The Parthenon

Oxford Dictionary names an emoji Word of the Year

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As technology grows and improves, society learns what we can do and create incredible connections all across the globe. However, it seems to have taken over the way we process and interact with the world around us.
A lot of college students love to get connected, and technology makes it easier than ever. With hashtags, emojis, tweets, posts, likes and favorites, there are endless ways to make your opinion heard.
“It’s sort of an artificial connection,” said psychology professor Steven Mewaldt. “People feel like they’re more connected than ever before because they have so many friends and things that they communicate with, but the data also shows that they are actually lonelier than ever before. So it’s really an artificial kind of connection instead of the face-to-face kind of conversation and interaction that involves real people and not virtual people.”
Studies have shown many people in American culture have become addicted to cellphone usage. A simple search on Google will turn up endless social experiments with results that show just that, addiction.
“People that have tried and have said, ‘go one day without your cellphone’, people feel nervous and really upset about this difficult task of going one day without that kind of connection,” Mewaldt said.
Some Marshall students did not argue with those results.
“I definitely think I’m one of those people, but I think it’s more because I don’t have anybody to contact,” said geology major Sadie Ulmen. “Because nowadays it’s a lot harder to find like a landline that you can contact somebody, it’s all digital. I think that’s the major problem, if you don’t have your phone then you can’t contact anybody if you need to.”
Even Oxford Dictionary has catered to the digital age. The dictionary claimed this year’s Word of the Year to be, not a word at all, but the laughing crying emoji.
“I think that’s true,” Ulmen said. “I think that the more that cellphones grow or even technology grows. I think we’re going to start to get unconnected with each other.”
Technology has provided people with the ability to connect with one another across the world, however sometimes it makes it hard to keep the connections that are right in front of you.
Samantha Godby can be contacted at [email protected]

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