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A New Frontier for Social Media

The evolution of speech and communication is amazing. From grunting and signing to Tweets and Social Media rants. There was a time when a quite Sunday afternoon on the front porch swing would have capped Off good long week.

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Now, people are bombarded thousands of times a day with commercials, pops and spam email, Just to name a few. The horizon of modern day speech and communication is changing and not for the better it seems.

Something that is interesting and thought provoking is the idea behind Alex Wright’s statement from the essay, “Befriending, Ancient or Otherwise”, he states, “The more time we spend “talking” online, the less time we spend, well, talking. And as we stretch the definition of a friend to encompass people we may never actually meet, will the strength of our real-world friendships grow diluted as we immerse ourselves in a lattice of hyperlinked “friends”? ” (Wright) This is the reality in which one lives today; it can be seen and heard every day.

Whether it is listening to conversations on the local commuter train or reading resumes of a younger generation’s workforce, the disparities of an ever-changing royalty are real. A conversation can hardly be held and not here the word “like” used almost every other word or when a resume come across the desk of a hiring manager and it has “text” language used in it (l want 2 work 4 u). It is mind-blowing that the applicant does not realize that this is unacceptable and what is even more shocking, is the individual usually does not understand why they should not receive the Job because of this.

These changes can also be seen in the way people communicate via email. In the essay, “Airmail and Merrimac” by Eric Winner, he explains the differences in emails n a simplistic manner but what really comes through, is the differences in culture. Wiener’s assessment of the American people and their electronic communications is completely accurate. American are as Winner states, “a bundle of contradictions: rambling and yet direct; deferential, yet arrogant”. Winner) Americans do not mean to be one-way or the other concerning their emails, it is Just an extension of who they are. Americans, as Winner eluded to, have allowed the email to replace the telephone. This can be seen in American’s social media post, it is as if they are trying to relay all of the human emotions into a Backbone post, text, or Tweet. With all of the testing, emailing, and social media, society is losing its ability to communicate effectively, in person at least.

If an individual cannot communicate effectively, then the problem discussed in Caroline Regis’s essay, “The Fine Art of Complaining”, which was that individuals are not taken seriously due to their inability to communicate effectively, will continue to perpetuate. Ergo stated that, “effective complainers are people who act businesslike and important”. (Ergo) An individual can have a very strong and intimidating presence in a room or meeting. However, their ability to communicate effectively goes out the window the minute they sit behind a computer. Sure, they can relay their thoughts well.

They can even, as Winner puts it in “Airmail and Merrimac”, be contradicting, they can ramble and yet be direct; they can be deferential, yet arrogant. What they cannot be is confident, courageous, and patient. They can’t have humility or tenacity. They can’t show presence or be a great orator. Without the ability to be great orators or masters of the spoken languages, society will continue to struggle to communicate across the ethnic divides. Amy Tan described in her essay, “Mother Tongue”, her mother’s predicament in relation to her mother’s “broken” English.

That it was hard for her mother to communicate with other people when she had to use her “broken” English. With the isolation and human avoidance that social media allows for, it is inevitable that this ethnic language bridge will continue to grow. One can see firsthand what social media is doing to the younger generations, when they start to look at who they are befriending and who they are following. It is sort of a friendship/followers dilemma, here it is not about the quality of a relationship but the quantity of relationships, that defines a great social circle.

It is the “lattice of hyperlinked “friends”, as they only care about how many followers they have and not about who is following them or what reason. Therefore, as Society ventures into the New Frontier of Social Media, these are the ways, which technology and communications of today are shaping the younger generations. As older adults have had the opportunity over the years to exercise their social acumen, they are less likely to fall complete victims of the heinous future. However, the younger generations have not had the same opportunity.