The Birth of Social Media



The way the internet is used has seen a dramatic change since the World Wide Web was introduced in 1991 (Lee, 2010). The web started off as a one way tool for users to view and receive information from pages , there was little interaction between users of the internet. Technological advances, however, have led to a major shift in how the internet is being used; the internet has now shifted towards user-driven content in the form of social media platforms. Social media platforms such as these three most popular sites, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (eBizMBA, 2013) allow users to share opinions, upload information, create virtual communities and connect to other people.

More than two billion people use the internet (Internetworldstats, 2012) and the majority of these users will have come into contact with some form of social media. Many people are unaware of the broad range of platform types that social media can cover. Social media is not just Facebook and Twitter where people predominantly socialize and share pictures. Solis (2008) says how Social media comprises of activities that that involve socializing and networking online through words, pictures and videos. Social media is redefining how we relate to each other as humans and how we as humans relate to the organisations that serve us. It is about dialog – two way discussions bringing people together to discover and share information.

Solis also goes to further prove that social media is more than just Facebook and Twitter by introducing the Conversation Prism.

The Conversation Prism hopes to provide people with a visual insight into previous unforeseen opportunities for the use of social media (Solis, 2013). A study done by Ofcom shows that nearly fifty percent of young people aged between eight and seventeen use some form of social media sties (knowledgebanks, 2013).

Social media is becoming an important part of young people’s lives. Young people have grown up with technology, the way they process information has changed, a study by Prensky (2001) suggests that young children are digital natives and learn in different ways from their predecessors (Prensky, 2001). With this in mind schools are beginning to integrate social media into their classrooms, they are seeing a need to use the familiarity children have with technology to harness new and creative learning mediums. Many schools are already using social media as an effective learning tool. With new advancements in technology it is important to look into what extent social media should be used in the classroom. Evaluating the pros and cons of social media and using learning theories is important to help implement the correct use of social media in education.

Image by Brian Solis

eBizMBA. (2013, December 01). Top 15 Most Popular Social Media Sites. Retrieved 12 03, 2013, from eBizMBA:

Internetworldstats. (2012, June 30). Internet Users of The World. Retrieved December 03, 2013, from Internet World Stats:

knowledgebanks. (2013). Social Media. Retrieved December 03, 2013, from Teaching Times:

Lee, B. (2010). Epidemiologic Research and Web 2.0—the User-driven Web. The Changing Face of Epidemiology, 760.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On The Horizon, 1-6.

Solis, B. (2013, July 16). What is the Conersation Prism. Retrieved December 03, 2013, from Conversation Prism:


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