Social media are websites and applications that allow people to create content, share it, and connect with other users or groups. Social media shares several common properties: they stimulate the emergence of online communities and the content, which is generated by users, who need to create a personal page. Social media has developed as computer technologies develop and the number of Internet users grows.
The Emergence Of Social Networks
It appeared in 1997 and, unlike instant messengers, such as ICQ, or chats, it was conceived as a platform for virtual communication between people who used real names and provided real information about themselves. There was a possibility to create personal pages and add other users to the Friends tab. In the best of times, there were three and a half million people in its base!
Social Media Today
Most of the communication on the web today is being realized through social media. Staying on social media is gradually becoming the main pastime online, and the average person has at least five personal pages. If in 2012 he/she spends 45 minutes in any free chat messenger daily, now it has reached two hours. Generally speaking, social media takes up 30 percent of the time of the average user, and adolescents devote more than half of their day to them.
Social media can serve as a place of expression, outlet, a source of moral support and positive emotions. The proliferation of social media has radically transformed society. They expanded the ability of people to express themselves, communicate, find like-minded people. With their help, both groups – business, political forces, social movements, and individuals, received a voice and a platform in front of a huge audience.
At the same time, the negative consequences of the mass enthusiasm for social media are becoming more apparent. They include exacerbation of anxiety disorders, episodes of depression, a tendency to unhealthy and dangerous behavior. Scientists explain such negative manifestations, in particular, the fact that social media form overstated expectations. People involuntarily compare themselves with the image that other users create and support online, and this helps to reduce self-esteem, envy, and dissatisfaction with their own lives.
The Source Of Big Data
Social media is an inexhaustible source of personal information about users. At the same time, we have little control over where and how the content we publish is stored, and we also run the risk that it may become available to outsiders without our knowledge and desire.
So, for a long time, a mass trend among employers, including in the USA, is the requirement for job seekers to provide access to their accounts on social networks. Laws prohibiting such practices were enacted only last year, and only in two states – Arkansas and Vermont. Moreover, according to some experts, the threat of a violation of the right to privacy can become even more acute without direct unwanted access to accounts. The digital fingerprint left by us is becoming an increasingly popular object for analysis, including the use of machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence.
Ultimately, it was largely thanks to social media that agglomeration of big data became possible. According to this study, a computer analysis of the “likes” pattern on Facebook can accurately calculate the most intimate personality traits: sexual orientation, physical health, political and religious beliefs. Moreover, machines are already starting to make such forecasts better than people.
Nowadays people know a lot about social networks, and everyone tends to get advantages and avoid the disadvantages of them. Start the exploration of Internet communications with the new generation app – NEEO Messenger. It is a chat messenger with an integrated translator and a lot of other unique features. Try it yourself and enjoy online conversations with anyone!72