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Initial Thoughts

August 18, 2012

I am a part of Generation Y, and I have considered myself technologically savvy for as long as I can remember. This generation was the first to grow up with computers in the home, but I never realized how much we would come to rely on technology. Our first computer was driver completely by MS Dos, and when we had an opportunity to use the Internet, we would have to tie up the phone line (insert loud modem sound here). I found a few stats that I though were interesting to not just show the reliance Generation Y has on social media, but to show the impact social media is having on every generation.

  • By 2010, Gen Y will out number Baby Boomers, and 96% of them have joined a social network
  • 1 out of 8 couples married last year met via social media
  • Years it took to reach 50 million users: Radio (38), TV (13), Internet (4). Facebook added 100 million in 9 months, and iPhone Apps hit 1 billion in 9 months
  • 80% of Twitter usage is outside of the Twitter website (i.e. from mobile devices, etc.)

I remember the day in the Spring of 2004 when I heard about this new technology called ‘Facebook.” My initial reaction was, “wow, that’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard of.” Obviously, not many agreed with me, as there are over 800 million users signed up, and according to Chapter 7, Facebook could be the third largest nation in the world with that many users. I think what’s more staggering to me is that the average person spends 55 minutes a day on the site. The first two outlets I think about when I hear the phrase “social media” are Facebook and Twitter, but after reading Chapter 7, my views of social media have changed to include blogs, wikis, etc.

My initial reaction to Twitter was similar to my initial reaction to Facebook, and it wasn’t until a few months ago that I established a profile. My opinion of Twitter was that it’s just a place for people to share with the world what they are doing, like the text mentioned “I’m having a sandwich.” To me, that is useless, and a waste of time. I also had the perception that businesses established Twitter accounts to “keep up with society”, when in reality, they are able to get out vital information faster than they ever could have prior to Twitter, as Dell did for receiving feedback and being able to issue change orders before the next product version was released. I think like with most new technologies, it takes time not only for people to embrace the newness, but it also takes time for people to identify how to maximize the technology. People are able to innovate so well within social media outlets, and that has contributed to the change in our world over the last decade.

Facebook and LinkedIn are the two most dominant social networks, and corporations who have established Facebook accounts can gain unlimited exposure when users decide to ‘like’ them, as information from the corporation will be displayed in that users news feed. With 800 million users spending on average 55 hours a day on Facebook, the free marketing that is available to corporations is the single best investment they can make. However, Facebook users at times fail to realize that what shows up on your profile (i.e. posts, pictures, etc.) can have negative impacts. Corporations almost always investigate a potential employee’s profile, and what is there for them to view can influence their decision significantly.

Whether you like social media or not, the fact of the matter is that it is only going to continue to evolve every day. If Twitter and Facebook go away, it’s only because the next best thing came along; not because the world got burned out on social media.

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One Comment
  1. I was also a skeptic about Facebook and Twitter. It was only after pressure from my peers that I decided to join the two. I remember the evolution of Facebook very vividly. In th early stages, you had to be a college student. A little later down the line you had to be invited by someone who was a member. When this happened I was a senior in high school and saw no value in its purpose. I could communicate with my friends by phone and I saw them almost everyday. When the great split after high school graduation occurred, I relied less on the contacts in my phone and more on status updates on Facebook. Facebook helped to teach me one of the most important things in the business world, networking. I’m glad I gave it a try! Great read!

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