get me wrong! I am not suggesting that social media is bad, of course, it has and still is helping us in many ways – socializing, preaching the gospel, businesswise and so on.
We can use the social media platform that we have subscribed to in a good way. For example like WhatsApp, it gives you a platform called status where you can share the gospel, words of wisdom and so much more with your contact list.
Say no to broken families, relationships, friendships, depression, show-offs on social media and any other negative effects of social media. As the two words suggest, let it be a medium of socialization and not a medium of slavery.
Knowing how social media affects our relationships, we might limit social media interactions to those that support real-world relationships. Instead of lurking or passively scrolling through a never-ending bevy of posts, we can stop and ask ourselves important questions, like What are my intentions? and What is this online realm doing to me and my relationships?
Online social interactions are no substitute for the real thing and that in-person, healthy relationships are vital to society and our own individual well-being. We would do well to remember that truth and not put all our eggs in the social media basket.
What do you think about this? Feel free to share your comments below!