Social media changes the meaning of school vacations

Winter break for our generation is drastically different from how our parents once spent theirs. Technology has given us the luxury of smart phones, netbooks, tablets and more while our parents had bulky desktop computers, if that, beepers and a land line to talk.

With new technology also came the fad of social networks. These networks have forever changed the face of vacations for college students. When you go to college, chances are the people you call your close friends aren’t going to live close by. Some may live a few hours away while others live in another state or halfway around the world.

For our parents, this was a problem because communication wasn’t easy. They would play the waiting game until school started and catch up on what happened with their friends during their month apart. Winter break for them meant a vacation spent paying attention to their families or hanging out with their old high school friends. Our generation can do all that while keeping in touch with new friends.

Social media has eliminated the concept of space. With Skype, FaceTime, Tango and other similar applications, a video call to friends miles away can be done at the touch of a button. Facebook is another way to keep track of your friends because chances are that they are going to post pictures or status updates about where they are, who they’re with, and what they’re doing. If someone does something drastic like getting a tattoo or changing their hair color, you can find out via social media in seconds rather than it coming as a surprise when you get back to school. Twitter is another new social media outlet that allows you to see what your friends are thinking in a nutshell. It is the one social network that hasn’t been invaded by our parents, in most cases, and we all have those friends who tweet every few minutes so their lives are open books.

Some parents feel that the technology and social media we have now takes away from the whole meaning of vacation and the fun of seeing everyone after a month of being apart. Yes, they may have a valid point, but at least social media allows us to stay connected.

Taylor Duckett is a freshman majoring in chemistry.