Social Media Day was started back in 2010 by Mashable as a way to recognize and remember the impact social media has on a global level. Even since the day Mashable implemented this day, there has been new social media that have launched, and the current social media at the time have mostly worked to improve throughout the years. Social media plays a part in so many people’s lives, and even now it plays a large part in growing businesses and allowing people to communicate with one another.
How did social media get started?
Serial entrepreneur Andrew Weinreich – who is responsible for the likes of IBM business Xtify, as well as the data analytics startup Indicative – launched Six Degrees back in 1997, which allowed users to list their contacts such as friends and family members. The concept was taken from the concept of the six degrees of separation, but the site wound up folding at the turn of the century simply due to the internet’s weak infrastructure at the time.
However, this idea of being able to list and connect with friends via the internet was not taken for granted. In 2001, the widely-considered precursor to LinkedIn, Ryze, was founded to connect business professionals with one another and create profiles. In 2002, Friendster was founded as a way to connect family, friends, colleagues and everyone in between via the internet.
After Friendster, there was LinkedIn, hi5, MySpace, OrKut, Facebook, Yahoo! 360 Degrees, Bebo, Google+ and many more, such as Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram.
And so, modern social media turned from a concept to a reality, and the world as we know it was changed by being able to connect and communicate over the internet.
How has social media impacted society?
Thanks to social media, people out there can see that they are not alone. Whether you have an obscure view on politics or whether you just have a very marginal view in general, chances are you can find someone on social media who shares these views with you.
From a political perspective, social media gives people an outlet to air their thoughts and complaints about politics, but it can also cause the idea of slacktivism, which has its positives and negatives.
From a business perspective, social media allows companies to reach more consumers, but at the same time the transparency from Facebook reviews is out there for all to see.
Overall, there are positives and there are negatives to social media. Social media gives people an opportunity to connect with people they may not have the opportunity to do otherwise, and it does allow people to remain in touch with people they might otherwise lose touch with. On the flip side, social media can cause jealousy and people to feel like they are missing out on things when they see certain people posting on social media.
Social media has created such an impact on society, and it affects each person in a different way, and each person may have a different perspective on whether social media has had a positive or negative effect on society.
How has social media developed over the years?
As we alluded to earlier in this article, social media did not take off right from the start, in large part because the internet was not nearly as developed as it is today. Now, the internet seems to be relied upon for everything, and we have seemingly driven ourselves to a point where we could not survive without the internet and social media.
As of 2016, close to four out of every five internet users had Facebook. In a more recent study, there are expected to be at least 3.96 billion users (to put it in perspective, at the time of writing this the world population was just under 8 billion).
Social media is constantly expanding and growing, and despite criticism from users over the years, these updates have not prevented more and more people from flocking to social media each year.
In the previously mentioned study, it was projected that more than half of the world population will be on social media by 2025… 4.41 billion people to be exact. There is no telling how it will continue to develop and the exact impact social media will have in the future, but there is no question it will continue to play a large part in society moving forward.
Whether you like it or not, social media is not going anywhere anytime soon. We are going to reach a point where more of society’s adults grew up with social media than the opposite way around, and when that happens it will be interesting to see what impact it will have at that time.
Social media, like so many other things in life, can be a double edged sword, and everyone is going to have a different perspective on the effects of social media on society.
That said, we also want to take this time on Social Media Day to remind you that there is more to life than just social media. So, get outside and do something with family and friends. Social media will be there when you get back; the time with loved ones is something you will cherish when it’s gone.