Students should consider the ramifications of social media


    When entering college, each student might have a list of “essentials.” On that list, one might see an organizer or calendar, basic school supplies and various dorm staples.

    But this list has evolved in the past 10 — heck — the past two years.

    Nowadays, that list might include a MacBook, an iPhone, iPad or iPod and one of the various e-readers, such as the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader.

    This list demonstrates the effects the digital age has had on the 18 to 25-year-old generation, also known as the years in which many people attend college.

    And the effects of this digital age — including the effects of social media and the age’s effects on art — are cause for concern for some groups, according to a March 16 report by The New York Times. The report examined the various digital wonders that arose in this year’s South by Southwest festival in Austin.

    The concern arose when examining the effect the digital age has had on art. From an observer’s perspective, it would seem that art has evolved thanks to the digital age. New art genres have been created because of the technological advances that have come with the digital age. Photographers find innovative advances in their craft each year thanks to the digital advances of various photography companies.

    According to the New York Times report, South by Southwest featured forums and films that discussed whether the craftsmanship aspect of art has deteriorated in the wake of the digital age.

    Some of the forums claimed the digital age has added valuable opportunities for artistic expression, but many artists have lost sight of the foundation of artistic ability. That is to say, the classical examples of art — painting, sculpture and so on — do not seem to be as prevalent as before and seem to be suffering a decline in respect.

    When viewed from a college student’s perspective, one must consider the social ramifications of the digital age. Truly, the digital age has brought with it an affinity for social media, which, ironically, has aided in the deterioration of proper social interaction.

    College students communicate via text message, Twitter and Facebook much more than they do face-to-face. In fact, many students befriend each other and speak via social media but do not interact face-to-face. This shocking lack of interaction is a phenomenon that has stumped groups from every generation.

    Where current college students grew up without the manners of communication found in social media, they now utilize social media as a principle manner of communication.

    From the conversation brought about by this year’s South by Southwest festival, it is clear that the United States has been awoken to the reality of the serious effects — both negative and positive — of social media on society’s ability to communicate and interact.

    Wyatt Kanyer is a news-editorial journalism and Spanish double major from Yakima, Wash.