It’s amazing how quickly internet, social media specifically, has taken over the world, literally. The impact of internet and social media in today’s world has drastically changed the way everyone communicates. Less than five years ago, only a handful of people knew what facebook or twitter were. Now, in the present, almost everyone has or at least knows about it.
As I look in the past, my grandparents and even parents would send and receive written letters to and from each other. Past generations valued the written word. When my parents were dating, with my father traveling to Switzerland, they would send a receive letters to each other. Both held immense anticipation of going to the mail box to check for mail. The penmanship added so much character, feeling and emotion to the letters.
Even more recently as technological innovations have permeated society, a quicker, more impersonal way of communication came through e-mail. Instead of waiting two days to receive a letter, e-mail allowed for a quicker way of sending letters – but as we all know, it didn’t stop there.
That’s right – social media and instant messaging sites followed quickly allowing for none other than, instant messages from one to another. Soon, instead of calling or writing an individual, a person would write an important message or greeting on their ‘wall.’ The world became a much smaller place with the formation of Skype video call technologies. So, let’s go back twenty years – instead of writing letters, while my father was away, my mother could have communicated with him through video call, almost as if he was right there, instead of writing letters.
So, you may be asking why I am rambling about social media and my parents dating habits, but I actually do have a point. The impact of social media is felt across the world. It was, however, felt close to home quite recently in Latrobe.
The tragic passing of a fellow wildcat, classmate and friend, both on and off the field was a saddening event to all. All of us at GLSD were not necessarily his best friends. Some of us didn’t even have the chance to meet him, but we were all saddened and affected in some way by the passing of Zach Colucci.
As I awoke on that crisp, cool Sunday morning, a few weeks past, I began to see a plethora of statues having to do with a death of someone most simply reading, “R.I.P. Zach.
As the day went on, with numerous checks to facebook, I began to realize the magnitude of the event, with countless people posting similar statuses and condolences, most reading, “stay strong” and “we are all here for you.” Facebook is the way I first heard about the accident and death, not the Tribune Review or WTAE, facebook. It just goes to show the large impact of social media into today’s world.
Furthermore, numerous ‘Rest In Peace Zach’ groups and pages began to spread around facebook ‘community.’ The support of the student body at Greater Latrobe was truly shown through social media, even without the use of the spoken word, as many posted well wishes on others walls, showcasing their support to one another.
It just goes to show you that facebook isn’t just a means of creeping, as some call it, it can truly unify a group after a tragic or positive event. This, just one of the very influential ways that social media has and will continue to impact the world. From the written word, to electronic mail and now in this day of instant gratification, it is quite evident that social media will continue to impact the world – the question is, what exactly will it do next?