Let’s face it folks – Social Media is everywhere today. People talk the “Social Media tongue” without even knowing it at times (Abboud, 2010)
Marianne’s understanding of the term ”social media”, is that is a quite undeniably massive, and infinite forum, whose possibilities are endless, and which is an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. At its essence, it enables users, of all abilities, persuasions, and phases of life, to engage, and liaise freely with any person, or thing (being service industry, or institution, and the like), the world over. Just as humans are created, or have evolved as social beings, to begin with – i.e. the primal need to be in community, and close contact with other human beings – obviously, with advances in technology, it is inevitable that this need of society has progressed to the online world of cyberspace. The aspect of ‘media’ comes into play, in the way in which online societies are formed, and what platform the users choose to engage in. I.e. online developers, have created, and enabled these platform mediums, so that computer users all over the world, can very easily connect with whomever else in the world they choose; and these mediums include the likes of the omnipotent Facebook, and Twitter; the lesser-known Bebo (in Australia); as well as the more in-depth/focused, and intellectualised forums, such as LiveJounral, and WordPress; to the more specific, and targeted websites, such as Meetup, or Eventbrite – enabling subscribers to actually meet-up in person, while at the same time using these as social networking sites in their own right.
One main characteristic, that the writer sees trumps all other characteristics, is the ability to simply share (share, and share). Mainly, in the form of sharing ideas, and opinions; and offering tips, advice and troubleshooting solutions to each other. Also, social media, and general networking is a more dynamic way of engaging with all users, of any kind, whether it be family, friends, colleagues, class-mates, service providers (institutions, and companies), and complete strangers – than say merely sending emails, or sending messages direct via websites. Social media also allows users to get creative, in ways in which they might not have otherwise been able to. Another characteristic, which undoubtably everyone would agree upon, is the ability of social media to allow everyone to be a news-maker, news provider, or journalist of their own accord, and ability – i.e. giving voice to the masses of humanity (with whatever literate capability), that has never been possible before, in the history of communication.