By Kahleel Bragg
Social media has a tremendous impact on today’s generation of kids, teens, and young adults. Social media can be defined as websites and applications used for social networking. Most students on campus agree that Facebook and Twitter are among the most popular social media outlets. However, has everyone forgotten about the site that started it all?
MySpace.com is a social networking service with a strong music emphasis, which launched in August 2003. MySpace was the not only the most visited social website from 2005-2008, but also surpassed Google as the most visited website in the U.S. in 2006. When Myspace was created, users had the opportunity to create their own profiles as they liked, with their favorite music and friends displayed on their page.
When asked if he remembered MySpace, Anderson Summers, Criminal Justice junior, began to chuckle. “Man, MySpace used to be the site when I was in junior high school,” he said. “My friends and I used to go on it every day, listen to artists’ new music, and started making new friends that didn’t go to our school.”
Users were able to upload photos, send private messages, post public messages, and upload videos. But in 2009, growing usage of Facebook overshadowed MySpace.
Facebook is similar to MySpace, with enhanced features, such as a newsfeed that allows the user to view friends’ and friends of friends’ posts without viewing their profile. Posts could include a personal status such as thoughts, videos, photos, or even website links. Facebook gives people the opportunity to connect with old friends by listings of the previous schools they attended or neighborhoods that they lived in.
Katie Cohen, senior Biology major, said Facebook is the only social media site she is involved with. “I love Facebook; it’s a way for me stay close with my old friends from middle school and my distant family that lives in Colorado. It’s a great way to stay in contact with people, and get informed about news around the world.”
Another social media site that is used heavily by students on campus is Twitter. It is a site that enables users to send and read tweets. Tweets are posts, limited to 140 characters, in which users express their thoughts, activities, etc. Twitter is also a way for celebrities to interact with their fans.
“Twitter is one of my favorite social sites,” said Marquis Pagan, sophomore Finance major. “It’s a way to express your thoughts and feelings, and contact people on a different level than you can with any other network,” Pagan added.
A newer site that is also being used by students on campus
is Instagram. Instagram is an online photo/video-sharing site that encourages its users to upload videos and pictures, apply digital filters to them, and share them on other social websites, categorizing them with hashtags. A hashtag is a word or phrase that is preceded by a pound sign, used to identify the message on a specific topic.
It is hard to find a college student who does not have an account on a social media website. Social media are ways to connect with friends, network yourself, and inform yourself and others about what is going on around the world. Every few years, it seems like there is something new that people join and grow to love. Now, the question is, what social network will affect the world next?