While opponents and critics of modern communication technology like social media platforms Twitter and Facebook argue that these tools invariably bring pain and problems to people’s lives, this one-sided and ultimately shallow approach to modern communication technology ignores the many benefits that text messaging, smartphones, social media, the Internet, and other communication tools in the Digital Era provide to individuals, businesses, organizations, governments and law enforcement all over the world. This paper will show that modern communication technology has many benefits for people today and that these tools have, in fact, changed the world for the better by 1) connecting more human beings than ever before, 2) allowing information to flow and be shared more easily than ever before, and 3) allowing people to overcome time and space barriers so that they can work together and assist one another with ideas, guidance, directions, and assistance with medical issues, finances, education and more.
Several high profile individuals have lost jobs due to social media in recent months: Roseanne Barr lost her comedy show after attacking another person via Twitter and Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Bryan Colangelo lost his seat at the head of the NBA team after allegedly operating several burner accounts on Twitter to criticize his team’s players. However, just because people mismanage modern communication technology does not mean the technology itself is bad or that the cumulative effects of the technology are harmful for the rest of the world. People abuse drugs too but many, many more people benefit from them and use them responsibly to deal with pain and manage their health.
Modern communication technology might pose hazards for some people who have no self-control, but for the vast remainder of the population, smartphones, text messaging, social media, Skype, Facetime, direct messaging over the Internet, virtual calls at one’s workplace and many other communication tools offer people ways to connect and share information with one another that is truly life changing—and for the better.
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Just in the case of the tourism industry, it can be seen how impactful social media has become: people are getting online, sharing pictures and stories on Facebook and Instgram, sharing tourism ideas and tips like where to go, where to stay, what to see, and what to do, to followers all around the world, and tourism businesses like hotels and restaurants in tourism-heavy regions of the world are taking notice and responding in big ways (Fotis, Buhalis & Rossides, 2011). They use social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to connect with tourists and steer business their way. In effect, social media has been a groundbreaking new communications tool for many business industries—not just tourism—because it allows companies to directly communicate and correspond with consumers. In fact, everyone from celebrities to—now—Presidents uses social media to get out a message, talk to people with whom they would otherwise never be able to directly talk, and share ideas. The positive connections made using social media help businesses to increase their brand visibility, boost sales, develop their image, and keep consumers connected with new developments (Edosomwan, Prakasan, Kouame, Watson & Seymour, 2011). These connections are proof positive that modern communications technology is changing the world for better—at least for businesses.
But what about for everyday users? Some argue that people are wasting their time on social media sites, the Internet, texting, and the like. However, here is one example of why text messaging is really a great new innovative way to communicate: formerly, people had to have land lines if they wanted to call someone. If they called, they risked not getting through or interrupting someone who was busy. Text messaging allows….....
Edosomwan, S., Prakasan, S. K., Kouame, D., Watson, J., & Seymour, T. (2011). The history of social media and its impact on business. Journal of Applied Management and entrepreneurship, 16(3), 79-91.
Fotis, J., Buhalis, D., & Rossides, N. (2011). Social media impact on holiday travel planning: The case of the Russian and the FSU markets. International Journal of Online Marketing (IJOM), 1(4), 1-19.
Reid, D. J., & Reid, F. J. (2005). Textmates and text circles: Insights into the social ecology of SMS text messaging. In Mobile world (pp. 105-118). Springer, London.