Social media is a communication channel through which people share ideas, thoughts, information, and pictures electronically. It is one of the quickest ways to get information across different people. Social Media has gained popularity over the years and currently has over 3.8 billion users globally. In 1997, Andrew Weinreich founded the first social media site sixdegees.com where people connected by creating profiles and connections. The main limitation for six degrees was most people were not as connected as they are today to the internet.
The social network has grown and, we currently have a variety of social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok, these being the most popular. Today people are more connected to each other more than ever. A person can simply send a message to a friend or a family member who is miles away and receive a response seconds later. TikTok is an application that allows people to share short videos. The application gained popularity in the year 2020 when the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The total count of users is currently at 1 billion with influencers earning from the application such as Khabane Lame who takes the mystery out of life-hacks (Fuchs, 2021). Sites such as Instagram, YouTube adopted reels and shorts respectively to keep up with the changing trends of social interactions.
Most young people have at least one of these sites on their mobile phones if not all. The total number of users is increasing by the day and, surprising careers that we would never have thought would come up are here. A person born in an age where the internet was not as popular might not understand when you tell them you have an online job as a TikTok Content Creator or Influencer.
Social Media continues to grow and become diverse. Facebook is taking social media to the next level with meta virtual interaction and, we look forward to witnessing and being part of the social media evolution.
Dewing, M. (2010). Social media: An introduction (Vol. 1). Ottawa: Library of Parliament.
Fuchs, C. (2021). Social media: A critical introduction. Sage.