The impact that social media has on societal and individual relations.

The aim of this essay is to give the impact that social media has on societal and individual relations.

Social media has changed the way people interact with each other forever. Social media first existed as an invention created in 1975 known as email, which is still used today (Owyang, 2009).

However social media has advanced in to using a profile to give information about a user and his or her interests, and has integrated the use of email. Now social media involves sharing stories, photos, and involves the use of applications as well as messaging to communicate with others. This type of social media did not become popular until the year 2003 when MySpace and Friendster were launched. Shortly after Facebook was launched but was not open to the general public until 2006, which has become the number one social media site today (Owyang, 2009). These networks have many positive effects such as remaining in contact with friends, meeting new people, providing educational benefits, as well as the convenience of mobilly accessing it. Also there are some negative effects which include identity theft, cyber bullying, decreased social interaction in real life, and social isolation. Increase in mobile social media could possible cause future health problems.

The first type of social media created was Email, which was invented in 1975 (Email). Since then social media has advanced into a profile with numerous features that can be used and has integrated the use of email. Now social media is changing the way the world interacts with people, and has provided many useful tools for the world to use. Still these social networks are continuing to advance to provide better features for users, and these popular sites will continue to grow in size. Even though social networks can have negative effects such as wasting time, it also affects people positively by allowing people to communicate and remain in contact with friends in a much easier way. (Owyang, 2009)

In the article “Are social networking sites good for our society?” (ProCom,2009) social networking  is defined as “an online community that allow people to develop profiles of their backgrounds and interests, communicate with friends and strangers, and share thoughts, photos, Internet links, music, and more (p.1). Once a social network is joined users are prompted to identify others in the system with which they have a relationship known generally as “friends.” Social media sites vary greatly with the features they have to offer, and is what makes each site different from the other.”Six Degrees” was the first major social network, similar to social media today, to be launched and was launched in 1997 (Bhutkar, 2009). Social media as it is today did not become popular until 2003 when Friendster MySpace and LinkedIn were launched. Then in 2004 Facebook was launched but was only open to college students with a valid university email. Facebook remained a college only network for two years before it opened to the general public in 2006. Since then Facebook has become the number one social media site

(Bhutkar, 2009).

Social media sites allow people to communicate and remain in contact with friends as well as meet new people. These sites allow people to find others with similar interests that they can create a relationship with and get to know one another. Groups can be joined or formed to meet people with similar interests, and views. Social media allows for creative expression by using tools such as messaging to post ideas and stories (Are social networking sites good for our society). Users also share poems, interest in music, TV shows, hobbies, photos, and many other things. Event invitations can be made and sent to friends rather than having to mail invitations and friends can also rsvp for an event on the site.

Not only is it used to talk to friends, but it is also used to discuss educational topics. Social media is said to increase a person’s quality of life, and can reduce health risks. Many people report that they have not had any negative experiences with social media, and schools are starting to look at it as an educational tool (Thelwell, 2006). The use of social media helps improve technological skills of students, and exposes them to many diverse views about things. It also has helped with communication skills, and allows the learning of cultures from users all over the world. Also students use social media to discuss homework topics with peers online, and to get help on assignments (Reid, 2009). Sixty percent of students on social networks have said that they talk about education, and 50 percent specifically talk about school work assignments. These students seem to have an extraordinary set of traditional and 21st century skills including communication, creativity, collaboration, and leadership skills and technology proficiency. Parents are expecting schools to take advantage of using online social media to educate children, but to do so in a safe way. Some public schools have created a secure social network for its student to be able to communicate with other students, and to do so in a more safe way (National School Board Association, 2007).

Social media does not just benefit individuals, but it also benefits businesses as well. These sites allow businesses to advertise and market services to a large audience, and a profile is free to set up (Gillin, 2008). Numerous businesses have created profiles that provide detailed information about the business to advertise in a low cost way (Roberts, 2008). Businesses will gain more attention on social networks because the business profile is available to for all users of the social network to see. Also businesses like to use social networks to learn what potential employees are like, and make decisions based on the information provided on the person’s profile (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007).


Social media has its advantages and its disadvantages like everything else does. The sites are continuously advancing, and changing to fix the negative problems.There are still problems that need to be fixed, but it seems that the positive effects outweigh the negative effects. Social media is a very valuable tool that can be used to meet new people, and allow people to remain in contact with friends. Even though it can waste time, social media positively affects the world by allowing people to communicate, and remain in contact with friends in an easy and convenient way.


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Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook “friends:” social capital and college students’ use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4). Retrieved from

Email: The First -and Largest- Social Network « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing. (n.d.). Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang: Web Marketing, Social Media. Retrieved March 9, 2014, from

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