Medium Response #5: Study Abroad & Traveling
COMS490 Sp16

For me its hard to answer the question of whether technology hinders or improves our traveling experience. Unfortunately I havent had the chance to go abroad, so I havent experienced what it’s like to use technology abroad. Despite my lack of experience I find it hard to agree with the author of the article “How Facebook Can Ruin Study Abroad”. I don’t necessarily think that using social media or technology in general while abroad hinders the experience, if anything I think it allows people to bring the comfort of home with them. Now I say this as it relates to students who are studying abroad. Studying abroad can be a very nerve racking experience, you are in essence moving to a completely different country that you are unfamiliar with for an extended period time, and for many people you go in not knowing anyone. It can be scary and its comforting to know that you can instantly connect with family and friends back home, it gives you a sense of security.

I think in some cases, however, technology can effect your abroad experience, depending on where you are traveling to. In this day and age technology and the use of social media has become a global phenomenon and as technology advances and becomes cheaper to produce more people can afford these technologies and more people across the global can be found with a smart phone in their hand. However, this isnt true everywhere, in third world countries where iPhones and computers arent as commonly used being able to instantly connect to your phone might distract and take away from the experience. It’s in instances like this where it becomes imperative that we put away technology so that we can really immerse ourself in the country and experience first hand what it’s like to live in a place where resources are scarce.

With that being said when we travel to places where technology is just as prevalent as it is here in the United States it’s hard to say that the experience is going to be hindered. If everywhere you turn everyone has a smart phone or an iwatch and the culture around these devices is parallel to US culture around these devices I don’t think that the experience is that heavily impacted. As I said before I haven’t experienced life abroad so I can’t say that technology has helped or hindered the travel experience but if I were to guess I would say that there are both positives and negatives to using technology while traveling, it just depends on where you are are and why you are there.

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