2017-03-26 / Insight

Technology has transformed communication in today’s world

BY JEFF HOGAN
810-452-2640 • jhogan@
mihomepaper.com

It’s hard to believe that only a decade ago, social media was little more than a budding trend.

Since Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in his Harvard dorm room on Feb. 4, 2004, we’ve seen social media evolve from a fad to a phenomenon that has triggered a paradigm shift in the way the world communicates. It has empowered individuals to voice their opinions and concerns and share content on their mobile devices in ways no one could have imagined. Along the way, geopolitics and the world of business has been radically transformed.

Social media is a key part of the modern lifestyle — and the subject of today’s INSIGHT package to share a few local examples how social media is changing how we interact with one another, and not always for the better.

But what is social media? Social media is a phrase that society throws around a lot, with the assumption everyone is familiar with the jargon. It’s primarily internet or cellular phone based applications and tools to share information among people. Social media includes popular networking websites, like Facebook and Twitter. It involves blogging and forums and any aspect of an interactive presence which allows people the ability to engage in conversations with one another, often as a discussion over a particular blog post, a news article in The County Press, or an event in our community.

Social media has revolutionized how we communicate, how we’re entertained and how we look at the world.

There is a generation of kids coming up Find who can’t even conceive of a world without smart phones and social networking. It has officially embedded itself in our culture.

From unfriend to selfie, social media is clearly having an impact on language as well. Since so much of the written language we see is now on the screens of our computers, tablets, and smartphones, language now evolves partly through our interaction with technology.

Social media helps connect us to the world. It’s easier than ever to get news from anywhere and everywhere, keep up with friends and family, and use apps that can help improve our health, increase creativity, and provide a wealth of fun and games.

Social networking makes nearly all information available to you at your fingertips. Just about anything you want to know more or learn about or discuss is available to you. And that information can arrive to you with such pace and velocity it can be breathtaking.

Social networking delivers information directly without interference from outside sources. This is great for rapid delivery of unfiltered information, but it also means information can be wrong or just an opinion or even a downright lie. This new reality is known as “fake news.”

Social networking technology is evolving at a tremendous pace. MySpace, the social networking darling only a few years ago, is a virtual ghost town deserted for the brighter pastures of Twitter and Google+. Twitter boasts 270 million active users that send 500 million tweets per day. And each day, 4 billion videos are viewed on YouTube (that’s 46,296 per second) and 60 million photos are uploaded on Instagram.

Where social media goes from here is anyone’s guess, though experts agree use of social media will be ubiquitous and integrated into our daily lives in a multitude of ways we can’t even imagine yet.

Hang on, because it’s going to be a wild ride.

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