The Constant Update: Keeping Up With The Fast-Paced World

-Emily Fraysse

The image of a person sitting down with their morning coffee and unfolding a newspaper is being replaced today with a person slouched over and glued to a computer, smart phone, or iPad. Today’s news has turned from complete sentences to bite-sized tweets, statuses, and headlines only to instantly grab the attention of the reader like a line of cocaine presented in front of a drug addict. This instantaneous information via sources like the Internet and television are preferred over “older forms” of getting the news through print media.  With the ability to get information on what is happening second by second, why would anyone settle for reading yesterdays news?

Social media has changed the way business, government, individuals, and society work as a whole.  In the past few years, newspapers and other major corporations rely on and utilize social media sites to connect with the rest of the population in hopes of furthering and expanding their company.  A variety of widgets and applications have dominated the smart phone scene as an alternative to using the Internet.  Global newspaper companies rely on these applications to get their work out to the public in a timely, cheap, eco-friendly in comparison with paper news.  From a smart phone, a person can check his or her bank account, update a status on Facebook, buy their Christmas presents from Ebay, check the latest tweets on Twitter, view the news on the New York Times application, and even watch live television.  With the world literally in the palm of your hands, why would you ever need to leave your own house?

In a way, this sort of instant gratification is encouraging a more connected world that is constantly in the “know.”  But, it is also promoting a world that is fully enthralled and immersed in its own egocentric sphere.  Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, BlogSpot and Tumblr all promote the same thing: a type of self-centeredness.  These countess social platforms are a way of socialization and marketing of the news, but it also a method of self-promotion.  While people spend hours absorbed with who posted what, stalking potential soul mates, pouring out feelings and ideas into blogs, and living vicariously through other people’s photographs, crimes are committed right outside our front door. The reason for all this madness is so simple: it is a way to memorialize us on the world.  People want to be “liked” on Facebook or StumbledUpon because deep down, people want a witness.  They want acknowledgement of their existence, like a name etched into the dirty wall of a high school bathroom.  Whether it is in a tweet, a status, or a blog post, technology has changed the way people think and act. Now, do you dare take a bite out of the technology apple?

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