What is Social Media

I’ve never actually taken the time to think of how I define Social Media. I sort of just think of a bunch of websites; Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and Myspace. I usually just think of any websites that encourage socializing between individuals or groups of people.

When I looked up the definition for “Media” it is stated that it is any means of communication to the masses.

Going off of this definition, I would say that the internet as a whole is social media instead of the few websites that I listed above. I

would define social media as anything that allows mass amounts of people to interact and socialize with each other. Social media should have the ability to reach thousands of people across the world.

Facebook and Myspace are good examples. A person can meet old friends but they can also access all kinds of other people in the world. Depending on the privacy settings, anyone can be updated to someone’s life. Obviously the everyday person’s updates aren’t going to be in high demand but this can be seen on popular artists/entertainers’ Facebook pages. Demi Lovato’s page would update about her concerts, her album news, and news about X-factor and it may link to other related artists or pages. In this way, different groups are getting relevant information about a multitude of things. On a personal level, it is still possible to reach a high number of people even without the public status update. In messages, a user can send a message to anyone they tag. That means though it is private, it can still reach more than a few people. Myspace is somewhat the same, or at least it used to be. I’m not sure what it’s like now but I know a lot of up and coming people still use it for their respective careers. I think it has become a website used for networking and collaborating. A lot of artists showcase their new songs on their pages/profiles though they may be unknown. They use the website with the hopes that their name will reach potential fans/customers.

Perhaps the best examples (that I know of) are Twitter and Tumblr. While Facebook and Myspace are primarily used for friends or people who already have some sort of established relationship, Twitter and Tumblr builds relationships between strangers. It’s almost odd that Twitter uses the least amount of words but it is probably the number 1 “Social media” website. Strangers update about trivial things but they can also share pictures, music, links, practically anything with their followers. Information is spread so incredibly fast through Twitter. Tumblr is actually pretty fast as well but it doesn’t seem as widespread with regard to users. But what it lacks in popularity, it makes up with full body texts and more in-depth information.

Basically, social media is anything that allows communication and the spreading of information between thousands, even millions of people. I think that while a blog can potentially spread information, it depends on the interface and the way the blog is used and set up. It has the potential to be social media but I wouldn’t necessarily call all blogs social media. I only say this because not every blog opens up  room for conversation and communication. If it’s a one-way flow of information, I don’t think it counts. It definitely fits the definition of “media” but to be considered “Social media” I think blogs would need more mutual interaction.

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