One person can only accomplish so much, but when a group of people come together, they can accomplish much more. Social Networking is making that even more possible in recent years. Shirky talks about how people are about to do things together without the structure of a traditional organization in his book “Here Comes Everybody.” The power of the Internet, mobile phones, and social networking sites have allowed people to come together and network in ways as never before.
Social networking has been used for basic things like connecting with friends and family and it has also been used to gather mass amount of people together for a cause. One example Shirky talks about is a walkout in a Los Angeles school. The students used social networking to connect with all those who were against the proposed anti-immigration law. They were able to connect with each other without the school administration finding out and walked out of the school all together to go to the court house in protest of this law. It was powerful, got people’s attention and school administrators were powerless to stop it. It is much harder to control a mass of people than a few. In situations such as this, it is hard decide if this power of masses is a good or bad thing. If a group of people can come together to do good, cant they come together to do harm and not be stopped?
Today, people are connected with so many more people than say, 20 or 30 years ago. We are able to connect with people across the globe with mobile phones and the Internet. In 1994, about only half of the world has mobile phones. By 2008 there were 3.3 billion mobile phone subscribers. Now people do business differently than before. We are constantly by our cell phones, so we can be contacted at any time. We can receive emails on our phones, so we can get work done a lot faster than before because we are always connected.
I am interested to see how life will be 20, 10 or even 5 years from now. Even in the short amount of time I have been in college, I have seen a dramatic change in how people connect with one another. Keeping up with these changing technologies is the harder part.