I have lived in more than one country and state in my life, meaning that when I say that tech has made my world smaller, it’s because I know what I’m talking about. When I say tech, I mostly mean social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, in addition to WhatsApp, of course. When I moved internationally for the first time, smartphones weren’t a thing yet, and I was too young for a cell phone; so I had to rely on land lines and snail mail – the world seemed huge and unfriendly.
Fast-forward 10 years, 7 iPhone generations and a whole lot of other social media creations, and we are at the present day. I now live somewhere else but the world doesn’t seem so huge and unfriendly anymore, if anything, I can stay connected to anyone, anywhere at any given moment. Nothing beats being with loved ones face-to-face, but at least now we have the option of sending them a message that they will receive in a matter of seconds rather than weeks of air mail, or pick up the phone and call them for free, when years ago long distance would cost a fortune.
My best friend moved to the other side of the world a while ago and I still talk to her almost every day, and see her face by way of FaceTime whenever we want to. Social media has me up to date with (almost) every member of my family, and every friend from the beginning of time – no joke, I have people on Facebook that I have known since I was born. I follow events they go to, see photos they upload, statuses they share, and vice versa. Gone are the days when you had to wait for any form of information.
On the other end of the spectrum comes the sad news that are spread through technology, and make the world sometimes too small and intimate in its atrocities. When a terror attack occurs, a natural disaster strikes, or a political event goes awry, we all know about it in a matter of minutes from its occurrence. I think this isn’t a bad thing, although it may make me sad to hear, I think it’s important to know what’s happening in the world we live it, even if what’s happening is many miles away; putting our head in the sand isn’t going to make things get better or go away.
Technology is making us more vigilant and aware, more friendly and accessible, despite what critics say to the contrary. I value the fact that I can see my baby cousins grow up by way of Facebook, FaceTime or Skype; that I can check up on my ailing grandmother with a click of a button or a phone call, and I like to think, as I feel, that the people of the world are more in touch with one another, using technology to get connected and stay connected.