Make no mistake about it – socialization as we know it has already changed. Some say for the better and some say for the worse… so which is it? Youth are engaged more deeply in networking and sharing information than ever before through a medium that they are native to. Texting, blogging, video scrapbooking, tweeting and facebooking are all new ways to interact and though they may seem to be counterproductive – this is simply not the case.
With the rapid development of communication tools, society has yet to establish proper protocol for appropriate social practice using technology. Even though we stay connected like never before, we have neglected the rules of social engagement within the technological medium. Many of these pitfalls can be avoided by establishing and practicing rules and expectations. Facebook and Twitter are certainly the most popular social media networks, but if not used moderately, they can become more of a hindrance than tools for communication. Twitter is an excellent tool which can be likened to a river flowing past.
Trying to catch all of the water as it rushes by is futile – but dipping a cup into the river of information every once in a while, will allow you to partake in smaller, more digestible morsels of information.
As we begin to develop social governance for these new tools and forms of communication, consider the following questions – Please don’t assume that the answers to these questions are obvious:
1. Would you consider it rude to chat on your cell phone while checking out at the grocery store?
2. Is it appropriate to text a friend when you are at home eating dinner?
3. Separation in the same space – what does that mean to you; What is ideal practice to you at home?
4. When is it appropriate to text instead of calling? 5. Why do people text more than talk or vice versa?