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In primo piano

L'editoriale di Elena G. Santoro: has modern technology improved our life style?

di Elena Genero Santoro

It was December 2008, just before Christmas, and we had invited a couple of friends for dinner. And we were chatting when my friend Silvia started to talk about this new tool, available on the internet and named Facebook. “Oh, I virtually met a number of my schoolmates… Do you remember Monica? I hadn’t received any news from her for 15 years and last week she told me that she had got married and she has a couple of children…” And so on. 
Facebook was cool, suitable to meet again the old friends and to see the pictures of their own families. It was enough to fill in a format, to create an account and you were linked.
The day after, my husband and I started to look for our ex schoolmates and friends. It was exciting to verify if they had been able to realize their dreams or not and to compare their success to ours. What a vanity fair! But in 2008 there were a sort of naivety, using Facebook.
In few years the situation changed, the users became less naïve and cunning. Facebook started to take off also as a virtual place suitable for advertisementFacebook became a cabinet not only for the pictures of our children, but also for the goods that we wanted to sell.
Many users started to get rid of the schoolmates (after a couple of conversations it was so boring to chat with them and if they had stopped seeing them there was a reason), to delete the pictures of their children (because the risk was to bump into some pedophiles) and to exhibit only the most beautiful part of their lives.
When Facebook and similar social networks spread, few people had a smartphone and it was available only on computer.
The real revolution occurred when internet became available also on the mobiles. Starting from that moment, something else happened, because we had the possibility to be in touch with the entire world in every moment of the day. This could be helpful in many occasions (when my aunt needed the timetable of the train because my grandmother had had a heart attack and we were on the beach, we could only thank my smartphone), but unfortunately this is the reason why many people developed a real addiction to social networks and smartphones. And it is dangerous when you are driving and you are absent minded. Taking a selfie is worse than talking by phone when you drive because you are not looking at the road. And a quick hard braking sometimes doesn’t make up for your lack of attention.
I like the social networks. No, I love them because they enable me to be in touch with many friends and also to take care of my personal hobbies. I believe that Facebook is a great way to meet people who share with you the same interests.
I’m not sure, but I could state that some new and virtual friendship can arise on Facebook, too. Even if, if you don’t meet your friends in person at least once, hardly ever your opinion can be correct. In fact, I had a close friend, met in a Facebook group, and I believed she was good, smart and nice. After many months I realized that she was mean and now I suppose she suffers from some personality disorders! It’s a risk of the social networks, but also of the world itself, maybe...
And the other bad aspect of the social networks is that everyone has the right to express his/her opinion. Also the idiots can. And you sometimes cannot resist the temptation to reply, starting a stupid and completely useless discussion. The risk, in this case, is to damage your own web reputation and to jeopardize also your future job. In fact, the headhunters in general check your Facebook profile and you posted some pictures where you are completely drunk or are naked dancing on a table, you could have some problems to obtain a new job. So, pay attention to your privacy!

I focused my analysis on Facebook but also Whatsapp is worth a mention.
Whatsapp exists only because smartphones exist and I hate it. It’s a damnation to be inserted in some groups (an example: the group including the parents of the schoolmates of your child).
You cannot excuse because you need to receive any news in real time (the page of the book for the homework, the day of the meeting with the teachers, the invitation to a Birthday party), but every time you look at the screen you find 2019383356789 messages. “Tomorrow we have to pay for the school trip”. Like, like, like, like, smile, like, smile, smile, like. And what about the emoticons? A nightmare for me! But we cannot do without them...

But coming back to addiction, I reckon the smartphones are a kind of pacifiers for adults. When you are bored, when you are waiting at the bus station, when you need to run away from the reality, it’s enough you glance the screen. You’ll find some messages, definitely. Surely. You won’t feel alone.
(Stay tuned!)


di Elena Genero Santoro
Ama viaggiare e conoscere persone che vivono in altri Paesi. Lettrice feroce e onnivora, scrive da quando aveva quattordici anni.
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Gli Angeli del Bar di Fronte, 0111 Edizioni.

About Stefania Bergo

Il blog culturale degli scrittori emergenti: letteratura, webmagazine, travel&living, arte, promozioni speciali e servizi editoriali.
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