Guest Post: The Thing We Call Social Media

Nicholas Fearn is a regular contributor to this blog and a good friend of mine. He has been kind enough to submit another post for you dear reader, and I find his insights fascinating, so am more than happy to share them with you 🙂

Nicholas (17) is an aspiring journalist and blogs about technology at South Wales Evening Post among other titles. He also supports a wide variety of charities and good causes, and his mission is to show that having Autism can be a positive.

Over to Nicholas..

The world has changed dramatically within the past few years. Technology has advanced, and social media has grown into a revolution, as opposed to just a phase of human existence.

But the idea of communicating with other humans is far from a new phenomenon; humans have operated in groups for millennia and have always found updated ways to connect with others – from chalk and slate to the printing press of the 16th century.

Based on this, smart social interaction isn’t at all new. We have just developed it into a craze of mass communication combined with modern technology. You can’t go anywhere without seeing individuals with their iPhones out, tweeting and messaging their friends and family. It’s a huge part of the human social life.

People use it for so many different purposes, reflecting on the uncountable number of applications and services that can be accessed via the internet.

You’ll find that the average person uses it simply to stay up-to-date with friends and family (i.e. chatty mothers and curious fathers), while business and enterprise users tend to use it as a way to pool creativity and sell their products. But idea of interacting with others remains concrete.

It can be dangerous, however, in the sense it can create a barrier between reality and the virtual world. You just have to remember that you as the user are responsible for how you use social media services and if you’re excluding yourself from society.

Also, things can easily can be taken out of proportion, and personal opinions can turn into controversies that create death threats. A great example of this is who posted a questionable and controversial tweet about AIDS and landed to discover it had trended around the world and made the headlines. Several hours later, she lost her job and was offline completely.

This goes to show there is a darker side to social media. But isn’t that life anyway? The positives outweigh the negatives in so many different ways, like how people can maintain friendships and continue to communicate with family and friends who live on the other side of the globe. It’s such a useful and powerful tool to have access to, if used sensibly

Predicting the future of social media is virtually impossible. However, new social trends will surely appear, and the current ones will eventually fade out. But their core function will remain the same – a way to digitally connect people and enable communication in a way that was previously impossible

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...