In the evolving world of social media, new social networking sites have been introduced one after the other, and users are taking advantage of the benefits.
“Compared to just a few years ago, social media, and the importance of it, have grown and will continue to do so as new tools are developed,” social media consultant Tamara Rasberry said.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook phenomenon began in February 2004, a year after the founding of Myspace by Tom Anderson. Most recently, Twitter has become a popular site among social networking users, founded by Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone in 2006.
The purpose of social networks is to provide a channel for communication between people in ways other forms of communication do not allow. With the change and growth of the social media world, it has now become a business platform, a way for businesses and consumers to interact for a more productive outcome. Today, it has evolved into much more and is becoming a main source of communication.
“Most social platforms started out as being purely casual,” Rasberry said. “Now, Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets are being used for everything from recruiting to dating.”
With social media expanding the way it has over the past few years, students have begun to use these sources for personal fun and communication with friends but also for classes and their organizations on campus.
“I used social media every single day, not to socialize with my friends, but to promote and expand the reach of the brands that I am affiliated with on and off campus, senior marketing major and WHBC radio personality, Rasheed VanPutten said.
For users, social media sites have been useful in many spectrums. Some users express a feeling of dependence on their social networking sites.
“When I don’t have access to my social networks, I feel like I’m actually missing something and essentially feel like I am disconnected from the world around me,” junior broadcast journalism major Gerron Jordan said.
Some educators have begun to use Facebook accounts to communicate assignments and announcements to their students. Howard’s Associate Professor of New Media, Ingrid Sturgis, incorporates social and multimedia aspects to her classes.
“I use Blackboard, Facebook and blogs in my courses, especially in my multimedia storytelling class,” Sturgis said. “Incorporating social media into the classroom makes the learning experience more effective. Students are able to share their work and create a dialogue between myself and other classmates.”
Social media sites become more popular by the second. With changes to the technology and media world, some question the possibility that, although it has become so addictive, it could just be phase.