Everyone uses the Internet these days. Everyone talks about it. But does everyone really know how it was brought to us? How did it start in the first place?
This week we had the chance to discover the answers to these questions…
Most of us did not know that what we now call ‘Internet’ initially launched into the world through Arpanet, the technical foundation that ‘gave birth’ to the Internet in 1959. However, when you think about it, no one ever talks about it or have a clue what it is without doing some research.
If someone thinks of ‘the Internet’, the most fascinating topic that comes to one’s mind is, arguably, Social Media. Spending time on the internet is easy; you won’t realize when or how the time flies while you’re looking for a topic that raises your interest, especially when it comes to social networks, content is even more ‘catchy’ and addictive.
Social Media did not start with MySpace, but with “SixDegrees.com” back in 1997, the first platform that allowed users to upload a profile picture and make friends. In the early 2000s MySpace and LinkedIn launched. YouTube, Twitter and Facebook followed these in 2005, 2006, and 2007 respectively. Nowadays, an average person has five accounts on five different networks. Imagine how much further this might expand in the next couple of years. Will MySpace be gone like SixDegrees? Will new platforms be invented?
I’m not even going to discuss MySpace. Let’s think about Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the most frequently used platforms today, and how they attract people into being addicted. How many people don’t spend hours scrolling through their news feed? How many don’t go on Instagram on a friend’s profile and end up on their cousin’s step sister profile?
How much time a day is spent on social media? “Social media swallows more than a quarter of time spent online” (Lauren Davison, 2015).
I understand that social platforms help people in getting to know other people from all over the world, those who share the same interests, or it might keep them up-to-date bringing the most recent news right in your hands, without having to buy a newspaper or a magazine, but consider that “If you spend two hours a day on Twitter and Facebook, that is 25 percent of your day!” (Chaitanya Sagar, 2010). Couldn’t something else be done in that amount of time? Can’t we control ourselves when we are online?
Not to mention that in our case, as students, these platforms push us to procrastination and leaves us helpless.
So, is Social Media worth our time? Is it worth spending so many hours on a advanced gadget instead of using our passing time on something more important?