Essay About Social Media Facebook Facts

Soren Gordhamer writes and consults on ways we can more creatively and effectively use the technologies of our age, including social media. He is the author of "Wisdom 2.0" (HarperOne, 2009). You can follow him on Twitter at @SorenG.

It is hard to know sometimes how our life has changed until we stop for a moment and look at how different it is from ten or even five years ago. In recent years social media, likely more than anything else, has significantly impacted most of our daily lives. Envisioning the global conversation that has developed over the past few years because of tools like Facebook and Twitter might have been unimaginable for most people at the beginning of this decade.

But social media communication tools have profoundly changed our lives and how we interact with one another and the world around us. Here are the top areas that social media has affected in our daily lives.

1. Where We Get Our News

If you're like me, each morning before checking Yahoo! or Google News or an online newspaper site like USA Today or CNN, you first look at the stories your friends and people that you follow are sharing via Twitter or Facebook. After all, you didn't choose the editors at newspapers and other publications, but you did choose the people and groups that you follow on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks.



Friends on social media are increasingly becoming people’s trusted sources of information, even more than search engines. Tech blogger Mark Cuban recently noted, "For the 1st time ever, more people are finding my blog from Twitter and Facebook referrals than via Google.”

Of course, many people still use RSS feeds to stay up-to-date on blogs and publications of interest, but our list of sources for what is worthy of our attention has expanded significantly. Furthermore, by getting our news from social media, we know who is recommending it, and can easily communicate with that person about it. News is more social than ever.

2. How We Start and Do Business

It is easier than ever to start and launch a business today, in great part thanks to social media. We can not only locate potential collaborators and employees through interest-focused Facebook groups, Twitter searches, and niche social networks, but perhaps more importantly, social media gives people who have time, but little money for advertising, the chance to engage with others and promote their business. A recent article in the New York Times concluded, "For many mom-and-pop shops with no ad budget, Twitter has become their sole means of marketing."



While business in the past was generally conducted with those in one’s immediate environment, social media, including everything from blogging to tweeting to posting videos on YouTube, has opened new possibilities for both customers and clients. Who we do business with and how we promote that business has moved increasingly online, and for small business especially, social media has proved valuable.

3. How We Meet and Stay in Touch with People

People certainly still meet others at social venues like clubs and parties, but it is easier than ever to discover people who share our interests through social media, whether that means via groups on Facebook or following people on Twitter. Even if your interests lie in an obscure area, like 15th century poetry in France or Nepalese art, there is probably a Facebook group about it, and a Twitter search will likely turn up other people talking about the same subject.

Of course, there is only so much communication that can happen through a social network, but via Tweetups and other in-person events, people are expanding these online interactions to face-to-face meetings. The introductions are initially made through social networks, then people develop the relationship using phone calls and in-person meetings.

Studies reveal that our time on social networks has nearly tripled in the last year, and while Facebook has always primarily centered around connecting with people and staying in touch with friends, according to a study on eMarketer, “41.6% percent of Internet users who used Twitter did so to keep in touch with their friends.”

In other words, social media is increasingly being used to find and maintain both old and potentially new friendships.

4. What We Reveal

The old paradigm in communication was that people generally revealed very little of their fears and doubts. They tried to present the image of themselves to other people as completely confident and knowledgeable. The goal was to make sure that you appeared like you were always in complete control. But this is shifting, in part, because of social media. The paradigm is now no longer to try to appear perfect, but to be more transparent with your thoughts and feelings, to reveal your humanness.



We now have queens acknowledging that they get nervous at times when speaking, CEOs being more honest and at times using blogs to express reservations over past decisions, and people openly sharing personal views on social issues. Of course, what we decide to reveal and when to reveal it can be delicate, and there will always likely be items we wish to keep private. However, rather than working to hide our thoughts and feelings, social media is helping to create greater personal transparency.

