The Social Media Effect

The 2010s witnessed the ups and downs of technology

Niko Pitinii, Owen Stocker, and Claire Wood

The year 2019 is coming to an end, and 2020 is right around the corner. As this decade is coming to an end, people tend to reflect on the good times and the not-so-good times of these past years — much fueled by the advent of social media.
The 2010s and social media are forever linked.
For high school students, they hold many precious childhood memories, archived in social media apps. Although this has had its advantages, Hoover senior Ryan Christensen greatly understands the negative impact social media has had throughout the years.
“Social media is great, but when it’s used too often, it can get to a point where a face-to-face conversation is more rare than you’d think,” he said.
In a different realm, there is no doubt that technology — and with it, social media — is the largest change in society from the early 2010s to now.
“It’s becoming so exponential that some of the devices we used just a few years ago make us laugh today because of how much they’ve been outdone already,” Christensen said.
The 2010s also saw the influence of social media on the media profession itself. Video Productions teacher Mr. Tim McCarty has witnessed this media development firsthand.
“The changes in camera and lens tech and content creation software capabilities are indeed exciting,” he said. “The worry always comes down to the people creating content and their reasons for doing so.”
McCarty also had a personal take on this exciting and ever-evolving social media societal change.
“Being able to send my young adult kids’ images and texts to their 83-year-old grandmother’s smartphone and have her instantly send a smile emoji back is indeed pretty cool technology,” McCarty said. “On the flip-side, the unfiltered filth delivered to us daily, that we send to each other, is staggering.”
NCtv Media Director Mr. Tom Wilson also spoke of the change.
“I think the other big change is that ten years ago, if you wanted the information you had to go find it, you have to look for it,” he said. “And you had very few places to go look for it. So, for example, people got the newspaper to their home and they would read it cover-to-cover and get the necessary stuff that they wanted to get. Today, you have so many places that you can look at it and look for it. It’s right there in front of you.”
Interactive Media teacher Mr. Gary Bodenschatz sees the growth of media as both a positive and a negative.
“Well, it is a positive in that the amount of information we have access to is tremendous,” he said. “It’s not so good [in the sense] that we become lazy about how we retrieve it. I think I look at computers and technology as a magnifier as to who you already are.”
One momentous change is the technological medium from which society obtains its information, which has evolved from bulky desktop computers and cable television to smartphones, streaming and almost paper-thin laptops.
“I would say the quality of the mobile devices, the speed at which we access things and entertainment, Internet, TV, all that stuff has become quite different,” he said. “Being able to see and have access to information that specifically you want, to me, is the biggest thing.”
Broadcast Journalism and English teacher Mrs. Danielle Wackerly teaches her students how to identify and filter false information. She said as print publications are fading out of style in favor of online news sources, false information and bad sources are becoming more common and likely.
“While it’s sad to think that eventually, a print newspaper might be obsolete,” Wackerly said. “It’s also exciting that information can be put out and received much more quickly, and that people have more access to media through online outlets; however, this also allows a lot more room for error. Sometimes people are so concerned with putting out the information first that we don’t have the whole story, or the story isn’t as accurate as it could be.”
Wackerly also commented on the speed at which news can be shared and transmitted in the digital age.
“It is crazy how something can happen and an article is put out and shared somewhere within minutes,” she said.
As Hoover’s teachers continue to adapt to new advances in media technology, it is clear that the remainder of the 21st Century will contain expedited amounts of innovation. If Moore’s Law is correct, this technological revolution will only speed up throughout the 2020s; therefore, people must be careful as to how they will handle the new progression in technology, connectivity and media.