Being a teenager in the 21st century, society puts some lofty technological expectation on me. However before this class I can say that I did not meet up to these expectations. I did not know how to upload video to YouTube; I didn’t the significance of writing a blog. However over the past school year, I have learned so much about the world that we call the internet. The internet is more than just a place to connect with friends. It is a place to expand our knowledge, to grow as people and to become better citizens. The internet is a place to be creative, and to voice our opinion. The internet is more than just a person on a computer, it is a community. Communication in the 21st century has taught me more about the impact what one person can do than any other class.
If this class has taught me nothing else, it has taught me the importance of how to create a positive online persona. People believe that the only impression that counts is the one when you meet someone face to face. However this class has showed me that in this day in age this is not the case. People don’t have to wait to meet someone in person. Now they can look them up on a search engine and all of that person’s life will be in front of them in the click of a button. So it is important to have a positive on line persona. If you post pictures that are less than flattering, or when decide to vent to the online world about how annoying your boss is; most likely it will come back to haunt you. Many jobs now require you to offer up your social media site passwords to make sure that you represent the place in a positive. Schools are also doing this as well. Colleges will look through potential and current student’s sites to make sure they represent the school in a positive way. So being negative online may ruin your chances of advancing your future. Finally being negative on the internet and not thinking before you type hurts others on the internet. Saying critical things on chat rooms and on comment sections towards others is considered a form of cyber bullying, which is a very serious topic in today’s society. Plus many comment sections are taken down because of the terrible things people say towards others. So it is important to have a positive persona because you never know who is looking at your page.
My view on the use of social media sites has changed as well because of this class. People believe that these sites are used for fun, to connect with our friends when we can’t see them in person. While this is a very true statement, social media sites have become so much more than that. Social media sites have become a place for news outlets to reach their audience. Before I opened a twitter account through school, I believed that twitter was only for normal people to look at the lives of the rich and famous. However I soon found out that all major news outlets use twitter to get storylines out there. By following these sites, I have been able to be informed on all major issues in our world. Social sites are also used for social activists. People used to have to put flyers, and try to get news agencies to get the word out on social issues. That can cost a lot of time and money. Now all someone has to do is create an event or tweet something out to the public and thousands of people will be able to see them. Creating videos for YouTube can also help get the word out, and provide a more realistic image to those that do not believe what is being written. So the use of social media sites has more impact in our society than just connecting us to our friends; it connects to all of the world and its problems.
To go along with the use of social media sites, I have learned about the positive aspects of publishing on the internet. I think one of the most positive aspects is being able to voice your opinion to people who care. Often times when teenagers try to get involved in serious topics they are often shut down because they “don’t know anything”. So when I get to write about topics such as gay marriage or affluence in America, I feel like my voice matters. And when people like what I write it makes me feel like I am doing something right. Publishing on the internet also allows me to see how other people view a situation. Publishing is a learning experience. You can interact with people from all over the world on all different ideas and beliefs. These conversations are what create a strong well rounded society. So publishing is more than just writing, it is an educational experience that you cannot get in a classroom.
Next year when I go to college and after that when I start my professional life, the teachings in this class will always be with me. I will always be aware of what I do on the internet; to not do or say things that I would never do or say in public. That anything that I write on the internet can be seen by anyone. When I’m in college, I will make sure I don’t post anything that is stupid or seems shameful towards. I will think before type, because you never know who you are talking to and what their story is. When I become an educator I want to take pride in what my social media site looks like. I want to show my students that this is how you become successful; by learning how to represent yourself in a positive way. I also want to teach them that it is okay to be opinionated, but there is a certain measure of caution that you must take on the internet.
This class is more than a class; it is a guide to how to use the internet to your advantage.
The cyber world is full of games, and every person has to learn how to navigate through it. If one thinks about it, the internet and cyber space is just life, only worse because people can be a lot harsher online. However Communication in the 21st century allowed me to learn the tricks of the game, and I can go into college with all of the tricks up my sleeve.