Lots of you already know, or at least have a good understanding of what social media is. These days, there are lots of terms being thrown around- social media, social network, and all that. Before you read further into this article, let's establish what each is. Social networks are things such as Gmail, Craigslist, and E-bay. Technically, they do qualify as a social network. However, you wouldn't put them in the same category as Facebook or Instagram because they lack the "Media" part of a Social Media Network. So what is a media network? Well, a media network is a place where digital files are exchanged. For example, Netflix is a media network for videos, and pandora is a media network for music. When you combine the social aspects and the media aspects together, that's where you get the very grey area of a "Social Media Network."
The Main Idea
The main idea of social media is to connect people. It gives you a voice, allows you to see things, and lets you share files, thoughts, and many other things. But with that, comes privacy concerns, and thats why you hear about things such as Big Data. Social media is a great way to stay up to date with the news, your friends, and everyone around you. However, with that, comes many emotional impacts. I'm sure you have heard of popped getting depressed by using social media. Here's a tip to protect yourself from that-
BlockSite is an extension where you can set up certain sites to be "blocked" by yourself, so you could set up something like Facebook to be blocked when you try to access it to remind you that you shouldn't be on it! Sometimes we go on autopilot and visit these sites without even realizing, and extensions like this are very helpful.
Social media networks are HUGE. Here's a chart to show you how much control they have over our lives-
2.5 billion people!!!! Facebook also owns WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger BTW
Types of Social Media Networks
When it comes to social media networks, I feel like there are four main groups that they could be put into: Media, Messaging, Global, and Failed.
Media: This type of network focuses on a particular style of media. For example, on Pinterest you share recipes, pictures, pictures of recipes.... All that.
Messaging: Social Networks who's main focus is to message are networks such as WeChat or Telegram
Global: Of course, there's the global networks, who operate all over the world, such as Instagram, or YouTube.
Failed: These networks never took off, and never will. A good example is is MySpace; although the app is still around, it could never regain its former glory.
Social Media and Mental Health
I'm sure you've heard your parents scream at you thousands of times to "PUT DOWN THAT PHONE!!!" While you might just roll your eyes and keep scrolling, social media might actually impact your mental health. I'm no expert, so watch this TED Talk to decide for yourself.