Are We a Nation of Google and Facebook?

A nation of Google and Facebook - The Anti-Social MediaYesterday, in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, he said, “We are a nation of Google and Facebook.”

I don’t know whether that should be cause for pride, or cause for alarm.

Facebook and Google both provide technologies that touch hundreds of millions of lives daily across the globe. We use them to answer questions, keep in touch with friends, and access information that would have been much less accessible a decade ago. These are the technologies that power our collective knowledge and connection to one another. They are the seedlings of what the internet will mature into int he coming century.

Still, I see them as making us a nation of lazy, hyper-connected slobs.

You don’t need to learn any facts because Google will remember them for you. Want to know what happened to your best friend from first grade? Facebook her. Need the answer to a question? Google it. See something funny? ‘Like’ it.

Whatever happened to becoming an expert? To mastering the knowledge of a subject? To caring about something enough to do more than click ‘like?’ To knowing your friends beyond their status update? To not measuring someone’s worth based on the number of “friends” they boast online, but rather the quality of that friendship and what those friends accomplished together? Are these questions how Americans now define themselves?

I know there are still people who are experts. Many of them share their genius on their blog, while others throw their potential away blathering aimlessly at a camera. All of us, from the social media mavens to the people starting their Facebook accounts today, have an obligation to use the technologies not as a supplement, but rather a compliment to the lives we lead.

Every time we log on, we choose how to use these tools. We can use them as fluff, or we can use them to find solutions and solve problems beyond their superficial uses.

Are we Americans nothing more than a nation of Google and Facebook, or are we more than the technologies that keep us plugged in?

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13 Responses to Are We a Nation of Google and Facebook?

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