We are living in the golden era of communication. We are able to do so much via rectangles as small as the palm of our hands. While writing this piece I am also typing to a friend in SoHo, getting ready to video chat with a friend in Paris, listening to music sent to me by a friend, checking in to see where my friends are, browsing articles of interest and then sharing them with friends and strangers alike. I’m also working from home, which lets me to do many of these.
I love it. And if you’re reading this, you probably agree.
We owe our extreme connectivity to the Internet, and more specifically, to social media. Granted plenty of pixels and words have been devoted to the negative aspects of social media, such as brain rewiring and crippling loneliness. I’m not going to focus on that. Because while yes, like all things, anything in excess can be addictive. But I can sincerely say that I find the increase of communication and closeness (whether real or digital) provided by social media to be a positive influence in my life. It allows me to know a variety of things that I normally wouldn’t know (such as the fact a bad call was made the other night in the Packers-Seahawks game, even if I couldn’t with complete confidence tell you what cities those teams represent). Social media allows connectivity in a way high school reunions and the Pony Express couldn’t even imagine. It allows everyone to be an expert on anything, or an amateur Renaissance (Wo)Man.