My Digital Media Project focuses on ‘The Growth of Technology and Social Media’ and how it has impacted our lives socially, but also how it has changed the face of education and introduced countless new methods of learning. We are currently in a digital revolution, where anyone without a smartphone or tablet is basically an outlier. The two photo’s below show the contrast between when the Pope was elected in 2005 compared to when he was elected in 2013. These pictures highlight just how enormous the growth of technology has been in a mere 8 years and how pivotal a role our personal technologies are playing in significant life experiences. Also this trend shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
With major technological advances in recent years, it is believed that the smartphone that we carry everywhere in our pocket and purses “provides a better communication tool that the President of the United States had access to 25 years ago”. This is no surprise considering that the “power, size and price of computer chips are expanding at an exponential rate (that’s 2x2x2x2… etc.!) every year” (1). It’s not just a specific age bracket or generation that are technically literate anymore, I read recently that a staggering 23% of children aged between three and five has been online at least one time (2). This scary statistic establishes how integrated technology has become in society at every level. It began with complicated digital machines that even the most astute scientists struggled to engage with, now everyone handles their media, social interactions and business digitally, be it through YouTube videos, Facebook chat or purchases on Amazon. The future looks bright as the phenomena of smart- technology begins to adapt and connect our social, media and business needs.
In terms of education, the advancement has been staggering. A recent study conducted by the ‘eLearning Industry’ “estimates that about 46% of college students are taking at least one course online and that by 2019, roughly half of all college classes will be digitally based.” (3). This is no surprise considering how technology has the ability improve student and teacher interactions, address student diversity and provide instant access to information. The two photos attached below are visual aids which show the dramatic change that has occurred in our learning environment within the last 100 years. The first is a picture is of the reading room in the National Library circa 1922 with just reading pulpits as learning aids, whereas the other photo is one I took myself on my camera phone of UCD library. Every student in my photograph is utilizing a computer or laptop to reinforce and expand their knowledge.
We are spoiled for choice with such a wide variety of learning platforms, with sites like Google, Khan Academy and Blackboard providing easy access and endless information on nearly any subject matter imaginable. This info-graphic features several statistics which highlight the unification of technology and education.
Honestly, tell me what we would do if we couldn’t see a photo of what our friends ate for lunch or what holiday one of the Kardashians are on? Of course these are a few of the most futile uses of social media buts let’s not let these actions hinder the stupefying growth Social Media has experienced in the past ten years, because ten years ago Facebook was only an idea. Today it boasts 1.59 billion users, that’s roughly 20% of the world’s population. Facebook is obviously the premier Social Media platform but others like Twitter and LinkedIn are not to be sniffed at, Twitter has grown from a meager 5000 daily tweets in 2007 to a reported upward of 500 million daily tweets at the end of 2015 (4). The growth of technology has propelled Social Media to a new stratosphere, with TVs, Mobile Phones and basically any technology with Wi-Fi connectivity providing the user with instant access. LinkedIn is a prime example of a Social Media that’s integrating social and professional lives. It’s become commonplace to have your professional credentials on LinkedIn and it almost places you at a disadvantage if you don’t. Of the millennial generation (15-35 year olds), 13% are active members either looking for employment or conducting business on the site . It also experiences a growth rate of 2 new users every second (5). The video I made below documents even more information about Social Medias Growth in recent years and our new found dependency on social interaction.
I hope my Digital Media Project has provided you with some insight about technology and Social Media’s growth and contributed to your perspective of the ‘Digital Revolution’. The Future is #Bright!
- Barton, R. (2016). Technology’s Explosion: The exponential growth rate – Mainstay Technologies. Mstech.com. Retrieved 20 April 2016, from http://www.mstech.com/nh-it-blog.php?show=171
- Technology, 9. (2016). 95 Amazing Facts About Internet & Technology. Knowledgepublisher.com. Retrieved 25 April 2016, from http://www.knowledgepublisher.com/article-887.html
- Adderly, C. (2015). How Technology Has Changed Education – Blog | 2U. 2u.com. Retrieved 28 April 2016, from https://2u.com/blog/how-technology-has-changed-education/
- Krikorian, R. (2015). New Tweets per second record, and how!. Retrieved from https://blog.twitter.com/2013/new-tweets-per-second-record-and-how
- A Brief History of LinkedIn. (2016). Ourstory.linkedin.com. Retrieved 27 April 2016, from https://ourstory.linkedin.com/