During the past 10 years, hundreds of millions of Internet users all over the world have visited thousands of social networking sites and social media sites. They have taken advantage of the free services of such sites in order to stay connected online with their offline friends and new online acquaintances, or to share user-created contents, such as photos, videos, bookmarks, blogs, etc. The movement towards these social technologies is dominating the way we use the internet and platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and MySpace. It has redefined how we use the internet especially in matters of information publishing, research, sharing opinions and content.
With social networking websites like YouTube increasing in popularity day by day it is no surprise that quite a few internet sensations have emerged in the last few years. The concept of viral videos is a powerful one which causes videos to gain popularity through internet sharing by social media websites. These videos can be about anything or anyone, but once it gets into the loop of social media sharing it can be seen around the world within just minutes.
Social media plays a prominent role in; becoming a successful business by increasing your market and promoting it on websites like Facebook and Twitter or educating yourself on everything from current affairs to how to cook. All these factors big or small contribute to the society on a macro level. Yes it is agreed that all these changes can take place offline as well but it cannot be denied that social media has facilitated the processes and made it easier to integrate them in our daily lives. Even things like reading the news that we might not want to, we automatically engage in when a friend posts the article on twitter and you see it in your newsfeed. These social media networks survive on user generated content, which is starting to become the backbone of online content. The users, people like you and me, can interact with each other on the same level which is much easier to understand and accept for most people rather then sharing an unequal relationship with conventional media where the journalists, pop stars, teachers and businessmen have an upper hand. Social media networks in a way promote equality and freedom of expression in its true sense which people strive to have in real life. After just 5 years since the rise of this social media culture which is constantly increasing in popularity it should not be wrong to say that the power that social media has today can be expected to be magnified in the future.
Written by Shizra Saqib