I hear a lot of people expressing frustration with technology these days, especially among people in the 45+ demographic. To listen to some folks, technology is to blame for childhood obesity, teen violence, cultural ADD, and a plethora of other social ills. It's also impossible to keep up with (according to the complainers), too invasive into our private lives, and will probably be the reason for the demise of human civilization.
OK. Let's not get carried away, folks. People said the same thing about rock-and-roll.
Yes, there are issues that must be dealt with and some very legitimate concerns, but let's remember that technology is a TOOL. It does not have an agenda. It does not have a mind of its own, and it is only as "good" or "bad" as the people using it.
I've recently connected with some long-lost friends on Facebook who now live all over the U.S., and we've commented among ourselves that the last time we talked with each other, we could never have imagined anything like Facebook. We relied on phone calls and letters - both of which were either expensive or time consuming and eventually failed us. Facebook allows us to connect in a way that is more natural. We can quickly state what's on our minds in a status update and those friends who have time and who are in the mood to answer will. The others will catch you later. This is the way we used to connect with each other in real life when we all lived closer and saw each other on a daily basis. In our case, technology has been a wonderful thing.
Josh Rose has a great article on Mashable this week, entitled How Social Media is Positively Impacting Our Culture [OPINION], which is definitely worth a read, and while you're there, check out his post, Why Social Media is Bringing back our Grandparents' Values. In both of these articles, he describes ways in which technology is being used to strengthen human relationships.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.