Letter to the editor: Technology complements reality

Despite people (mostly older adults, but still some out–of–touch young adults who are resistant to change) complaining about how technology is becoming a substitute for reality, let me tell you two things. First, it isn’t a substitute. Rather, it is a complement. Second, it is inevitable.  Feeble attempts to fight technological change end up wasted time, and “social media” or programs like Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook are only the beginning.  These programs utilize technology to complement reality, allowing people to sync their lives with relative ease.  Care to know what Kim Kardashian is doing? Follow her Twitter. Want real-time updates from sports teams or news agencies like CNN?  Follow their Twitter accounts.  Hell, want to know what Carrot Top is doing (or likely isn’t)? Follow his Twitter. Another advantage of social media applications is being able to see where your friends are.  Want to know if the bar you are thinking about visiting is hoppin’ tonight?  Check and see how many people are checked into FourSquare.  Want to know tips about what is good at a certain restaurant or bar?  Check the tips on Foursquare.  Another cool perk about Foursquare in particular is that mayors (people who check into certain venues more than everyone else) can get rewards.  For example, the mayor of the Pizza Hut in Meadville gets free breadsticks with every order! In my opinion, social media allows people to experience reality more fully.  By connecting more people to each other and making networking easier and quicker, you can get more out of your Friday night –– or simply a couple of free breadsticks.

– Nicholas Balzern, ’11