Social Media Revolution

Thinking about how people lived without social media is mind boggling to the millions of people who use some type of social media daily. Have you ever stopped to think how and when social media even came to be what it is today?

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Photo taken from PR in Your Pajamas Article

Social media surprisingly has a very long history, the early beginnings of social media started in 1966 with the creation of Email and 1971 when the first email was actually delivered. Email gave us a way to communicate almost instantly without having to wait for a letter to be sent in the mail, taking days or maybe weeks depending on where you are sending it. Email started the trend of electronic communication between people all over the globe and was greeted with skepticism at first but was quickly adopted by many with computer access after.

The second social media creation most internet savvy people are very familiar with is Ebay which is an electronic marketplace for new/used merchandise at somewhat discounted prices. From Ebay’s creation in 1995 starts the long evolution of social media as we know it. AIM Instant Messenger, Blogger, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Tumblr, Soundcloud, Foursquare, Pinterest, Google+ and most recent fad Snapchat.

The revolution of social media took over an entire generation, generation Y, as we have grown up with all of these websites and applications since a very young age. I remember having my first Aim Instant Messenger screen name when I was 10 years old! Looking back on that time, I’m not sure what 10 year olds were talking about online but I knew I had to have one so I could keep up with all of my friends beyond school hours. We have been exposed to social media almost our entire lives and in schools are instructed to build a strong online presence.

From being 10 with AIM to now being 21 with Snapchat I guess you could say I am very reliant on social media in my everyday life. I honestly don’t know what I would do without it and I think that goes for many students my age. Social media has grown to be one of our standard channels for communication and entertainment all at the same time. Many people can’t watch TV without tweeting comments about whatever they are watching and other people can’t eat a decent looking meal without taking a picture. It seems as if it’s just second nature for us to do those things.

The reliance and obsession with social media has become so prominent in the lives of so many people that it was an extremely popular choice when it came to New Year resolutions. Giving up social media for a year? I don’t know one person, not even my mother, or grandmother for that matter, that could probably keep that resolution.

On the other hand, giving up social media now a days could not only be seen as “social suicide” but a bad career move. Many employers and recruiters look for applicants that have a strong positive online presence on social media. In that context however, social media can make or break you. Posting content that is relevant to your career path, engaging, interesting and timely on your blog or Twitter/Facebook accounts can really help you stand out from others.

The revolution of social media started with a simple email to get/receive important messages quickly to sending funny selfies of yourself to your best friends. It’s a revolution that I am proud to be a part of and happy to be participating in. Social media is a major networking tool whether to meet people you don’t know or just keep up with your friends or family around the globe! It really is crazy to think of a life without it.

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Photo taken from The Cord

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