Social Networking has been quite a revelation since it started, improving human life in many people around the world. The history of social network is an interesting one. Its origin dates back to the 1970s when local scientists such as Lee Felsenstein of Berkeley, California started a computer terminal next to a musician’s bulletin. People of different backgrounds and professions would come and leave their messages the computer. In other places, there were Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), which were online meeting sites. These systems had independently produced codes which allowed users to communicate using a central system. People could socialize and download games or files. BBSes were accessed using telephone lines via modem and were run by individuals with social networking hobbies. The evolution of social networking took a big leap in the 21st century. In 2004, Facebook came on the scene and since then, it has been all rosy for the social networking industry.
Social networking has helped change the lives of many people all over the world. Before the social networks, people lived life in a more conservative fashion, and modes of communication were different from today. Social networks have helped improve human life, and how people interact on a daily basis. The changes of social media on human life range from social to political and economic changes. Despite the fact that social networking has improved human life, it has also led to detrimental effects too.
Social networking has totally changed human communication. Initially, people could only communicate through mails and telephones, which were also costly. However, the social networking industry has redefined communication. People can now communicate with their friends and colleagues through social networks at cheap costs. Furthermore, social networks are fast and convenient. People can communicate, share pictures, videos and many other services through social networks. For instance, some companies use social networks like twitter to pass information to employees, shareholders and potential clients.
Social networks give a lucrative and cheap opportunity for businesses and individual investors to market their products or conduct market research. This is possible by reviewing the network profiles of users to assess interests, likes and needs of their clients. Companies can also conduct market research by asking their fans for opinion about products or services they would like. They can also get feedback from clients about the services and products they sell. This interaction with clients and potential buyers gives businesses a chance to advertise their products while at the same time seeking customer feedback on how to improve their products.
Social networks account for almost 80% of new meetings. When individuals create social network profiles, one of their objectives is to meet new people, make friends for social, business or even political purposes. Social networking facilitates meeting of new people because the networks provide searches and suggestions for the people one is interested in meeting. Furthermore, there are also forums of common interest on some social networks such as Facebook where people meet and share ideas. From this kind of forums, people of same professions, ideas and interests meet and pursue their interests.
Social networking has also changed society for the better because it serves as a way of spreading news. News can only be useful if it is relayed to the relevant people within the shortest time possible. Social networking has become one of the most efficient sources of news. Currently, businesses and corporations use social networks to communicate news. For instance, companies now post their stock prices on social networks for stock exchange investors to access easily.
Social networks have also significant influence on political events worldwide. Politicians now resort to social networks to present their manifestos and other ideologies to potential voters. Furthermore, citizens have also used social networks in the recent past to make their opinion on the political environment in their countries felt. For instance, the recent uprising in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, which led to the ousting of the leaders of the respective nations, were started through social networks. In the current U.S campaigns, the candidates are using Twitter and Facebook as part of their modes of campaign.
However, social networks also cause detrimental effects on society. Social networking can be addictive, especially to students and office workers. Students and workers start spending most of their time on social networks, which affects their academic performance and productivity. Furthermore, social networks also lead to cases of extortion and cyber crime. There are people who take advantage of the interactions on social networks to trick other people into traps and extorting them. There are others who check people’s profiles on social networks then impersonate them for personal gains. Past research has revealed that about 20% of all social network users do not use their real identity.
Social networking started over 40 years ago. It has developed into an effective tool of human interaction. Therefore, social networks have changed society positively. They have enabled communication; marketing, networking and sharing of information which has helped improve social life, business environments and political landscapes worldwide. Despite the few negative effects of social networking, there are numerous benefits derived from this medium.
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