Inf 103 Computer Literacy Essay

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Social Networking:
How it has influenced society and its history.

Yvonne C. Stanley

INF 103: Computer Literacy

Livia Muse-Johnson

August 16, 2009

Have you ever wondered how, when or why social networking websites were created? Did you ever stop to think about how much social networking sites have influenced our society today? Through research, I will explore these questions and provide answers. In addition, I will look at how social networking sites have influenced society as well as define social networking sites. A social networking site is a site that lets people set up online profiles that describes their interests and hobbies in addition to communicating with other users. These sites are very creative in that they allow you to upload photos and add various links to your profile. They also allow you to post your personal contact information as well. There are many social networking sites but we will only be able to address the most popular and explore the first sites created at this time. In 1985, the first social networking site was created and it was named the WELL which is an acronym of Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link. This website was launched in 1985 and is still up to date. This website is not a popular mainstream website like many common websites today but it will always be the first. Geocities was another website that was initially launched in the early nineties but it will be shut down as of October of 2009. These websites were the segues to the popular websites that we know today as myspace, linkedin, facebook, classmates, etc. As mentioned earlier, there are four popular social networking sites. Some of these sites have similarities and some are different. Myspace is social site that allows you to post all types of pictures and design your own background. This site also allows you to accept other users as your friend and post links, songs and other interesting tidbits. Myspace was always intended for all types of people, all races and ages. It does not have a targeted audience. A lot of people tend to showcase there talents on Myspace, for example, aspiring singers will share their songs and dances on the site. In some cases, artists can post their entire CD to their artist page. In addition to musicians, other talented people showcase on this website as well people in other professions. Some salon owners, actors and actresses, fashion designers, and pretty much anyone that's attempting to jumpstart their career will post their talents on this site. Users can set their profiles to private which only allows people in your preferred network to view your site, or set their profile to public, where anyone can access their profile. There are various layouts that people use often to attract users and attention to their sites. Myspace is the largest social networking site today even though Facebook is a big competitor. Facebook is different from Myspace in that it targeted college students, and initially it was only for college students. Later, Facebook was made available to high school students who could then become friends with college students and other high school students. Facebook has now added various geographical networks where anyone can join and set their privacy settings. Facebook has now emerged as one of the fastest growing social networking sites for adult users, as it allows people to communicate with various people at one time, without regard to their location. Linkedin is a common website that is geared towards business networking. This website is geared more toward the professional type person than the social type. It allows you to connect to those who share similar business interests and can also connect you to someone that may be able to assist you in getting a job, promotion or a serious business customer or account. Linkedin also connects people that are involved in sororities and fraternities, industry specific organizations and various alumni...
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