Over the last couple of decades society and technology have seen a dramatic shift in the use of computers for communicating. Social media has become a central figure in the drama of interconnectivity through computing. The existence of the virtual community has reformed the act of using the computer from a singular activity to one of infinite connections. The sheer number of available sites is staggering; there are more than 200 sites, and that number grows continually. Delving into the virtual world has become so common, so important, and so addictive, that many people feel anxious and disconnected when they’re unable to reach their everyday haunts online.
Not only has society increased its use of the Internet by over 400%1, but the numbers of social media use are through the roof. Over half of Internet users worldwide use social media (59% as of July 2011) compared to only 34% in 20082, and the numbers also show an interesting shift: Mobile devices are beginning to overtake computer use through apps; most of which are social media or related apps. In October 2011, statistics showed that mobile users had grown by 126%3.
What does all this shift and growth mean? Well, simply put, it means that as a society we are becoming more and more attached to our tech; we are changing the ways in which we interact with other human beings; and we are ultimately changing the ways in which we think, act, and communicate. We are also taking the world with us wherever we go through our cellphones, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
A Short History of Social Media
The true beginning of social media goes all the way back to 1979; to usenet systems and bulletin board systems. These newsgroups and message boards were the precurso...
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