*Articles reflect the views of the author and or those quoted and do not necessarily represent the views of CCBC or The CCBC Connection.
These days whenever you are on your college campus you usually see all of your peers just looking down at their cell phones, talking on the phone, or listening to music. Compared to college campuses 20 years ago where you would see your peers conversing amongst each other and interacting in person today’s colleges seem rather antisocial.
Now, this is not to say that students at college do not interact with each other, however, there is a much bigger difference from then to now.
For college students today, technology is essential in the successful completion of your courses. Your textbooks are sometimes online, you need the internet to do research and you need online software to type your papers and do projects. Platforms like Blackboard which offer more online classes than ever are becoming commonplace amongst the new generation of college students.
Experts seem to agree that since a lot of colleges require such online access, this is actually causing an attachment to online resources and databases. Even outside of the schoolwork, college students are often glued to a lot of social media sites during their free time such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.
With mobile technology, we are always plugged in, always stimulated, and always in a state of constant self-presentation. On social media, college student’s bond by sharing the same struggles and being able to relate to one another because of it. It isn’t even always a bad thing to be plugged in to social media because a lot of college students become friends through social media by using hashtags and even by just following each other.
However, experts also agree the internet can often cause flight from conversation, meaning that people talk through the screen rather than in person. It is also a flight from solitude, meaning that people can flock to their phones in order to avoid silence or “awkward” conversation.
Technology can also be a flight from boredom for college students, because instead of being bored in their dorms when they don’t have any more work to complete, they use technology instead. Many agree that this isn’t always a bad thing since you can find things to occupy yourself online that often can be beneficial in some way.
According to Sherry Turkle, a Spokeswoman from the website “Vox,” “there are certain kinds of communication that cannot be done via texting or video messaging.”
This is a big part of college students’ lives in the current age. College students use technology for communication most of the time, amongst their peers and to speak to their families with whom they do not live with. Even though this is essential for college students’ communication, it is not always a bad thing to communicate through technology.
Students, and even people in general do not only talk through technology and not speak to people in person, technology just makes it more convenient to communicate. Some would argue that our increasing dependency on technology getting us through our days and nights is removing the power of choice from our lives. It is removing the choice of actually meeting up with people for lunch and having face-to-face conversation and instead having lunch alone while being on FaceTime with a friend.
In 2017, more than 67% of Americans owned a smartphone, and that is likely going to increase overtime. Sherry Turkle believes that, “technology is transforming what it means to be human.” It may not be all the way there just yet, but that is what is thought to happen since social media and texting are now replacing face-to-face communication.
While all these studies are being conducted about how social media and technology are damaging mankind, there are also so many benefits that come with using technology. You can learn new things, meet new friends, do more research, and better yourself in many ways. It’s not all that bad, especially for college students.
Besides, the colleges are the ones who are requiring more online presence than ever before. A student now can often only access their grades or communicate with their professors by going online. This is why a lot of college students have to be more plugged in now than ever before.