In the digital age that we live in, technology and social media have had a huge impact on relationships, society and as technology advances, businesses. Thanks to social media, we are connected to everyone in the world at our fingertips. With technologies such as smart phones and iPads, businesses are able to advertise their products and spread the word on social media.
In any business, technology has also made everyday life more efficient and enables the expansion of their services throughout the world.
“We live in a very digital age,” said Ann Mangan, academic advisor in the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo in New York state. “I believe that social media has impacted all types of business in both positive and negative ways.”
These days, most companies and businesses have either a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page to advertise and promote their products. Mangan believes that social media can affect businesses positively when customers are able to leave shining reviews online to help a business grow stronger.
“Social media can easily spread the word about your business and programs,” said Mangan. “It becomes negative when negative reviews and comments are posted by unhappy customers or clients.”
Many people, especially younger members of society who seem to take advantage of the digital age more, believe technology and social media are a great way to advance our community and an efficient tool in staying connected to people and news around the world. However, some also think that technology has reached an unhealthy level and is beginning to socially change the generations growing up immersed within it.
“Technology has allowed us to make really incredible advancements especially in the field of health care, which has benefitted mankind and allowed physicians to provide an unprecedented level of care,” said Richa Gupta, a medical student at the University at Buffalo. “However, I do think we have to be careful as a society with how much we allow technology to be incorporated into our everyday lives.”
Gupta expresses concern that because of our society’s dependence on technology, it may become an excuse for a generation of lazy people who will not be able to function without it.
“Since technology is a man-made invention, it’s open to error,” said Gupta. “If technology ever does fail us, we have to be able to know how to live without it and I’m not sure we can.”
As far as social interactions go, Gupta believes that the younger generations are more comfortable communicating with people through text, email and social media than actual face-to-face interaction.
“I think that’s sad,” explained Gupta. “Social media has really diluted the quality and quantity of face-to-face time that people use to engage in and I hope that can change. It’s great for allowing people to connect in a different way but it should be used as a supplement to real interaction, not a replacement for it.”
For business owners, such as Sarah Nasca, owner of Ashker’s Juice Bar located on 1002 Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo, N.Y., technology and social media has affected the efficiency and popularity of the industry in a positive way.
“Technology has definitely impacted us as a business,” said Nasca. “We use an iPad for our register so we are able to quickly and effectively take orders as well as process credit cards easier.”
Nasca explains that she quickly realized the popularity of social media was rising and that her customers mostly use Instagram, Snapchat, Yelp and Facebook. She also noticed that it has become a trend for customers to post pictures of their food and juices on social media.
“Instagram is fun because I love photography,” said Nasca. “However, we don’t use social media as much as other businesses might because we have always wanted our advertising to be mainly by word of mouth.”
Nasca sees both sides of social media, as she explains that having the ability to post anything and having the world at your fingertips can be tricky but also a great asset to any business.
“It allows for a continual flow of connection with the world, whether that’s good or bad,” said Nasca. “It’s a hum of constant pressure on the business to constantly do our best because if you mess up, everyone will know immediately. However, it causes you to be on point and I love that.”