Facebook, iPhones and Other New Avenues for Communications…

As I have seen in my tenure here in college the use and necessity of cell phones and facebook has exploded. This past weekend, I went on a trip to California to ASU take on (and summarily get slaughtered by) the USC Trojans with the ASU Marching band. Upon reaching our hotel in Chino Hills, I realized that I had forgotten my phone charger cord. To make matters worse I had forgotten my MacBook Daphne’s (yes I have named my laptop) power cord. I was without my two main means to access my online, mobile life. It was a rough Friday Night/Saturday to say the least.

Upon returning home I plugged both of my dead pieces of technology in and turned them on to find my inboxes full of messages, my facebook lit up with new tags and updates. I literally felt “plugged in” in to what was going on again. Does anyone else ever feel like this? I feel as if the internet has become one of my senses, the new “sixth sense” so to speak, because it is definitely a conduit for which raw information enters into my system. But as a few bloggers have brought up, are these mediums taking hold and being exploited correct? Are mobile phones and facebook and email novelties that will soon wear off as I grow older?

As I was looking through the PR blogosphere for something to talk about for this week, I came across the Intake blog. The past few posts have been on communication with employees and topics relating to this–which struck me seeing as how I was cut off from my main avenues of communication for a whole day (a day I know, but I felt so disconnected).

In a blog on Facebook.com entitled Face It by Matt West, discusses how what once was a medium for college students has quickly become and is the new intranet that many workplaces are quickly exploiting for their own internal communications (and if they are not now, then they should do so.) The idea that Facebook.com has become this new way to learn more about your own company and employees when just a short time ago, it was seen as an unprofessional, youth oriented site. I find this very interesting, because I feel like I am always being told of the dangers of online sites like Facebook.com and Myspace.com–that people post too much information on there and that one should be careful of their online media foot print. It almost makes me afraid to participate in it and I have set my profile’s security settings to some of the highest they can be–blocking everyone except my friends from seeing my profile and not even allowing people from my networks to see my profile picture in a search for me unless they are already my friend.  I mean I guess I am not as protective as I should be with over 700 friends, but still, does any one else feel this protective of their online self?

In another post on this blog, Reaching Mobile Employees, by Allen Putman, the idea of the many avenues of communication that are used to reach employees in the company setting. To go back to my anecdote of this weekend, how out of touch would someone with a blackberry or iPhone connected to their email and such feel if they would have left home without their charger? As stated in the blog, email was not enough in the beginning because people get easily overwhelmed with all the spam out there that if it does not immediately capture the readers attention, no matter who it is from, they will just delete the message and move on (as we have discussed in class). But with the advent of the iPhone and the blackberry, people’s lives are now in their pocket and the internet is never further away than an arms reach. As Allen Putman states, with the advent of online boarding passes and electronic versions being set straight to your mobile phone, the new form of communication has finally been achieved…but I just want to ask has it? Because how long before the novelty has worn off? Interning in D.C. this summer in a Congressman’s office, I saw that the blackberry was viewed as a ball and chain and kept you in the office perpetually 24hrs a day (a sentiment that I do not yet share, not that I have a blackberry, iPhone or any other email capable phone for that matter)…how long before the effectiveness of this new form of communicating wears off?

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12 Responses to Facebook, iPhones and Other New Avenues for Communications…

  1. marialinda17 says:

    It’s important to understand social media and online communities while protecting your digital footprint. Although I have both a MySpace and a Facebook, I too, set my security settings to the maximum and make sure I’m responsible with the posted content. A couple years ago when I first joined these social media I was much more addicted than I am now. I had to check my messages every day and post comments to my friends. If I didn’t, I felt like I was out of the loop. It was easy to get carried away. This certainly conveys how quickly one can become dependent on technology. But in many ways technology can work within your life and make it better. But at what point are people too dependent? Probably the moment you can’t feel normal without it and it takes up unhealthy amounts of your time. I don’t think it’s wise to replace face-to-face communication with merely an online presence. Each form of communication should be used to its strength. We need to learn when to let go.

  2. davemerenda says:

    Technology has its place and is useful in many situations. It is a good tool for communicating, but I think that there are people that get too wrapped up in it. It’s as if some people need to learn, or re-learn, how to be “unplugged” and not depend on technology so much.
    I find it disturbing when people, especially those who use technology for social purposes, say they can’t live without their phone or laptop. This is just ridiculous. Updates and other meaningless crap people feel the need to share on a minute by minute basis makes me think that there are a lot of people out there that have nothing better, or more productive, to do.
    What really gets me are the people who constantly text their friends during class. It’s distracting to people around you. Is it really necessary to tell your friends that you’re bored during a lecture?
    Like I said before, technology is a useful tool. Learn to use it properly.

  3. brittz87 says:

    When I stop and think about how much technology has become apart of my everyday life since I’ve come to college, it absolutely amazes! I remember four years ago I was perfectly content with knowing how to text on cell phone. I have had a blackberry for a couple of years now, and I do not feel that I will ever be able to live without it. As sad as it is, I have become so accustomed to having the web at my fingertips, anything besides this seems like a sin. Social networking sites like Facebook.com have applications that can be downloaded to your smart phone, so that you’re only one click away to from your virtual life. I think that this type of technology is great and will only continue to grow and benefit those who decide to ride its wave. Businesses are just now beginning to use sites like these as resources to learn about existing and/or future employees. This type of technology is much more than a fad…it has become a way of life.

