Social Networking Takes The 'person' Out of 'personal'

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We live in a digital age, with technology developing practically every day.  Since the dawn of the 21stCentury, we have seen the evolution of new media. From the audio cassette to the CD to MP3 and VHS to DVD to HD and Bluray, the way we experience our world has truly advanced.

The way we interact with people is no exception. Way back in the olden days, long before cell phones with web-enabled talk, text, and web existed, people would walk next door and visit their neighbors and socialize with one another face to face. Then came the telephone and we would call over our friends to visit us and have them over for dinner. But then the Internet became available for public use and cell phones were introduced on the market and with it came the rise of chat rooms and e-mail.

Now, in the 21stcentury we are socializing more than ever through networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter to name a few. But while our interactions with others increase, the actual physical contact we make we other people seems to decline. People hide behind digital walls, limiting their interactions with real people, opting instead to communicate via text or online chats.

Today’s youth are especially affected by this. The days where kids would go over to their friends’ houses for sleepovers or just to hang out are all but gone. Nowadays, you can see middle schoolers with cell phones, attached to them like an extra limb, texting away. Even high school and college-age students can be seen texting in class, checking their Facebook pages on their laptops, or chatting with friends sitting two rows back through instant messages.

Where has the human aspect of human interaction gone? Is this the price that must be paid for people to connect? Must we sacrifice the company of others so we can interact with the rest of the world?

Of course, there are benefits to social networking and, without it, it would be impossible to connect with people outside our local area. It also allows us to keep up-to-date with what our friends are doing and to let our friends know what we’re doing as well.

Whatever the case, we cannot forget the person that lies behind those wall posts and QWERTY keyboards.

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