The Rise of Social Media in the 21st Century and its Advent as a Legitimate Form of Communication
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Social Media offers an exciting new area for individuals and business to explore relationship building and communication on a grandiose scale. This study explores how the tools and opportunities afforded by social media sites are enabling and legitimizing a new form of communication. While social media is beneficial in numerous ways, greater audience engagement increases the possibility of misperception. Therefore, a new category of social network related etiquette and ethical responsibility is warranted. This paper will ...view middle of the document...
The basic rules of communication have been altered, so much so that even the relationships between businesses and consumers are changing. A new, more robust multidimensional model of instant feedback and gratification is replacing the last remnants of yesteryears more traditional, one-way communication models. We update “statuses” and “like” our friends statuses on Facebook; we “tweet” our thoughts on anything in 140 characters or less in real time; our social lives our geotagged and physically mapped when we “check in” to a particular hot spot or event; and our corporate profiles and resumes are uploaded to LinkedIn for anyone to browse through and possibly network with when searching for jobs. These are just a few examples, but the uses for social media are practically endless.
What is social media?
To truly understand what is being discussed here, perhaps we should start with a definition. Merriam-Webster defines social media as a “form of electronic communications (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content such as videos (2013).” This newfound form of electronic communication comes with its own rulebook though, and to communicate effectively in the social media sphere, one must understand these new “rules of the road.”
People want to have a say. To be engaged in a process and contribute meaningful dialogue to a conversation is rewarding. Social media enables that on a greater scale than previous methods of communication. Personal interactions are not longer limited to face-to-face encounters, lengthy wait times for hand delivered mail, or the necessity to remain near anchored communication infrastructure (i.e. land lines). By communicating in the social media space, the opportunity for audience exposure is increased to a point where it is basically guaranteed. Not only that, but finding an audience that will present the author with genuine and relevant feedback carries a similar guarantee.
History of Social Media
Merriam-Webster’s reports that 2004 was the first known use of social media. While that particular statement is highly debatable, what is not debatable is the fact that the first email was delivered in 1971, and with it, the door to all future things social media related was opened. Before the end of the 1970s, web based bulletin boards were being employed by computer hobbyists to share ideas and information. However, it was not until the late 80s that engineers and scientists at CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) would develop what we now know as the World Wide Web (CERN, 2013).
What came next nearly another decade later was the origin of Blogging, AOL’s first chat rooms, and the founding of Blackboard for educational collaboration. After the burst of the Dot Com bubble in 2000, the world saw the start of Wikipedia in 2001, Apple’s iPod, and Friendster – the first recognized...