Forgive my absence for the past couple weeks. The end of the semester came with more struggles than I anticipated. The holiday break couldn’t come quickly enough. The struggles we are seeing in the halls of the school this year surmount anything we have seen before. The year and a half spent locked away has truly hurt the way teens communicate with the people and world around them.
Unfortunately, teens are not the only ones affected. Due to the lack of face to face communication and the majority of our interaction being conducted over a screen, our society has changed the way we absorb information all together.
Scrolling through social media has become a part of our daily routine. Wake up, grab the phone, tap the screen, click the icon: blue, yellow, black, pink; we each have our own drug of choice. No matter which icon chosen, the addiction is the same– an abundance of information thrown at us in a short amount of time.
Double tap, scroll; click the heart, scroll; read the first line, not interested, scroll; hold the thumb-do I laugh react-definitely only worthy of a like, scroll.
THIS is how we now interact.
We gather information at breakneck speed, and we forget to fully engage.
So often I hear teens, tween, colleagues, and even my 7 year old niece say, “I learned this thing on TikTok!” If you’ve ever been on TikTok you know, each video is 15 to 60 seconds long. Each of these individuals are passing on information they learned in approximately 35 seconds.
There have been many times recently I’ve heard someone proclaim, “I saw this thing on Facebook…” and they proceed to tell me everything that is wrong with the world. That meme that took 3 seconds to read has taught them something they feel is important.
It’s hard to believe it takes less than 60 seconds to learn a completely new concept, but that is how our world now functions, in the blink of an eye.
We no longer laugh, we lol or *laughing emoji.” No longer will we “talk to you later;” we ttyl. No longer do I tell my loved one I’m “on my way,” I tap OMW!, and they know I’ll be there soon. As a matter of fact, as I typed OMW, my computer keeps autocorrecting it to “On my way!” Many people don’t even take the time to capitalize those all too familiar initialisms because the extra click of the screen takes too much time and focus.
What I’ve yet to determine is, is this phenomenon a good thing or a bad thing? While I’m seeing so many negative affects, I’m wondering just how detrimental gathering new information in under 60 seconds is on society. What are we gaining from this new way of communicating?
Let me know below what you feel are some positives that can come from 60 seconds worth of info.