5. What We Can Influence

It used to be a big deal that Oprah had over 20 million people watch her show every week or that the New York Times was read by millions of people, and while these large media outlets still control much of our attention, now with social media, power is increasingly more widespread. So-called mainstream media is no longer always the driving influencer of public opinion.

On Twitter, some individuals now have a million or more followers, Facebook Pages can also have hundreds of thousands of fans, and YouTube videos can get millions of views when they go viral. Most of this content is coming from regular people, rather than big, corporate-owned media organizations. For example, people like occasional Mashable guest writer Brandon Mendelson, who has over 950,000 followers on Twitter, have used social media to increase their influence beyond what was possible for "regular people" in the past.

Even if we have few followers on Twitter or friends on Facebook or subscribers to our blog, the average person’s influence is increasing as communication channels become more open and fluid. As the networks for sharing and amplifying information strengthen, the ability of each person to influence public opinion and policies increases. As a result, we feel much less like passive bystanders and much more like participants who have a voice in the events in our world.

Conclusion

In every era, cultures go through numerous changes, and in recent years ours has been more impacted than anything else by social media. Large media companies are not likely to go away overnight, nor will the need to communicate by phone or meet people in person, but social media is providing yet one more means of engaging with people on this vast planet of ours, and if used effectively can give all of us greater choice in how we live and what happens in our world.

Feel free to share below: How has social media changed your daily life?

More social media resources from Mashable:

- 10 Most Extraordinary Twitter Updates

- 4 Ways Social Media is Changing Business

- 5 Easy Social Media Wins for Your Small Business

- 6 Incredible Twitter Powered Art Projects

- HOW TO: Manage a Facebook Group

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, sodafish

  • Udari 11 days ago

    Thank you very much for this information.

  • gian 7 months ago

    interesting thank you for sharing

  • lyjon rj 7 months ago

    thank you so much for this wonderful site or information, us a teen. im so lucky to read this , now i know what is the possible effects on social networking .

  • Applepie 16 months ago

    If your child presents anti-social or narcissistic behavior, the one who screwed up is most likely to be you. Same thing with manias. And I want to send huge appreciation to this idiot-scientist. Thank you for letting parents justify their inconfidence, lack of sensitiveness and morally abusive behavior. Thank you and go to hell.

  • Ajith 4 years ago

    thankyou you have pointed out the negative and positive sides of it beautifully

  • Aline Harry 4 years ago

    Good afternoon

    First I’d like to thank you for offering me the opportunity to share my comment related to the topic. As “Facebook” became an important part of our daily life and it is affecting our life deeply. It has negative aspect on its user’s life. Researchers found that the more the participants use the site the less they accept their real life.

    Sincerely,

    Aline Harry

  • Star5534123 5 years ago

    Ok, well here is what I have to say about this. I'm a teenager myself and I agree with most, if not all the things that you have said. The one thing I have to say is that I think it has to do with the child, because you can function the same, and be the same person if you have a Facebook. BUT it also depends on the parent... how much you let your child go on Facebook and its annoying but parents every now and then should check up on their child's Facebook. Because you can get into a lot of trouble with it. This is my opinion but I don't think that you should ever put your address, or your phone number, or your location, I never do any of that because people can find out all about you in one second. So it mostly depends on the teen whether they make the smart choices or not.

  • callum 5 years ago

    i think this is not true as i have facebook and i am not stuck to it as much as you say we are but i also have to be on her side as well as some people have to be for all day longg !!!!

  • stephanie 5 years ago

    i think this website is very useful.

  • Kristin Trapp 5 years agofrom Illinois

    Joy - Sure thing. Dr. Rosen's presented his research at an annual American Psychological Association. Here is a link that will give the details of the presentation: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-08/apa... . Additionally, there is a link to a Time magazine article at the end of this article above which also discusses this research. I hope that helps.

  • Joy 5 years ago

    can you give me the link in what part of Dr Larry Rosen's reserch is that?