  4. wackyzachy47 says:

    Well, I just mean that I like to be in contact and I like to know what is going on with what is going on in “my social network.” I didn’t cease to exist this past weekend–I just meant that I felt really out of the loop this weekend and it was unnerving to NOT have that safety net of my phone in case that anything should happen. I don’t know.

    As for the texting thing, what is it to you if people want to text? It is the new social media and way people connect and if texting distracts you, don’t sit around those people. And who is to say that those people are NOT using it properly. Are any of us capable to judge that?

  5. ambrewe1 says:

    I too remember losing my cell phone charger a few years ago on a weekend trip to Salt Lake City. It wasn’t a blackberry or iphone, just a normal phone with no access to the internet. This was during the year the blackberry pearl came out and one girl on the trip had the phone. The idea that you don’t have to be some high-class business person to own this phone was amazing. I now have a blackberry and I realize that it rarely leaves my hand. I would feel lost and confused without it. I don’t think these new forms of communications would wear off, but I think it would continue to be improved to be quicker and speedier. I can’t remember a time where the internet wasn’t part of my life and I think for the next generation something else would be out that they can’t face to not be around. Think about the time when there was Pony Express! We eveolve with what’s being presented to us at the time.

  6. cate415 says:

    The idea of facebook being used by corporations and the business world as a tool for internal communications is something I feel can greatly help the corporate world. While it is ironic that it started out as a mere ‘college’ student website, I think this prove the immensity of expansion of social media in the last few years. I believe companies should utilize every tool available to them to enhance communication between their employees because this will have positive effects on the company as a whole.

  7. dfishfel says:

    I personally liked Facebook when it was just for college students. It scares me that anyone can join Facebook, and I definitely do not feel that it should be used as a form of communication at work. As many of us know, you can sit on Facebook for hours, so if you are allowed to be on Facebook al the time at work, nothing will get done! There are other forms of fast e-mails that resemble instant messages that are perfectly effective to be used in an office environment. I also wish that potential employers did not try to find you on these sites to see what you do on your free time, but they do and because of that I do not put my last name on the site, to make it more difficult and hopefully impossible to find me. My older sister used to tell me that I will grow out of going on Facebook all the time, that was 2 years ago before everyone was on Facebook, and addicted to it, now my sister is on Facebook as well. I guess it’s something that we won’t grow out of anymore. Facebook and other forms of online communication will continuously be changing to be more effective for the public, I too wonder what will come next, I guess we will just have to wait and see, because it’s probably in the making right now!

  8. trentonhorne says:

    I consider myself to be pretty technology savvy. And then I log into my facebook… Am I the only one who is completely spun around by all the crap that is on that website? Why do I need a gift? Why do i need a button with a teddy bear on it? I really dont get it. But i do see the other communications aspects behind the site that seem useful. I think facebook needs to get rid of those other ridiculous aspects of facebook that people actually use(why? i dont know) and focus on the interconnectedness (or intranet at work which Zack mention) to give us a truly useful network.

  9. kakeane says:

    I think it is important for companies to have access to social networking, but I don’t think Facebook specifically is the right medium. There must be a site out there that is catered to business professionals rather than anyone who has an email address. I can see how this type of site would be useful, as employees could quickly contact each other, updates on what has been done during the day can be posted, and news on the company is easily shared, but I do agree that it could be very distracting.

  10. lbridge says:

    I think that social networking sites like facebook can be great tools for companies to reach their intended audiences but they must be executed appropriately. I think that if companies are going to utilize such mediums, they must do it in a really interesting but still very professional manner. If done in these ways, many more people can be reached effectively since these social networking sites have become such a large part of our everyday lives.

  11. knish21087 says:

    I recently had an assignment for my COM 394 class, communication and technology, that tried to test our use of technological communication devices. The first two days we basically had to log when we used our cell phone, email, facebook account, etc., who we communicated with, and how the conversation made me feel. The third day we had to attempt to not use ANY technological communication devices. This exercise made me realize a lot about how the world communicated through technology. The first couple days I was amazed with how many times I had to log my communication methods. I have always thought I am rarely on my computer or cell phone…This is definitely not true! When logging my emotions that we connected through these communications I realized how much more stress my cell phone actually adds to my life. When I got to the third day where I was not allowed to use any of these technological devices I found it nearly impossible! I literally felt like my life would collapse if I went the whole day without using my cell phone or computer. My group project would have gone down the tubes, my family would have been worried about me, and my friends would have been mad at me. I think everyone needs to try to go a day or two without using technological communication devices to realize how much they really affect our lives.

  12. amyfoley1975 says:

    I agree with you that cell phones and the internet have become a huge part of our lives. I can remember being in high school and did not care that I had no phone, and now not being able to live without it. I think the now more than ever technological means of communication is important, especially in our profession. Cell phones are our computers outside of the office. They are a way for clients to be able to reach us 24/7 if necessary. Without cell phones, or laptops for that matter, communication as we know it would be different, and slower.

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