How did social media get us here?

admin blog, Digital Content, Integration, Marketing, Social Media 0 Comments

Once upon a time, there was GeoCities.  And AngelFire.  And FortuneCity.  And a few other profile-hosting sites in the late 90s that were to become the lasting crux of digital relationships: social media.  Social media has expanded, changed, been augmented, and moved from optional to pivotal in both personal and business lives throughout the world.  But how did we get here?

You could take a look at the history of social media, through the lens of societal expansion, both in population and in accessibility.   You could examine the simplistic underpinnings that allowed MySpace to be completely trounced by Facebook at the turn of the decade.  But why not do what the leader of the free social media world, Facebook, did – look at who’s asking.

The people asking are the consumers of social media, and these consumers want to connect – and connect right now. By Halloween of last year, 64% of American adults have become Smart Phone users, and are able to connect with each other even more immediately than ever.  And they have not been silent about ways they want to connect more, better, and faster. In fact, if you’ve noticed, the term “phone” is only about as much of a phone as a Swiss Army knife is a knife.

For me, I do make a lot of phone calls on my “phone.”  I also read blogs, watch reruns of The Colbert Report, check tomorrow’s weather, take down voice memos of new melody ideas, find most places in the world, type innumerable e-mails and text messages, compare live to studio versions of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight,” and complete dozens of other tasks and activities from a glowing, pocket-size brick.  My social media sessions are only limited by how long I keep the Facebook app uninstalled.  The majority of my social media time is still spent in front of my iMac.  And if you look below, you can see there are no shortage of other options to be connected via Smart Phone or otherwise.

Taste the rainbow of social media applications

Taste the rainbow of social media applications

Simply put, social media is the kind of media that would have no juice without a drive behind of its users to be social, and that drive has catalyzed thousands of channels through which we are now able to connect.  Combine the most comprehensive network of machines the world has ever seen (layman’s terms would be “The Internet”) with an insatiable hunger to connect more, better, and faster with one another (for better or for worse) and you’ve got the current climate of social media.  It’s vibrant, it’s volatile, it’s comprehensive, and it’s almost as organic as the people that use it.

We want other people to know us, and to know about us.  It’s in our strides, our accents, our fashion, our art, and certainly in our business.  And we want to know about others, and what they like, what they need, and what makes them laugh.  We’ve come a long way since primitive examples of social media, like e-mailing friends to check out  And with no end to the myriad uses of social media in sight, we are bound to be more bound to each other for years to come.

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