Tell us what you think about a current scientific or social controversy. (in 500 words)- Mine is exactly 500.
Social networking could be seen as our society's downfall. However, considering the potential to use it positively, it may prove to be one of the greatest inventions of the modern world.
I believe that as children it is mandatory to make mud pies, build forts, dare each other to eat bugs, play dress up, fear cooties, and believe in magic.
My eight-year-old sister just created a Facebook. I found myself devastated. I did not want to see her get sucked in. When I brought up my feelings, she retorted the way only eight-year-olds can, "But you have one!" I had no response. I am a hypocrite.
Facebook enables quasi-connection. Profiles allow people to be as fascinating as the archetypes they wish they were. It is the ultimate time waster whilst time is our most precious currency. Before online social networking, the only way to know someone was to actually know someone. Now, people know everything about you without knowing you at all. Pavlov's theory of conditioning proves positive feedback creates permanent behavior. Facebook gives it through notifications. Our intrinsic desire for approval becomes satisfied externally, creating a crutch for what we can do ourselves. This allows one's self-confidence to be dependent on others. This encourages my sister to reach outside herself for approval. To be empowered individuals, I have learned strength must come from within.
Then again, what would Gandhi post as his Facebook statuses today? How many people could he influence in a matter of seconds? This power is at the end of our fingertips. I could stand on a sidewalk, read my poetry aloud and maybe a handful of people would stop, listen, and feel. Yet, I could post it, and with the benefit of instant communication, I would reach thousands. As recent events in Egypt showed, Facebook can be the downfall of governments that are not working. Through the forum of widespread communication, one can collaborate, network, and enlist what it takes to make movements happen.
Facebook is a double-edge sword. It can be a tool to evolve as a society. It can dehumanize authentic connection. It can create movements, inspire, and spread ideas. It can stop kids from a true childhood experience by making them grow up too quickly. It can be a mode of powerful communication. It can fill spiritual emptiness. Humanity is inherently interconnected. The internet is shallow manifestation of that. Yet we have the choice to deepen it.
It is about the intention behind it. It is possible to change the world if we intend to utilize it based on Gandhi's principles. We have no context for what happens next. It is pointless to hang onto what we know. Social networking sites are an entity unto themselves with infinite potential. The future is in the hands of my generation to make the choice to be the responsible co-creators of a new world.