Social media came to full fruition in the middle of the 21st century. It began with ancient websites like Friendster, AOL and Myspace — both of which, at the time, were powerhouse websites whose goals were to connect. The concept behind each website was to connect each other, to connect people from all over the world, the idea that a 16 year old girl from Cincinnati, Ohio could chat with a 40 year old woman from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam about anything and everything about Vietnam was a huge ‘mind-blown’ moment for humankind.
At the time, it was one of the most exciting and life-changing idea to be able to speak to someone from across the globe. In 2016, we have the ability to speak to anyone and everyone, in any nook and cranny of the world, in any medium we want. Applications like FaceTime, WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage are all wonderful pieces of technology with which we are able to speak, talk, and converse with someone. We not only speak with them, we are able to see them personally, eye to eye, as if they were there.
For my 80 year old grandmother, telegrams, letters and phones were mind-blowing. The idea that today, she is hooked to her Nook is beyond belief. She knows how to use the device as well as anyone I know can. That is the beauty and danger of social media — anyone and everyone will one day learn how to use it.
However, social media was a baby born out of a set of very finicky parents — the Internet and the creation of the computer. The computer came first, at a time where people did not think anyone would be able to touch or see a screen lit up for more than an hour or two. The Internet came second, a revelation to humankind — which later became an accessory, an accumulation of knowledge, something we definitely take for granted. And when the Internet and computer both decided that Google was not the only way we can find out about one’s whereabouts — there came social media, the prodigal son.
And our lives were forever changed.
According to Kate Lonczak’s article, “Vine Shut Down — Is Twitter Next?”, “Vine, the video sharing social media outlet, officially ended its four year run earlier this week. Twitter owned Vine and announced the termination of the six-second video sharing service after it severely declined in popularity over the past year.”
A once behemoth of an application, the Vine app recently announced that its services would be terminated since its participation and popularity has decline over the past year.
That is the past year. As in 12 months. In colloquial terms: if you ain’t got no popularity, then you out.
The danger of social media is that it is dynamic, it is ever-changing, and if you do not change and innovate with it, then you will be terminated and you will see your app (and your job’s) demise. Its danger is also its beauty — the concept that we do not have to read through 16 pages of newspaper and waste 2-3 hours of our time looking for something ‘juicy’ is long gone. We can find something extremely entertaining on all social media sites.
The fruit of social media is definitely ripened and most importantly — juicy and always changing.