Social Media in Action

This morning went a little differently than my usual Thursday. The norm: Wake up, send a text, receive a text, race to class, check the time on my cell, send a few more texts, jot down a note in my phone, sit in class and pay very little attention to the lecture and more than enough attention to my phone, take a break and make a few calls, then back to class and check my phone another 23 times over the course of an hour.  Today I left my phone sitting on the counter. I thought about frantically asking someone in one of my classes to use theirs so I could send a mass text to my roommates requesting an emergency cell phone delivery to campus, but I decided a few hours without it wouldn’t kill me. In fact, since there are computers in both of my classes, and I had my laptop with me, having the phone was almost unnecessary. Most of my friends get Facebook messages straight to their phones and are online constantly.

Although forgetting my cell wasn’t a life shattering, day ruining disaster, it made a few differences in my day and caused me to notice some things I might not have noticed otherwise. For example, as I write this, one of my roommates is yelling at me over Facebook chat because I didn’t answer her three texts and phone call. In the year 2011, we are spoiled rotten. We are so used to communicating instantaneously that we are annoyed when we don’t receive responses within 3 minutes or when someone doesn’t answer their phone. The assumption is, everyone has their phone on them all the time, its always on, and therefore everyone is always available.

Another observation: Facebook is becoming increasingly more important in communication. When I got online to check my page, I sent a message to one roommate asking her to bring my phone whenever she came to campus, got harassed by my other roommate, and then checked out the News Feed. The top result was a post by a friend of mine wondering how much money the U.S. could save by no longer helping other countries. Within one minute, someone else had posted a comment with a link to a WordPress blog. Curiosity got the best of me and I clicked the link. It went to a blog post that very intelligently discussed how much of the country’s budget actually went toward foreign aid. According to the article, less than 1%. This spurred a Facebook argument which, besides being wildly entertaining, just goes to show how speedy online communication is becoming. In 30 minutes, 24 comments were posted. Many of these were sent from cell phones. Furthermore, the discussion was political. Facebook is moving from a purely social site to a place where businesses can get their start, politics can be discussed, and events can be advertised.

So to recap: forgot my phone this morning, got scolded for not being easy enough to reach, used Facebook to get it back, checked out a WordPress blog because of a link on Facebook, learned a thing or two about the nation’s budget, saw first hand how quickly social media can work, and then I blogged about it. Maybe when I get my phone back I’ll post a Facebook status about it just to make sure things come full circle.


The article on foreign aid:


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