What do you actually think of social networking? Is is just a crazy internet fad that our generation just blindly follows? another one of those things that the youth just waste their time doing? Or is it something that is actually bigger than that?
Personally, social networking is, has and will potentially become a big part of every-one’s life one way or another. That is because social networking sites have become an essential part of communication. Communication as groundbreaking as the mobile phone, radio and Television. They pull us into a black hole of infinite information which is useful to all of its users. Businesses these days desperately try to advertise on social networking sites in order to expand their products and services to over one billion social networking users.
As a result, social networking sites are tools that we can use for various reasons. Catch up, keeping in touch or making new friends, blogging, marketing and promoting a new product. But there seems to be an influx of these social networking tools and I don’t know how if I can keep up with all of them.
The first social networking site I joined was Hi5 where I was reunited with my old buddies from elementary school in 2004 but it became an unsucessful project for me in the end. I also experimented with other various sites like Black Planet, Tagged, and Friendster but I didn’t find much use for them. Then there was the ever-popular MySpacewhere I heard my friends talking about it in English class. This whole MySpace craze spread infectiously and I was inevitably compelled to get one. It was fun when it started because now I was in a circle of high school friends I could keep in touch with. In a way, social networking made it easier to communicate with people that you would not want to talk to on the phone or in person because it’d just be weird and awkward.
Suddenly, MySpace got out of hand with the constant spamming and random friend requests from swimsuit models and pornstars. its social aspect was also dwindling because I hardly communicated with my friends. Sometimes it was difficult to find any of your friends because of the random and stupid display names we all had like, ”I’m a gAngSTA”, “Big-Mack WOoD”, “D@iSiee” and all that non-sense. MySpace then became a popularity-contest. It was about who had the most random friends, most comments, and the coolest designed page. It just became filthy and extremely childish. Iwas sick of it and I immediately deleted my account telling myself I would never get into any more of these social networking cess pools.
After graduating from high school and recovering from a horrible stint with MySpace, I quickly found out that I was still addicted to the social networking sites. I was in dire need of one now that I was going to college. Not having one was not like having a cell phone. Then I found Facebook.
I heard a lot of good things about it; that it was good as MySpace and even had better features. Facebookwas another one of those social networking giants that recently came on the scene after MySpace. Insanely popular but what really impressed me is that it was nothing like Facebook. There was no HTML that you had to constantly fidget with, it was easy to connect with and find your friends because all you had to do was search for their names, not as much spam, most of the the applications were very useful and it had a very professional look to it. That is a plus given the fact that I’m a college student now and a potential employer might want to look me up post-grad.
Till this day Facebook is best social networking tool I have ever come across and constantly find many uses for it such as blogging, sharing and keeping in touch with family and friends. So the long-lost search for the right social-networking site came to an end. Then came Twitter.
Twitter is just not another social networking site, it also serves as a mirco-blogging service. Users can read or put up messages known as tweets for other users or affiliated networking groups. Tweets are text-based updates that are only up to 140 characters long. Users can decide to have tweets on their Twitter page to be made public or private. Unlike the other social networking sites you don’t make any friends, you gather followers. Followers are users that subscribe to your page in order to view your tweets.
Twitter was first created by Jack Dorsey in 2006 but didn’t really catch on until Febraury 2009 when it became the third most used social networking site according to a poll from compete.com. Twitter has also become one of the fastest growing websites since March 2009 with 10 million users worldwide. Twitter also made history with the unfortunate passing away of Michael Jackson. The rumors and confirmation of Jackson’s death generated over 900 million tweets from all over the world, coming in at every millisecond. Twitter was overloaded with so many tweets that it temporarily crashed. Even the news came hours before news networks like CNN confirmed and gave coverage of the shocking event. But that’s not surprising. With Twitter on the internet, usually any news or event becomes a trending topic on Twitter way before it’s covered by the media
As a result, I became a user of Twitter. Not that I’m a follower or anything like that. I found it quite useful because it is another good source of communication, keeps me in touch with my friends and provides me a lot of good connections with the outside world. Besides I spend a lot more time on the computer than I do watching TV. But I don’t think that I have seen the last of any these social networking websites because there will be more and they might even surpass Facebook and Twitter and over load us with more information and connections. We will constantly have to sift through them and decide which ones work best for us for the rest of our lives.