How Social Media Has Saved Lives
“People no longer know how to write. Its is a society in which fewer and fewer people read. What they do write tends to be short messages in a sort of meta language, with meta spelling, on Twitter and Facebook.” The english professor Dr. David Abulafia says in regards to Twitter and Facebook. I personally find social media to be one of the most incredible things we have ever accomplished; others see it as despicable. Social media has become one of the most widespread forces on the planet with, Twitter having over 1 billion messages every 2.5 days, 76 billion total posts on Tumblr,and 16 billion photos shared on Instagram, as stated in Jennifer Cox’s article “I Knew You Before I Met You.
” I would rather attest to social medias accomplishments, rather than its shortcomings. Social media has allowed us to spread vital information around, it has allowed us to become vastly interconnected, and has started to refine casual speech by making it easier and more efficient. People are now able to share something they may have learned to a larger audience. If one learns of a tragic accident; for example recently in Lexington, Kentucky a large stockyard caught fire and created one of the largest fires in a rather long time. Since I had my phone with me I was able to look on the news and see the Leestown stockyards were on fire. I could call my friends and family and make sure that they were all ok.
A lot of the people who were alerted of the fire were told to stay inside their homes via twitter. “We’re asking ppl who live within a half mile radius of fire to stay inside home, keep doors & windows shut, and avoid the area of S. Forbes Rd.” This was pulled from the Lex Fire Department twitter page. Further proving the important information that can be conveyed via social media.
Potentially saving lives. Social media also played a large part in political revolutions in Tunsia, Egypt, and Lybia. This is explained in Jennifer Cox’s article, “When dissidents’ opposition to leadership regimes were silenced in public, they took to sites like Twitter and Facebook to spread their messages and organize protests.” Social media allowed people silenced in public, to talk loudly to an audience of social media users. Social media has refined this method of contact into a hub of endless amounts of information that can be shared, retweeted, blogged, vlogged, etc.
It’s now easy to speak and share with friends across the globe. Its also much easier to meet new people. “users now have the ability to connect based on shared interests rather than proximity.” (I Knew You Before I Met You) One that might only meet someone because they met them in class, or at work; could now probably meet someone over Facebook or Twitter. Some might say that this cheapens the experience not allowing those people to meet face to face. I disagree, it’s simply a good way to meet in real life.
People have made entire sites based on meeting and forming relationships online based on shared interests like E-harmony, OkCupid, AmishDatingOnline, etc. On their sites they proudly boast the number of people met and married because of their website. The reason these sites are usually so effective is because people are brought together based on interest rather than them happening to be close-by. Why do some think that the English language suffers due to the creation and integration of social media? There is a simple answer. People are able to write just as well as they would in public. They simply choose not too, instead people choose to write similarly to how they would speak, as if it were a conversation.
This results in shorter and more efficient speech. In an article written by Simon Kuper (“How Social Media Has Improved Writing”) he shows how language has been made more efficient. “Social media offer a pretty good model for how to write. First, the writers mostly keep it short. People on Twitter often omit ‘I’, ‘the’ and ‘a’, which are usually wastes of space anyway.
Vocabulary tends to be casual: bloggers say ‘but’ instead of ‘however’.” People usually follow these examples on their social media websites, reflecting it in their own speech. There also the idea that texters are constantly reading and writing texts. One study conducted by Claire Wood states that, “primary schoolchildren suggested that texting improved their reading ability.” This is because texting encourages writing efficiently, and at the same time allows users to communicate.
It’s clear that the effect of social media on communication has been overall beneficial. The ability to spread important info, meet new people, and the communication hasn’t been destroyed simply refined. So, to the people that verbally thrash social media, keep in mind the great things that social media has done.