When I spend time with the older people in my family, I’m always thankful I’ve always been immersed with technology. It’s often about every hour or so I’m tasked with teaching them how to do a basic function. However, I’m not mad. From their perspective I’d be confused too. Who would know that all of the sudden, you got to swipe right then left pinch with your fingers over this piece of metal and glass and there you go, a perfectly cropped picture you took months ago. For digital natives such as myself it’s second nature. If you put a piece of technology in front of me I can usually figure it out. Yet, digital natives get way too much credit of being “good” with technology. Sure, we can use it. Go ask somewhere to do basic code. I have no idea how that stuff works. Have you ever tried editing a video? A lot of technology takes an immense amount of effort, a lot of skill, and thousands of hours of practice. Just like the English language, millions can speak it. Many though have very little understanding of the details such as grammar. The same goes for technology.

From the video, “Vistors and Residents”, the narrator talks about a theory about internet users. He explains the concept as visitors are using who use the internet to achieve a task. An example of this would be doing research, finding a ticket for a flight, or essentially any task that doesn’t leave behind a social footprint. A resident is user who leaves a social trace. These users are generally using social media. However, I believe that visitors are the internets most important users. Although they leave no social trace they aren’t just accessing the web incognito. Companies such as google are storing tons of data on every user. This in turn is used to market to visitors. I see myself as more of a visitor. Although I have social accounts, I tend to stay quiet and don’t often post.

Online relationships have always made me curious. Are they healthy? How does someone become so invested? I have a few friends that I’ve made playing video games but I wouldn’t say that I’m invested in their lives. I just play video games. The Mesch article expresses the idea, “virtual relationships are seen as more intimate, richer, and more liberating than offline relationships because they are based on genuine mutual interest rather than the coincidence of physical proximity”. I disagree with this. I have a lot of detachment with my online friends because in the real world, I honestly don’t think about them too much. Without that physical connection, the relationship seems a lot less intimate. There’s less emotion in play.

Photo by Wesson Wang on Unsplash

Sophomore at the University of Minnesota studying Marketing and Journalism