  • ShaamCA 5 years agofrom India

    Among teenagers , facebook has created a great impact ..must say many have become an addict towards facebook ...they spend most of the time in this only ,though it is useful but there are lot of negatives in it ...this hub has clearly explained it

  • george 5 years ago

    there are a lot of postive an negitve reports on teens for face book i like it

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Anna - You're definitely not alone!

  • Anna 6 years ago

    I go on facebook waaay too much!

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Aceblogs - Well your sister is not the only one spending too much time on Facebook and less time studying and with family. Hopefully, your parents catch on and put some limits in place. Thanks for commenting.

  • Aceblogs 6 years agofrom India

    haha , i can very well correlate this hub with my younger sister. Too much time is being spent on facebook by her which has made her bit secluded fro rest of the world and even family also not much time is given to studies as well. Nice share friend !

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    You're right Dream On. The world really has changed and I think it is a parent's responsibility to understand the technology that is so much a part of children's lives. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • DREAM ON 6 years ago

    It is a whole different world out there.Always changing and so much to learn.You gave great insight and how to avoid some of the bad that comes with technology.Good tips for parents to learn to be aware of new issues and problems.Great job.

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Those are all really good points Megan. I really appreciate your point of view from someone who is part of the initial facebook generation, as you put it. You are right, many of those negative effects would occur otherwise, but I guess overdosing on these forms of social media can make it worse for some, according to the study anyway.

    The only thing I have noticed in my children is the ability to be easily distracted by it while doing homework. The laptops and iphones make it so easy to take a quick peek at facebook or even texts. And these repetitive, little interruptions probably do in fact cause lower reading retention rates as the research study points out, even for kids that don't otherwise have focus issues.

    And you are so right, that this is how people now communicate. It's just that sometimes it all needs to be set aside and turned off temporarily so other tasks, such as studying for an exam, can be accomplished well.

    I am so glad you took the time to respond. Thank you.

  • Megan Coxe 6 years agofrom somewhere between here and there

    This is definitely an interesting and important point to highlight, but being of the initial facebook generation, I'm wary of saying that it is negative for teens. It, like any other social-oriented technology can prevent people (teenagers especially) from branching out and interacting in the "real world". But I believe many of the negative effects mentioned by the study happen regardless of having the intermediary of facebook or not. Being a teenage is hard, and almost everyone struggles socially during that age. No, it doesn't help children with anti-social tendencies, or who have problems focusing, but I hate to blame it on whichever social interface is popular at the moment. Technology has changed the way we communicate, for better or worse, and Facebook, like anything else, should be used in moderation. That doesn't mean we should be scared that teenagers primarily use facebook to communicate nowadays.

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Depending on a kid's self esteem, which is usually fragile under the best of circumstances, it can be terrible. Bullying occurs, people make up fake stuff to cause problems, there are jealousies, girls seeing how pretty other girls look in all their self-made photos, etc. It really is terrible for younger teens, and maybe even more so for girls. Not only am I glad I'm not a kid today, I'm glad that mine mostly use these technologies sparingly. Thanks for your additional comments.

  • docbruin 6 years agofrom USA

    You bring up an interesting point about feeling left out of things. I know of adults getting upset over their friend's Facebook pages. I can imagine how kids might feel. I am sure there is also a Facebook "pecking order" or social hierarchy as well, based on how many "friends" you have, how good your content is, etc. I am glad I am not a kid today.

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Thanks for commenting docbruin. Of course there are video games too, and all of this technology is just a big distraction if there are not reasonable limits put into place. "All things in moderation" would be a good rule of thumb for parents to follow, and limits should be put into place everytime a new piece of technology is given to a kid.

    I also think some of the social networking sites may make some kids feel left out when they're looking at their "friends'" facebook pages and see photos of things they were left out of. It's tough being a parent with all this technology to try to monitor, but I think it is tough being a kid too.

