Right the article, “Snapchat Goes After Mobile Messaging

Right now, in the year 2014, it is challenging for men and women of all ages to keep their attention off of social media networks such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook and the other millions of apps that are easily accessible on smart phones. Not only is the demand for new and better social media networks higher than it has ever been, there is also a higher demand for the need to know why social media is so important. This challenge of finding a balance between too much social media and not enough is leaving older generations, the present generation, parents, technology companies, and many more people questioning if social media is bringing us closer together or isolating us? There are many theories and many opinions that declare both togetherness and isolation associated with the obsession of social media that a lot of people possess today. Further information about technology and how it is playing a role in our everyday lives, is important to discuss  to learn more about this issue. First, technology is everywhere. Everyone uses iPhones, iPads, Androids, computers, and more. Technology has changed, some say for the better and some say for the worse. Technology is going to grow and develop as long as humans are around, also growing and developing. That is why it is important to be informed on information regarding technology and social media so that you can decide if you feel it is evoloving to bring us all closer together, or if it is slowly beginning to isolate us.            To begin, the exploration about the idea of technology and social media bringing people together is important. In the article, “Snapchat Goes After Mobile Messaging With a New Design”, by Jenna Wortham in the New York Times, the idea of social media, specifically Snapchat, bringing humans together is apparent. First, it is declared that the core service of Snapchat is the ability to send photo messages that disappear after a few seconds. The reason for these photos is to convey feelings, say hello to friends and to find out what your friends are up to. This application was made in 2011 and has become an obsession of people all around the world, especially teenagers. Snapchat has been modified several of times but right now, the big change has come. The change is allowing it to be more sleek, sophisticated and a primary hub for mobile messaging. Evan Spiegal a founder of Snapchat, argues that “The goal has always been to move beyond messaging” and that “we’re trying to take the traditional text conversation and make it better.” The new Snapchat is intended to deepen interactions with real conversation and to closely mimic the way people interact and have conversations. Essentially, the new app of Snapchat is specifically created to bring people closer together and allow for an in depth conversation to be made while communicating through a smartphone.              Next, technology is isolating people. Recently, there has been a YouTube video circulating the Internet and the devices of millions of people called, “Look Up” by Gary Turk. This video was, “a lesson taught to us through a love story, in a world where we continue to find ways to make it easier for us to connect with one another, but always results in us spending more time alone”(youtube.com, April 25, 2014). In this video, you see a consistency of people walking around on their phones as Gary Turk recites a poem in the background about the societies issues with technology. He explores the idea that we have hundreds to thousands of friends that we do not really even know and that technology has formed an illusion leaving people emotionless. He claims that we have turned our back to the issue of social isolation. Gary Turk also claims that we would not feel so alone with we simply “looked up” and co-existed with others. Gary also uses an example of a growing problem with not being able to entertain children without the use of an ipad. However, one of his major outlying themes of this video is that we miss out on opportunities with people and that human beings are not making the most out of love, our children, being married, grandchildren, and life around us without technology. A quote from this video is, “When you are too busy looking down you do not see the chances you miss.” He continues to explain how humans have a finite existence and we should not be hooked on the digital world and instead we should look up from our phones and enjoy the world. To summarize, this video believes that technology is isolating us from the world around us and not allowing us to experience things that we would without technology.     Lastly, there are articles that argues both isolation and togetherness that technology brings. This article is also from the New York Times and written by Jenna Wortham and titled, “I Had A Nice Time with You. On The App.” This article discusses how social sites such as Google hangouts, face time, Skype and coupling apps Between and Couple and how you can be thousands of miles away from someone and still have brunch, dinner, and other daily routines with them. These communication sites allow one to stay in contact with family, friends, and co-workers over the course of a day. These tools of communication are less formal than a phone call or e-mail and more like a conversation you have with someone while watching television. Ann Friedman is quoted in the article stating, “Tech entrepreneurs, long obsessed with making apps to help you find a relationship, have now begin trying to solve the problem staying happy in one.” She says that new apps such as Couple and Between, “Keep you close with your partner through the power of a smart phone alone.” Another person interviewed for this article states, “We’ve given ourselves something so gratifying that we can forget other ways we can communicate.” These two people realize the importance that social media and technology bring in a new way of communication but also see that it is affecting how we interact outside of smartphones. Another important piece of this article was that Ann Friedman found a study from Pew Research Center that surveyed 2,252 adults about Internet relationships and they found that 74% believed that the Internet had helped and had a positive impact on their relationships. Also, another 41% of the people surveyed said they felt closer to their partner because of online and text messaging. Essentially, technology has been used as a positive tool towards bringing people together, but it is also causing a disconnect of how people interact outside of apps, social media, computers and their phones.      There are many different conflicting ideas, opinions and facts about social media and technology and whether or not they are allowing people to become more close or isolating them. People are finding ways of togetherness through technology but that closeness is also leaving them isolated from a plethora of opportunities and experiences in the world around them. Online dating websites do help millions of people find otheres to date, but as that is happening they are stuck with their face in a piece of technology and not taking part in the world around them to their fullest. There is no one right or wrong answer to the question of technology bringing us together or isolating us however, if people know that it could do either, then they are a well informed citizen who can use technology as they wish.