Social Media: a phenomenon?

Whilst contemplating how to start this blog post, I unthinkingly found myself scrolling through various social media apps and I am sure I am not the only one who finds this. I tried to think back to a time when this distraction wasn’t there but it seemed social media and procrastination had gone hand-in-hand for a while in my life. Recently, I have thought social media has a more negative than positive impact on my life – not least because of its ability to distract me. However, it’s undeniable that both the internet and social media’s omnipresence and importance in today’s society is a phenomenon.  I wondered where the concept of social media started and where it could go in the future.

From the first social media site ‘sixdegrees.com’ where users were able to invite contacts and share posts; to Bulletin Board Systems; to online blog posts to the Twitter app on your smart phone, social media has advanced and seemingly taken over the internet, particularly for our generation. It is estimated that by 2017, 2.55 billion people around the world will be using social media. That’s over 1/3 of the world who are connected to the rest of the world. Debates about whether this makes the world bigger or smaller always interest me. Millions of people around the world don’t realise that, by using Facebook, they are actually on the internet. It is interesting that some social media sites are a success and withstand the test of time, however others like ‘MySpace’ seem to disappear. How can social media sites keep up with changes? And is the future of social media one with more positive or negative impacts on society?

(For a short summary of the history of social media sites, watch the video above)

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3 Comments

  1. I completely agree with you as social media plays a massive role in my everyday life as well. It’s unbelievable how quick social media websites have spread worldwide and it has become a part of our society. Nowadays, if a person is not on any social media is considered as an outcast as it has become such a big part of our modern culture. To an extent, I believe that it is a positive thing because it allows us to communicate with people from across the world, share our opinion on controversial issues, get news everyday from around the world, however there is a negative side to it as social media is often used to manipulate the public especially around the times of elections. We have to be careful of what to share on social media because our private information is never safe on social media, as once something is on the internet, it will always be on the internet, which I believe is a negative side to it because we will have no idea who will see it and what they will use it for.

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  2. I can definitely see the positives that social media has had on society from social media campaigns for charities to campaigns to help find missing children to allowing all parts of the world and the people in it to connect with each other. However, I also think with it comes many issues for example the radicalisation of young people, hacking and privacy issues and perhaps even an increase in depression in young people due to the pressures that social media can put on them. I think we just have to be careful and be aware of what is happening now and what could happen in the future.

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  3. I think you make a great point. Social media is everywhere and users are constantly checking/updating/scrolling. I understand the negative reaction towards an increasingly social media obsessed society, so to speak, but I also think social media has brought us a lot of really great things. Anybody who has access to the internet is able to use it, to explore other parts of the world and to share their own with others. It’s a great platform of opportunity for people to learn and create for others. It’s very interesting to think about where social media will go, because we know not all sites last forever.

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