Globalization, Technology Privacy Topic: How Whatsapp App
There is a lot of evidence that suggests that WhatsApp, one of the most popular apps utilized for communication between people, is invading the social life of college students. In fact, one can argue that WhatsApp is one of the most widespread mechanisms used by college students for socializing with one another. According to Susilo (2014), WhatsApp is one of “the most popular messenger applications amongâ€¦college students” (10). It was largely due to the tendency of college students and young people to utilize this app that Facebook spent billions of dollars acquiring the company that makes it (Duryee, 2014). There are a number of different areas of life in which WhatsApp is impacting the social communication between college students. Many of these areas (including romance, long and short distance communication, and academics) pertain to some of the features of this app.
AREAS OF SOCIAL LIFE
One of the chief ways in which WhatApp has impacted the social life of college students is by allowing them to remain in contact with people over distances — which is directly attributable to how this particular app functions. WhatsApp enables users to send information (such as text messages, videos, audio, etc.) through their phone lines as part of their service instead of as a data charge. The result is that people can send more information quicker, and less expensively than they could if they were to simply utilize regularly text messaging or send files and incur data charges from their service providers for doing so. Therefore, many college students remain in touch with people who live far away via this platform. When they leave college campuses for the holidays or for summer vacation, or perhaps travel abroad during the summer months, students can use WhatsApp as a very convenient and efficient way of communicating with others. One of the best aspects of this particular use case is that it also applies to remaining in touch with people who are local. The same low cost, ease of use, and expedience that the app applies across long distances also applies to short distances.
Another very practical aspect of WhatApp that has contributed to the effect it has created in the social life of college students is its ability to provide group communication. With this app, students are able to send group text messages as well as to send different files to people in groups. This feature of WhatApp effectively transforms it to a forum in which students can regularly express their opinions, beliefs, and details about their lives. Furthermore, it enables them to get nearly instantaneous feedback while doing so, which enhances their experience and the sort of connectivity that they have with one another. There are certain situations in which this facet of WhatsApp applies to college students more so than to others. For instance, if there is a party or an event that is taking place, this platform is an extremely viable one to both find out about it and disseminate information about it. Additionally, when there is information relating to technology and its applications that might apply to a popular band or artist among college students, WhatsApp is a readily available platform to not only learn about recent developments, but also to help shape them by contributing to the discussion and group consensus about whichever specific artist or musician is the topic of conversation.
In fact, there are several ways in which the social capabilities of WhatsApp can actually extend into areas of academic life, effectively blurring the lines between them. There is a well-known case in India in which college students were caught cheating by using WhatsApp (May, 2014). In this particular instance, the students in question had an image of a biology test on their phones while they were actually taking the test. Although such action is unethical, it actually alludes to the numerous ways in which WhatsApp is impacting even the study habits of students, and extending the boundaries of social communication to include academics. Students utilize this platform so much for recreational purposes that it is only natural that they use them for other purposes as well. Had the aforementioned students in India been caught with a practice exam a day or two before the test, then their usage of WhatsApp would have been praiseworthy. Because of how easily the app facilitates the exchange of data and messages, it is actually well suited to group study sessions and to answering questions in preparation for examinations. In fact, it is creating a positive impact on the scholarship of students by incorporating some of their social tendencies into their academic ones. If more educators, teachers, and educational materials were able to combine these two facets of student life (socialization and academics), they would likely have more success, the educational process would be improved, and more students would take education seriously and incorporate it into their daily lives.
It is virtually impossible to deny the fact that What’sApp has impacted the romantic lives of numerous people, especially college students. The ease of communication it provides at any time, from any location, is ideal for flirting or expressing personal thoughts to someone. Actually, its popularity for doing so spans international boundaries. In Italy, for example, “The instant messaging service acquired by Facebook this year for $19 billion is cited in nearly half of all Italian divorce proceedings — more than any other source of information, whether amorous text messages or email, late-night phone calls, handwritten notes, or even lipstick-stained collars — according to the Italian Association of Matrimonial Lawyers” (Lyman, 2014). It is notable that some of those marriages involved college students. More importantly, perhaps, the true significance of this quotation is in its implications. If WhatsApp is used by all sorts of people in Italy as one of the major reasons cited for divorce, then how much more is it used by college students, who comprise the major target audience for this platform? How many couples have either gotten together or broken up because of their communication through this app? How many others are happily together to this day because they are able to sustain their romances, the poignant pictures, happy videos, and tantalizing messages, through the capabilities of WhatsApp? The possibilities are staggering, and help to allude to one of the true ways in which the social lives of college students are affected by this app.
In summary, the principle ways that WhatsApp is invading the lives of college students includes the areas of romance, long and short distance communication, and academics. Romance, of course, is one of the principle points of socialization — particularly for young people. They are either socializing about their own personal interests or those of others, how the various points between the two intersect and what it might mean for their lives and those of others. Because of its pricing model and the way this app is configured to facilitate internet communication through phone lines, it truly helps college students to communicate with one another in international or interstate situations, as well as those within the same college campus. The group communication aspects of this app help to facilitate these types of uses. Lastly, this platform is responsible for extending the social interests of collegiate students to include academics, two traditionally separate spheres of life.
Duryee, T. (2014). WhatTheApp? Why Facebook would spend $16billion on an app with no advertising. www.Geekwire.com. Retrieved from http://www.geekwire.com/2014/whattheapp-facebook-spend-16-billion-app-advertising/
Lyman, E.J. (2014). Having an affair in Italy? You may want to avoid WhatsApp. www.usatoday.com Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/12/02/italy-affair-whatsapp/19775751/
May, S. (2014). DU college students use WhatsApp to leak paper in exam. www.saharasmay.com Retrieved from http://www.saharasamay.com/regional-news/national-capital-region-news/676565878/du-college-students-use-whatsapp-to-leak-paper-in-exams.html
Susilo, A. (2014). “Exploring Facebook and Whatsapp as supporting social network applications for English learning in higher education. www.putsaka.ut Retrieved from http://www.pustaka.ut.ac.id/dev25/pdfprosiding2/Exploring%20Facebook%20and%20Whatsapp%20As%20Supporting%20Social%20Network%20Applications%20For%20English.pdf
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