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Communication Before And After The Emergence Of Social Networks

2778 words - 11 pages

What would the world be without Social Networks? Imagine a day without signing in to the most popular social network in the world, Facebook, with no updates from friends, nothing to “like”, no groups of common interests, no birthday reminders, no games to enjoy, nothing. Imagine a day without the Twitter, a social network known for its 140-character announcements. Tweets, retweet, following, hash tags, and trending topics would be non-existent terms. There wouldn’t be instant updates from friends or anything to ask you “What’s happening?” Imagine the world today without YouTube. There wouldn’t be a website filled with videos to upload or to watch for information, entertainment or education. Famous performers today who were discovered on YouTube such as Justin Bieber and Charice Pempengco would not be where they are now. Life would be different.
As of the year 2009, one of the most popular social networking sites, MySpace, has reached over 184.1 million users (Oliva 12). Other top social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, also have millions of users. This growing number of users indicates the impact of Social Networks. Thus, Social Networks changed the way the world communicates and calls society to adopt to the constant technological advancements of the world.
A social network is defined as “an internet-based tool that allows the reader to engage with the writer or with a community online and in public.” (Clapperton xxvi) There was a great need for social networks in the late 1980s, when the Internet was not very known. Office workers would pass around floppy disks because there was no network or internal connection between computers to pass around information. The system was difficult (Clapperton xxi). Soon, the Internet was invented and it was mainly to connect computers and people. As computers got cheaper, the Internet found ways to recreate itself and become less restricted that it is for the intelligent only. The online world emerged (Oliva 12).
The online world emerged with early social networks such as Compulink Information eXchange, also known as Cix, was a network for people of common interests who would share information and chat in conferences and America Online, also known as AOL, was another network where news content was placed and had features similar to Cix (Clapperton xxii-xxiii).
But before Social Networks, the way the world communicated was different. The print revolution started in the East. From the eighth century, if not before, printing had been practiced in China. The method most commonly used was called “block printing” which made use of a carved block made of wood to print a page of certain text. In the west, a man named Johann Gutenberg invented a printing press in 1450 that would print with metal type. Printing spread throughout Europe, producing books and newspapers (Briggs and Burke 13-14).
In the sixteenth century, the postal system was...

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