  • docbruin 6 years agofrom USA

    This is a fascinating hub, ktrapp! I had always wondered what effect all the computer time, social networking, texting, etc. was having on today's children. I had always thought there might be an impact on their social coping skills. Oh, how things have changed since I was a kid! Thanks for your hub!

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Thank you Alladream74. I hoped to present a balanced article on the effects of facebook on teenagers, so thank you for noticing.

  • Victor Mavedzenge 6 years agofrom Oakland, California

    A well balanced and stimulating hub.

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Funmontrealgirl - I'm sorry for the delay in replying to your thoughtful comment, but I was a bit overwhelmed getting my son off to college.

    I do agree that a lot of this technology is creating a less active generation. Between television and its infinite number of channels; computers with games, internet, and social media; video games - whether hooked up to a tv or handheld; ipods - often with music, movies, internet, and games; and cellphones; kids are constantly "plugged in." That's why I think it is critical for parents to monitor all of its overuse. Thanks for your comment.

  • funmontrealgirl 6 years agofrom Montreal

    I truly agree with this. I think too much technology is certainly a bad thing and is while more information may be available, with video games and social media, I don't see it improving the intelligence of our youth, but creating a lazier and less active generation.

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Seeker7 - My wrists can attest to that fact that repetitive strain injuries can occur from spending too much time on the computer. I think many of us use the computer for hours each day for work-related reasons and then more for personal use. But I never thought about these injuries affecting young children.

    I think balance, as you mentioned, is the key to avoiding many problems. When parents are aware and informed then they can try to control the situation more. Thanks for all your comments.

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    allmytricks - Thank you for your comments. Overuse of any social media or technology definitely can have a negative effect on your gpa. Thank you so much for making that point, as well.

  • Helen Murphy Howell 6 years agofrom Fife, Scotland

    An excellent hub that shows both the positive and negative of a social networking site. I think that if, like everything else, social networking is done in a balanced way then most teens will probably get a benefit from it.

    But I think as well one of my concerns for, not just youngsters, but anyone spending too much time on a computer is the repetitive strain injuries that are occuring from over use of keyboards, mouse etc. Even kids that are quite young are displaying these injuries. They can be very painful and very disabling.

    Will keep this hub as a favourite to show my younger sister as two of her kids are at the 'facebook' age. Personally I don't what the attraction is with Facebook -I've been on it for 2 years or so and still can't find my way around it!!

  • allmytricks 6 years agofrom Dhaka, Bangladesh

    By the way, that was a superb post. :) Really liked it. You pointed out the exact effects so slick. I was an Internet addict too (Not facebook or any social networks, but to SEO :p). That's why my CGPA significantly fallen down. So, I am trying hard to recover it now. Thanks for writing a much needed hub.

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Jacqui2011 - Thanks for your comments. It sounds like you've seen the good and bad with social media. It's a great tool in the right hands, but as your partner's son discovered, it can also be a high-tech way of bullying. I know a lot of schools have policies regarding this even if it occurs in off-school hours. How they enforce it, I have no idea. Sounds like both the kids in your life have good heads on their shoulders. Best wishes.

  • jacqui2011 6 years agofrom Norfolk, UK

    My eldest daughter is constantly on facebook. She is almost 17 years old and treats it as some sort of diary system. When she is not on the computer, she is checking facebook by phone to organise her social life. Luckily she has me added as a friend so I can kinda "track?" what she is up to. She doesn't misuse it or anything, just the amount of time she spends on it. She is at college and her grades are above average, so I can't complain.

    On the other hand, my partners son had a bad experience with Facebook. When he was at school he was bullied because he was very overweight. It didn't just stop at school, his bullies used FB as a way to get to him and verbally abuse him when he was at home. It made him so depressed, that we banned him from using it. We reported the abuse and spoke to his teachers who were very supportive. Thankfully this was all in his last year of high school and he is also at college where he has had no problems.

