Our Social Society
Over the past twenty years, the world has experienced the explosion of information known as the Internet. We have grown to rely on this resource for anything from ordering a new pair of shoes to securely arming your house’s security system from hundreds of miles away. This explosion also gave birth to what is known as “social networking.” I have lived throughout the blossoming of the Internet and have experienced the change of Social Networking over time. Social Networking is all about being a part of a group without leaving the comfort of your own home. People have made entirely separate lives for themselves where they can earn a living in real life while being hired by a company in this synthesized reality. But all of this change has morphed how we interact on a day-to-day basis. We have relied on Facebook group pages to give us information on meetings; we have grown to depend on this new reality that we have created. All of this tends to raise the question, has social media changed the world for the better or for the worse? History
The history of social networking could be linked back to the start of Mailing letters way back in what seems like eons ago. But more realistically it could be said that Social Networking began with the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. (Franklin Institute) This was the first leap towards linking people together through electronics. Although many improvements were made to this innovation the next huge advancement was the E-Mail. In 1971, Ray Tomlinson had the idea that using a program to leave messages from one maintenance crew to the next could be adopted into a way that people could exchange messages over a shared server. (Berkeley) This was the birth of the Internet based e-mail. A little over 20 years later, the Internet had undergone s true explosion. Riding the shockwave of this explosion was a website called sixdegrees.com. Sixdegrees was a total game changer; it let you compile a list of friends with no limits. You could be friends with anybody that would accept your request. This was really innovating because the idea of having friends online had been experimented with but had many limitations. With the destruction of these boundaries, it seemed to make anyone available to you. With a solid foundation laid out, many other sites started to spring up with similar formats to Sixdegrees but each website had its own special touch to it, a signature if you will. Facebook
Facebook was not the first social networking website of its kind, but it changed the way that we see social media, our peers, and even the way we could look at our world. Facebook has worked its way up to the top of the food chain by changing as rapidly as the movement that it is caught up in. There have been minimal problems with their expansion, but recently, there have been many people that were worried about their personal information being stolen or bought from Facebook. In recent news, Facebook has announced that they will be slowing the overall speed and performance of their website to accommodate for further security measures to be taken to ensure the safety of their users. But while Facebook may cause some potential danger, the benefits far outweigh the negative attributes. An interesting fact about Facebook is that it was one of the most effective tools during the presidential campaigns. During Barack Obama’s road to re-election, He had really utilized Facebook to reach a different demographic. With a combined amount of Followers on Twitter and Likes on Facebook of over 50 million users, He could really spread word of rallies and speeches that could be attended by one of his many supporters (Lewis). Facebook was once an extremely powerful tool for networking and advertising. During the “glory days” of the website, if you could land an advertising spot on Facebook you would soon be handling so much revenue that you would have trouble...
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