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The Internet And Social Media Essay

1079 words - 5 pages

Social Media is defined by Merriam-Webster as “forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)” (Merriam-Webster), and for many Americans is a method of social interaction that is used often on a daily basis. It has been determined that one in five people use social media at least once a day and that 19% of Americans between the age of 15 and 54 are on sites like Facebook and Twitter(). It’s no longer common place to send handwritten letters or birthday cards, now writing on a wall, sending a tweet or snapping a picture is ...view middle of the document...

Now people are staying connected in ways that were never possible before the boom of social networking sites.
The invention of the Internet allowed for fast and real time publishing of news media. When breaking news happened, you found out right away by reading a website rather than waiting for the next days newspaper or the evening television news. Now, news and media outlets across the world are able to inform large groups of people about breaking news in multiple formats. Local broadcast stations are using Facebook and Twitter to provide up to the minute status updates about breaking news situations and reporters can send in their own cell phone camera images and video to be shared across the world within seconds. When the shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater occurred in 2012, Twitter and YouTube users were able to report about shooting before news crews could even arrive and they were able to tell family members that they were safe through various social media outlets (Social Networking).
Businesses use social media to inform current customers about current happenings and attract new customers with promotions and advertising. Many small businesses use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote daily specials and sales to increase traffic in their stores. Large companies use social media to connect with customers both in a positive and negative way. Customers can leave feedback on a businesses social networking site about a recent experience and companies can learn and help rectify a situation in real time rather than having to wait for survey results to be compiled.
An important aspect of social media that often causes people to think negatively about its usage is the fact that many users of social media are teenagers and young adults and this specific age range have become targets for people looking to do unethical things. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, engaging in various methods of social media has been shown to benefit children and adolescents by “enhancing communication, social connection, and even technical skills” (O'Keeffe and Clarke-Pearson). This aspect of social media is very helpful to adolescents and young adults in preparing them for life outside of...

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