How connected are we seems like a very reasonable question, especially in the 21st century. The use of Social Network is more prevalent than ever. Every day, people spend countless hours immersed in popular technologies-such as Facebook or MySpace, World of Warcraft, or Sim City, of which it aims to connect individuals with similar interests or personalities. These technologies are already demonstrating how they impact the way we think, learn, and interact-and they are also demonstrating the tremendous potential they have in these areas as well.
The emergence of social networking technologies and the evolution of digital games have helped shape the new ways in which people are communicating, collaborating, operating, and forming social constructs. Nearly all institutions - business, industry, medicine, science and government - have introduced aspects of these technologies for decades (Klopfer et al.).
People today can do things that people ten years ago could not have imagined. As software and hardware have simultaneously become cheaper, more sophisticated and easier to use, this generation of young people can share the fruits of their labor with a worldwide audience. They can post videos on YouTube or GoogleVideo, upload photos to Flickr and link back to their friends on MySpace, FaceBook or Bebo. They are connecting, exchanging and creating in new ways. This generation will not be the first to change society; like the baby boomers and the Generation X-ers did before them they will have a profound impact on the world around them. Considerable time and resources have been spent looking at reasons for feeling anxious about this impact, we have only just begun to explore how a digitally literate tribe of young people learn and communicate. Their use of technology - from the unremarkable to the unrecognizable - has far-reaching implications for schools, universities, the workplace and society more broadly (Green et al.).
As Micheal Lee Wesch, a cultural anthropologist and media ecologist from Kansas State University indicated in his video, "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us", released on YouTube, we are indeed more connected than we have ever been. Wesch has won several awards for his work with the video, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award and the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Media Praxis from the Media Ecology Association ("Micheal Wesch.").
The availability to connect with each other brings several benefits including the potential of providing easy access of learners interested in getting a educational or just building on their current skills. The ability to integrate these technologies into educational institutions is important and necessary in a connected world. Each individual will have the ability to have the world's largest library (Internet) in front of them. This is the most evident importance of having a connected world, in addition to getting easily informed about current issues within other regions of the world.
In essence, the benefits of a connected society are evident, and it is best to make use of the technologies wisely, as it may be the world's largest library or largest distraction.
Green, Hannah, and Celia Hannon. Their Space: Education for a Digital Generation. London: Demos, 2007. Print.
Klopfer, Eric, Scot Osterweil, Jennifer Groff, and Jason Haas.
"Using the Technology of Today, in the Classroom Today." Massachusette: Education Arcade Paper, 2009.
"Michael Wesch." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 09 June 2012. Web.
Sept. 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Wesch.