This post is part of a series written by zcomm interns. Be sure to check back each week for their take on the latest in the public relations industry. This week, Justin discusses social media’s effect on our lives.
I think we have all heard this statistic before: if Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populated country in the world with more than 845 million monthly users. In addition, Twitter just hit 500 million users as of 3 p.m. on February 22, 2012. So it is pretty easy to see that social media is now in full-blown takeover mode.
Social media is in everything we do
When we download a new application on our phones, we instantly link it to Facebook and Twitter. A phone number is no longer enough when we meet people; we need to be Facebook friends or follow them on Twitter. And forget calling or texting people; we would rather Facebook message or Tweet at somebody.
Social media has taken over our lives whether we have realized it or not. And that is just Facebook and Twitter; don’t forget about the emergence of YouTube, Pinterest, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. I personally use many of those networks and I don’t even know how to fully operate Pinterest or Google+ yet. I just joined because I wanted to be seen as an innovator among my peers. I bet by the time I figure out how to use them, a couple new platforms will emerge and I will have to start all over again. With all of these social outlets at our fingertips, it is hard not to get swept up in the social media hurricane.
What did people do before social media?
I asked my parents the other day, “When you were in college, how did you know about parties and where to meet up with your friends after class?” They looked at me like I was crazy and for a second there I felt spoiled and ignorant. My mom answered, “We just knew. It was called talking to each other face to face and actually calling each other on the phone; we planned things.” Now I can invite 800 of my closest friends to my birthday party in one simple click without saying a word to anyone. To tell you the truth, I find it hard to remember how we used to communicate before social networking existed.
But seriously, social media is changing the world. It is changing the way we learn. It is changing how we get our news and who we get it from. We can connect with organizations and companies easier than ever. It is changing the way we job search, shop and most importantly, the way we communicate with each other. Heck, social media could help out or even spark a revolution! I think social media is awesome and you should too.