Many of us, if not all of us, have been using Social Media for many years but never actually thought about what it is. Social Media has been around for years and many of us began to know about it with the arrival of MySpace. From there on we have designed what Social Media is for us. But Social Media is more than just a website where you can create a profile and connect with others. If this would be the case then every website we know, is a potential candidate to Social Media because every website that we visit and want to be a part of it, we have to create an account.
Let’s take the definition that Daniel Stations (2016), uses to describe what Social Media is. He mentions that Social Media are web-based communication tools that helps every human interact with each other and therefore share information. When this definition is read or heard we can understand then the purpose of social media. It is more than saying Happy Birthday to someone on Facebook or liking any status. It’s about interacting, it’s about staying connected and sharing our views and thoughts. It’s about learning information and sharing it with those you interact. It’s basic focus is to create a community of interaction online where people can have conversations and share information.
Daniel Stations (2016) offers a list of common features found in social media. I’m going to share them with you all:
- User accounts
- Profile pages
- Friends, Followers, Groups, Hashtags
Basically your social media account is a world that you have shaped and personalized to your best interest. It becomes a personal space where all information shared talks about us and our beliefs. Which strikes difference between traditional media and social media. Traditional media, as Daniel Stations (2016) mentions is a one-way street where the information shared gets to the user but there’s no interaction. With Social media the street becomes a two-way street where the information is shared and the interaction is formed. And this has proven to be a hit, just look at the chart below provided by Pew Research (www.pewresearch.com) where it talks statistically about the growth of social media since 2005.
Now, you might say to yourself: “I already know this” or “Why is this important?” It is important to know the basic of what social media is because as the years keep passing the social media becomes more complex and it’s primarily function can be turned into something else. For example, job recruiting. Social Media is used for interaction and sharing information, no one ever said it was going to be used for job recruiting. But throughout the years it has evolved to be one of the mayor tools use for recruiting. Therefore is important to know the basics of Social Media when nowadays the line is blurring between “what is was meant for” and “what it is used for now”.
Do you believe social media should be used only for interactions and sharing information? Should we leave LinkedIn only for recruiting? Or should we keep on allowing Facebook and Twitter to be used as well as part of the process?
I want to hear from you, don’t be shy! Let me know what you think in the comments below!!!
⇒⇒⇒Want to read more? Check out my references⇐⇐⇐
- Daniel Nations (2016) – What is Social Media? Explaining the Big Trend
- Pew Research Center (2017) – Social Media Fact Sheet