    Very interesting and informative hub. Voted up

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    I absolutely agree maxravi. That is why I think when kids first use these technologies, there should be time limits put in place so they don't learn bad habits early. Thanks for your comment.

  • Ravi Singh 6 years agofrom India

    Well as a parent , the biggest issue is teens won't play outdoor games much and busy with their laptop.I thinks it makes them less social abd lazy.

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    ChristinS - You're lucky that your son is just at this age now where you are already aware of all the social media tools and other tech gear like ipods, cell phones, and video games. When my kids were that age so much of this was all just really getting started, so as parents we were sort of behind the ball, whereas you can be ahead of it. The main issue I have found with things like Facebook, cell phones, video game systems like xbox 360, ipod touches, etc. is that your child can be in constant contact with friends and "friends" 24 hours a day if there are no limits. So, with everything parents should make sure there are time limits (which is easier to do at age 12) and keep all the stuff out of the bedroom at night. You should read my 2 hubs on cell phones and kids if you haven't already :) Thanks for commenting.

  • Christin Sander 6 years agofrom Midwest

    Thank you for the very interesting and useful hub. I have a son that just turned 12 and all of his friends are on facebook - so we are kind of at that point. I am going to share this information with him as we work out what is acceptable for him.

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Injured lamb - I am glad you don't have issues with your sons and Facebook. Many kids do manage social media fine and do not suffer the negative effects of Facebook if they over use it. Really excess of anything has negative impacts if you think about it, so as parents from the beginning we probably should help our children manage their time and set time limits - limits on video games, social media, television, cell phones, etc. "Everything in moderation" is probably a good way to live.

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Prairieprincess - I am glad you found this article interesting and useful enough to share with others. It really is important to be both be aware of all these technologies, Facebook, cell phones, ipods, etc,as well as to help children manage them. This certainly is a different generation. I suspect that as a teacher this is pretty obvious to you - especially with cell phone issues at schools. Thank you for your comments and for sharing this with others.

  • Injured lamb 6 years ago

    Agree what you have pointed out both the negative and positive side effects. I am glad that two of my boys still can manage it well. Voted you up and useful. Have a nice day.

  • Sharilee Swaity 6 years agofrom Canada

    Ktrapp, very interesting and useful article. This is a topic I have wondered about, and you have provided some of the answers for me. The technology is making this a VERY different generation. We really cannot stop it but like you say, have to learn to manage it. I love your tips for maintaining the communication with the teens. Excellent hub and I am going to share it with others. Take care!

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    You're welcome blairtracy. I am glad it was of interest to you - when I first saw the research on Facebook and teens it certainly caught my attention.

  • blairtracy 6 years agofrom Canada

    Very interesting. Thank-you for sharing.

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Thanks for your input thruthfornow. I do think teens do face so many more pressures these days, especially because they can peak into each other's lives through social media like Facebook so easily. Of course this creates opportunities for bullying, rumor-spreading, and so much more. But I was glad to see that the effects of Facebook on teens who use it excessively were not all negative. If this helps teens learn to give and receive empathy then that's a good thing. Thanks again.

  • truthfornow 6 years agofrom New Orleans, LA

    Great information. These days teens are facing different situations due to social media. There is a lot of bullying on Facebook, so it is good to be aware of what is going on with your teens. I think this article will help a lot of people.

  • Kristin Trapp 6 years agofrom Illinois

    Thank you DjBryle. Being a proactive parent is your best defense against overuse of social media such as Facebook. Being aware of the pitfalls and effects of Facebook and other social media when used in excess by teens is the first step in protecting your son. Best wishes and thanks for your comment.

  • DjBryle 6 years agofrom Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

    I have bookmarked this hub for future use. My son is only 4 years old, and hopefully he won't spend so much time on Facebook when he is old enough to use such account... lol!

    Thanks for sharing this very useful hub! Voted up and shared it too!

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