When I was in middle school it was cool to have an Xanga page or MySpace. That eventually turned into a Facebook fad that blew up into Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many other sites.
Facebook was started in 2004 (Facebook, 2016) and now has 1.59 billion monthly users (Zephoria, 2015). Zephoria also mentions that Facebook use has been increasing in users by about 17% each year. When I first starting using Facebook in 2006, it was an exciting new way of communicating and sharing pictures with friends. This was a new thing to us but now it seems like everyday life because there are not many people who do not have a Facebook anymore.
Other social media sites seemed to follow pretty quickly and users grew on those rapidly as well. Today, most of my friends have a Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter so I get to keep up with them on all mediums. The Pew Research Center found that early two-thirds of American adults (65%) use social networking sites (Perrin, 2015). I have included the chart that Pew Research Center included in their article to show how social media has increased in the last 10 years.
Source: Pew Research Center surveys, 2005-2006, 2008-2015. No data are available for 2007.
Using Social Media
I personally use social media to keep up with all of my friends and what is going on in the community. I also use it for sharing pictures with all my friends and family. I believe that most people do use it for this but there are some people who use it as an outlet to voice their opinions and feelings.
The main thing I have seen change with social media is that it is used less as a communication method due to cellphones and texting I believe. When I first started using it, I would write on my friends walls and make plans on Facebook where now I can just text them and get it figured out. The other major change it the expansion of use. Friends, family, employers, businesses and schools all use social media where at first it was just for individuals who wanted to connect.
The benefits I see in social media is connection. I can keep in touch with my friends and family who are out of state and see what they are doing as well as connect with classmates, future employers and businesses that I have an interest in. I feel this has made it easier for people to remain connected and build relationships even if they cannot meet face-to-face.
The disadvantages that come from social media are the disconnect of face-to-face interactions. Even though it is easier for us to remain connected to people over social media, I feel that more people are shying away from in person relationships. I also feel that social media takes up a big portion of our lives. A majority of people and businesses ask to connect on social media and there is not a lot of looking away from it for anything anymore. Even my degree requires me to be on social media and actively use it on a daily basis.
Another disadvantage brought up by The Research Pedia is “While social media can help people / companies create good image, it can also be used to tranish an image with false claims. A viral social media post talking how a product can cause problems can lead to huge losses to a firm. Till the time the company realises most of the damage is done” (2016).
Overall, social media has expanded and isn’t going anywhere but there are some disadvantages to the use as well. I think we still need to have the physical connection with people in our community outside of social media sites but do think believe they help us remain connected as well.
Disadvantages of Social Media. (n.d.). In The Research Pedia. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from http://www.theresearchpedia.com/research-articles/disadvantages-of-social-media
FAQ. (2016). In Facebook. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from http://investor.fb.com/faq.cfm
Perrin, A. (2015, October 8). Social Media Usage: 2005-2015. In The Pew Research Center. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/08/social-networking-usage-2005-2015/
The Top 20 Valuable Facebook Statistics – Updated December 2015. (2015, December). In Zephoria Digital Marketing. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/