Technology and Online Communities Essay

Technology and Online Communities Jayne Fortney SOC105 April 29, 2013 Jeffrey Gomm Technology and Online Communities In 2011, 47 percent of all American adults used a social networking site such as Facebook or Twitter.

As of 2012 the user count for Facebook was one billion people and for Twitter was 500 million people (Are Social Networking Sites Good for our Society? , 2013). These sites are used by simply creating a personalized profile for yourself. By using the tools provided by that profile you can connect with friends, family, and business associates; as well as share your thoughts, pictures, music or links with the world.It gives you the opportunity to meet people from across the globe who also shares in the same interests as you.

Facebook is the largest social media site with one out of seven people having a profile and only 16 percent of users are in the original age range of 18 to 22 with 50 percent of users over the age of 36 (Are Social Networking Sites Good for our Society? , 2013). Social media sites have become so entwined into the lives of people across the globe that so many have come to rely wholly upon them. With such a reliance on social media sites there is a difficulty to foresee what might happen when they don’t exist anymore.If you were to ask twenty different people what would happen if social networking sites disappeared tomorrow, you would get twenty different answers ranging from a complete collapse of humanity to not much change at all. Society surely would have a difficult time repairing itself after the removal of social media sites, but it wouldn’t dissolve completely. Social media has become the way we procure much of our information about news and products.

It is so entrenched in our culture that it is used as a major campaigning route for gaining support for political candidates and new bills waiting on approval.In 2008 more than one fourth of young voters got their information about the presidential race from social media and in the 2012 presidential raced was dubbed the “Twitter election” (Are Social Networking Sites Good for our Society? , 2013). Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have gained so much popularity that current government officials and even electoral hopefuls have created personal profiles to promote themselves and stay in contact with the community. This change in the way we’ve come to communicate empowers people to seek out the profiles of our government officials and voice our opinions in a very relaxed way.Even the White House has a Facebook page to provide an open communication with the public.

Joining the social media wave “was part of the administration’s efforts to meet President Obama’s call to ‘reform our government so that it is more efficient, more transparent, and more creative’” (Are Social Networking Sites Good for our Society? , 2013). But social media hasn’t just effected our governmental politics it has also become a route for companies to reach consumers with advertising about their products and get feedback to improve those products.Without the publicity that social media offers marketing will take a down fall and it would greatly affect the companies who have put their trust into these sites. That wouldn’t be the only economic change we would see if social media were to collapse. In 2011 Facebook employed 2000 people with Twitter employing 300, including the employees of other social media sites, social media accounts for thousands of jobs if it were to disappear all of those people would be out of work (Nathan, 2011).I have no doubts that despite the obvious difficulties of re-acclimating to a society without the opportunities and luxuries that social media has provided us, humanity and society as a whole would survive. For now we can revel in the ever expanding word that is social media.

Less than ten years ago social media sites had not quite enveloped all aspects of our everyday lives. A business owner may have had a personal profile on a social media site, but would have never thought to create a profile for their company.No longer are these sites our personal digital address books they now have so many other possibilities (Four Ways Social Media has Changed in Five Years, 2011). Business owners are now using social media account for their businesses to promote their services or products. New companies have also been formed to create the online gaming and advertisement games that are accessed through social media sites.

In truth social media companies have created as many companies as they destroyed in the creation of their own companies (Four Ways Social Media has Changed in Five Years, 2011).Through these new companies social media has been able to advance. Social media has also been able to advance through added options such as video chatting to their chat options. They have also expanded their reach from just college campuses to throughout the world. Now as someone in the United States I can video chat with a new friend in the United Kingdom.

The advances and expansion of social media has proven rather beneficial. As of 2010 studies of 3000 children by The National Literacy Trust were showing that children who were interacting with social media sites were becoming more literate (Laurie, 2010).To me social media communications are good for so much more than just saying “Happy Birthday” to an acquaintance. I think the role of the internet and social media play a huge part in the globalization and the expansion of communities. Social media allows us to find out about and stay updated on news, issues, and stories from around the world. The internet, with the help of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and many others, allows us to form relationships and communicate with people regardless of their geographical location. The internet also allows people across the world to talk face to face through their computer.You and I would use Skype to talk to each other and businesses use a similar site to conduct teleconference calls from their own board rooms.

So as you can see the internet and social media are very important for globalization by allowing people all over the world to communicate and keep in touch with what is happening in the world on a daily basis. My step-daughter’s own avid use of Facebook brought our families back together after fourteen years. I, personally, enjoy being able to stay in contact with my family and friend through Facebook and emails.Works Cited Four Ways Social Media has Changed in Five Years. 2011, October 31).

Retrieved April 28, 2013, from Social Media Today: http://socialmediatoday. com/rasmussencollege/383344/four-ways-social-media-has-changed-five-years Are Social Networking Sites Good for our Society? (2013, April 19). Retrieved April 28, 2013, from ProCon. org: http://socialnetworking.

procon. org/#Background Laurie, M. (2010, Janurary 7). How Social Media Has Changed Us. Retrieved April 28, 2013, from Mashable: http://mashable. com/2010/01/07/social-media-changed-us/ Nathan, A.

(2011, June 14). How Social Media Saved The Economy. Retrieved April 28,


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