One of the most controversial issues of the modern world is social media. Social media have revolutionised the means of communication and interaction among individuals around the globe. Due to the massive popularity of social media, many lives are now involved in daily practice of social networking which impacts human interaction significantly. This paper canvasses the correlation between social media platform and its influence over human interactions.
At this digital age of the world, social media are vastly rooted in our lives. These modern channels of communication are so firmly positioned, that even people living in the most remote areas of the world have at least heard of Facebook and Twitter and they might actually use them on a regular basis. Social media are basically technology based forms of communication. Such media offer users platforms to share their thoughts and ideas, to meet new people and thus to make connections, to create web contents, to establish businesses and what not. There are a number of social networking sites that enable users to share and exchange instant messages, photos and videos. If compared between people who use online based communication to those who do not, consequential differences would be observed. Having pros and cons, social media system in its roots is good. But the use of such system entirely depends on the users. And so, it is somewhat unreasonable to solely blame the system if the approach to operating such platforms itself is disputable.
Jacka and Scott (2011) said, ” there is no single recognized definition for social media”. But over the past years, scholars have defined it from different aspects. According to Kaplan and Haenlein (2010), social media is a group of internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and allow the creation and exchange of user-generated contents.
Determining the dawn of social media is contentious because of the varying aspects of defining the platforms. Back in the 1970s, the idea of social media first emerged. Sixdegrees.com is believed to be the first recognised social media website. It was introduced in 1997. As the world developed, a great number of social media sites grabbed enormous attention across the global regardless of age or gender. Different communication tools such as Asian Avenue, blackplanet and MiGente started supporting various combinations of profile and publicly articulated friend from 1997 to 2001 (Boyd, Danah, Ellison and Nicole, 2007).
A new report from Pew Research Centre on social media demographics and usage shows that around 69% of Americans now use some form of social media. The most use of social media is among people who are 18 to 29 years old. Around 88% of the 18-29 years old are involved in some sort of social media sites. The percentage reached 78 when considered the 30-49 years old and steadily decreased among older age group.
There are many aspects to consider when discussing the impacts of social media use on modern human interactions. Many studies have been executed to determine accurate results. For instance, social media contribute in the academic life of students. A study conducted by Rifkin, Longnecker, Leach and Ortia (2009) argued that social media play an important role in higher education. It is evident that a good number of students commonly at the PhD level use social media to do better in their studies (Khan, 2010).
At this moment, social media are becoming one of the prevalent ways of communication. If observed the current situation, it is evident that technology has taken over as the predominant source of communication. And it will probably remain this way. So, instead of reprobating the negative impacts of using social media, society would hopefully seek extant positive aspects they offer.