The past fifteen years have dramatically changed how we communicate with friends, companies, and even the government. This innovation in communication came not in the form of a new phone design or wired equipment but through platforms called social media. In the past, social media was dominated by two large companies: Facebook and Myspace. However, as the years have gone by, more and more players have entered the space, thus providing more lines of communication to the public. Here are some of the ways social media has changed the landscape of our communication methods.
The world had instant communication for many years prior to social media. However, instant communication was only possible if people had each other’s phone numbers. Today, people can connect with anyone that comes into their minds, be it a politician, celebrity, or simply your old high school friend that you suddenly thought about. There are a few negatives that have come along with this as well, and it came in the form of instant gratification. This issue, as many have called it, has made many of us get the urge to look at our phones constantly. It’s even been said by some leading scientists that there is a science to this, as instant gratification releases dopamine into our systems, which produces a form of a high that can lead to habit-forming behavior.
While there are some negative effects to constantly being on social media, it is a reality of the modern world. This is often something both businesses and individuals need to live with in order to network with potential clients or employers. Companies are now able to better communicate with their core base and drum up a conversation regarding their latest products. In the comments, people can instantly begin talking to perfect strangers about their love or hate for a certain movie, book, product, etc. Users who involve themselves in those conversations also tend to invite or tag their friends to join, thus making a hub of conversational activity more prevalent within a certain medium.
There was once a time when people had to wait until 6 p.m. to find out the day’s news stories. This was mainly due to the fact that only large television stations were the only ones to have access to thousands or millions of users with the addition of expensive cameras. Today, with the introduction of social media, everyone is able to share the day’s news in an instant. Social media platforms provide their users with the ability to share an event as it’s happening with potentially millions of people. This has caused some issues with people only reporting their opinions rather than the news, but overall it has truly been a game-changer when it comes to finding out about events in an instant.
Social media has come a long way within only a short period of time. More likely than not, and due to rapid innovations in tech, the landscape of social media and how the public uses it will see another shift very soon.
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