SOCIAL MEDIA: What’s your primary use?

Can any of you actually remember your life before Social Media? You know, the good life, sleeping in late, relaxation, person to person contact, you know, and your simple life before everything went so digital, so technological. I can! Those were the good ol’ days. The days when children actually played outside until the street lights came on. When bike riding and roller skating wasn’t used as a form of fitness. When being the best rope jumper in your neighborhood was the only reason you became popular.

The days when Joe and Michael raced their bikes down some of the steepest hills in Brooklyn and whoever lost had to do the winners homework for a full week. Before social media became what it is today, things in life had much more of a purpose. Playing video games with your friends meant having company over your house for snacks and fun, now with the huge presence of the technology, you can play video games with your friends without leaving your home, without even leaving your bed. How is that even possible? The answer is the Internet. Don’t get me wrong, the internet most certainly has its benefits, but that’s a discussion that I’ll save for later.

Before Social Media’s massive takeover, phone calls were made on home phones, text messages had standard rates that applied, and only elders had cell phones. Now, you have children as young as seven years old with cell phones, text messages are now unlimited, and family and friends go months, even years without physical contact, because a text, a phone call, or even a video call is most convenient for them in their minds. When did this all begin? When did this become ok?

Social Media is defined as the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Social media depends on mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss and modify user-generated content. Social Media appears in many forms , including blogs and microblogs, forums and message boards, social networks, wikis, virtual worlds, social bookmarking, podcast portals, digital storytelling and scrapbooking just to name a few.

As you can see, Social Media evolved drastically over the many years. Which means many Pc’s, laptops, smartphones and tablets have as well. So many versions of gadgets were made to accommodate the many changed=s brought about by these developments, so much money invested so much money spent, so much money lost.
Many people tend to forget the purpose behind these many social sites. They forgot the positive factors and focus on the negatives. The primary purpose for social media in the early years were to connect friends, to give college students somewhere to go and speak freely, somewhere to whine down after a heavy course load, to give business executives a platform to reach out to other colleagues to present ideas and work to one another. Social media was all about branding and marketing.

There can be many disputes about the positive’s and negatives of Social Media. Although it’s more of an opinionated perspective than factual, it is something than can be debated or agreed upon. Some positive key factors include Marketing, Branding, Selling, Networking and Communicating.
Having known many people personally who have created a very extensive clientele and have broadened their businesses from the use of social networking.We can say it has it’s perks. They have an excellent following amount on these networks, allowing them to reach out to many people on different platforms to offer their services. In my opinion Social Media is great for marketing purposes.

Although there are many positive factors linked to Social Media, there are more negative. Some of these include Bullying, Harassment, Suicide, and death just to name a few. The most popular being Cyber Harassment. Cyber harassment has many harmful effects on Social Media users, such as emotional distress and consequently, withdrawal from social network sites or even life itself. Many reports of death by suicide, gun violence, even stabbings have been reported over the years due to harassment and bullying on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Researchers have these many tragedies categorized by age range. In the United States alone, half a million people ages 18 or older have been victims of cyber harassment, however there have been many reports of children who have taken their lives due to this cause.

So much has changed over the years, so much more change is to come. So many websites have come and gone, so many search engines have as well. Technology changes every single day. At this day in time 85% of the 7.1 Billion in the world have access to the internet. About 25% of the world’s total population uses social media. Popular social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. Around the world, there are some 1.28 billion Facebook users, with 540 million on YouTube, 187 million on LinkedIn, and 255 million on Twitter. This year Facebook turned ten years old, which is ancient on the Social Media landscape considering sites usually do not last this long before another one is launched and takes over. Now that we can conclude that there are many uses for Social Media. What’s your primary use?

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