By Louis Pagan
This is something I've addressed again and again over the years: keeping one's traditions vs. assimilation. With most 'hot buttons' this topic follows suit and lines up the ranks either for or against. While I never understood why the lines had to be so trenched in the ground, it seems to me that both sides are skewed and serve to only slide it's proponents into a hole instead of maintaining a plateau. Thankfully, there is now proof to support why Latinos should embrace US culture.
In a recent study, we see what does work is a revolving acceptance of the former and new, namely keeping one's Latino culture while embracing US culture. This not-so-common, common sense method maximizes the benefits of both cultures and let's one successfully apply themselves in the real world - a world of diversity.
These same thoughts can be found at the heart of social media. To limit oneself in social media to their own natural tendencies, one would have to put up many safe guards, namely locking their account from general public view and filtering content to select friends. This is not what social media is and works against the social media movement.
How can one possibly restrict themselves to their limited sphere of influence and not expect to understand and grow with the world around them? Social media breaks down real and perceived barriers. It gives people the chance to softly engage other cultures and pursue new connections. It is through social media that one gets exposed to the fast track of what being social is all about, and have the ability to connect to one's peers, both upwardly and laterally. For Latinos, who are culturally social, I have hopes that social media can help bridge the gap between the traditional and the new without losing the essence of either.