Social media has revolutionized communication throughout the world. The World Wide Web was created to provide a place where people all over the world could connect, learn, and express themselves. Social networking is exactly that. Through various forms of blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and many other sites, people share information, and meet people from around the globe. The rapid expansion of social networking was triggered by three factors; the creation of the internet, Mark Zuckerberg’s creation of Facebook, and business networking. The impact of this expansion will have a lasting influence on society.
The human race “craves social interaction” it is “built into our genetic makeup” (Lloyd 9) The internet opened the door to social interaction across the globe. It is the gateway for social media. Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, wanted to develop “‘a collaborative medium’” and saw the raw materials needed to construct a “vast ‘web’ of linked information, built by people from around the globe” (Richardson 71). Social networking began as MSN Messenger or AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) where “kids chat with schoolmates” and “friends check their ‘buddy lists’ to see which friends are currently online” (Weber 62). These chat sites mainly targeted pre-teens to young adults. AIM came with a profile and personal page to decorate as desired. Messengers were a way to stay connected to friends and family without the Kreuz - 2
expense of a telephone. Mark Zuckerberg, the biggest name in social media, bulldozed the path for social networking with his creation of Facebook. Zuckerberg began his early college years inventing new internet programs to help the Harvard student body. His first creation was Course Match. This program helped students choose classes centered around who else was taking them (Kirkpatrick 415). “Hundreds of students immediately began using Course Match” making Zuckerberg’s first program a success. Because of his shocking results with Course Match, “Zuckerberg decided to try out some other ideas” (Kirkpatrick 472). His next project was to find “the hottest person on campus” by asking, “users to compare different faces” and pick the hottest (Kirkpatrick 472). This concept was called Facemash and gave Harvard “the first look at his rebellious irreverent side” (Kirkpatrick 472). The site was a huge hit, “visited by 450 students, who had voted on 22,000 pairs of photos” (Kirkpatrick 503). His next project would become the most popular social media site in the nation changing the use of internet. Facebook “borrowed ideas from Course Match and Facemash as well as from a service called Friendster” (Kirkpatrick 553). This invention greatly expanded social media to include interests, pictures, and many other elements forming a profile. Facebook links people around the world based on common interests. It began just for college students but recently expanded to include all age groups. As the internet expanded, businesses needed to create new marketing strategies to keep up with the changing world. Today “buyers and consumers are in control” (King 51). When customers want a product all they have to do is search online in the comfort of their own home or office. This is why almost “every business has a website” (King 60). The problem is that a website is not enough. Social networking is a “very effective way” of assisting “businesses and business people become known, then liked and trusted” in the “web world” (King 69). Businesses helped Kreuz - 3
social media expand and grow throughout the different age groups. Once employers began to use networking sites, friends and family joined in the phenomenon. The vibrant world of social media expanded rapidly leaving behind the traditional ways of life and forming a new path for expression, growth and knowledge.
The internet has become a tool used by the entire world. Social media sites...