Throughout life, men, women, and youth meet people. These people will either leave a negative or positive effect on us and some will only be in our lives for a short period of time. However, once we start to lose contact with them questions arise and we begin to wonder: What does he/she look like now? ; Where has he/she been? ; How has he/she been? ; Why did we stop talking to one another? ; or what would our relationship be like if I had kept in contact with him/her? Well there is no need to wonder anymore.
Ever since the invention of social networking tools, such as, Facebook, MySpace, AIM, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Twitter, and Formspring, millions of people have been able to instantly notify others concerning their whereabouts, meet/make new friends, reconnect with old friends, blog, play games, and upload videos and pictures. Social networking has become a part of our daily routine and is a trend that will only continue to evolve as we grow old.
Before the release of the highly popularized social networking websites, such as, Facebook in 2004, similar forms of social networking tools were used. Brian McConnell, an internet user since 1988, stated that “he used various sites, known as CompuServe, and Prodigy (McConnell, 2008).” I did some research on the sites he listed and found out that CompuServe was the first online service available in the 1980s and played a major role in the foundation of user i.d’s, email services, picture transfers and etc. As time passed by the second online service became available. It was called Prodigy and allowed users to access a number of different networking sites. They ranged from news and weather services to bulletin boards, games, polls, banking and a variety of other features. Since the 1980’s and mid 1990’s, online services have evolved drastically allowing social networking sites to rise to the occasion. Whereas Prodigy and CompuServe used various different sites to gain access to all of the different features, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter have combined them all into one.
In 2002, the “idea” layout of what a social networking site should resemble was introduced. It came to be known as Friendster. Friendster is a “social networking tool that was created to “help you stay connected with everything that matters to you most: friends, family, and fun! (Friendster.com)” When logging into Friendster you see seven tabs. They are as follows: 1) home, 2) profile, 3) friends, 4) photos, 5) gifts, 6) classifieds, and 7) fun. Although this website laid the foundation for today’s social networking sites, it came out before the market was able to develop and did not receive a lot of attention.
With a whopping 450 million users of social networking sites in 2010, Facebook, MySpace, and the various other sites have managed to offer the same basic features as Friendster but in a different package that many people have come to love.
A social networking site (SNS) is defined as “a web based service allowing...