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“Social Media Syndrome”: The bubble of the last decade

February 23, 2011

“Do you trust some smokey executive in a back room, or do you trust your peers who are all connected to you?” Jay Adelson, Digg

Almost everyone I know is affected by the “Social media syndrome,” myself included. Like Janeane Garofilo said in her stand-up, “It’s like people are dancing with Ellen all the time.” This creates a basis of comparison that things were not always this way. I used to have dial-up in high school for Christ’s sake (my parents are what you call “late adopters”). How did social media and online interactions grow to such a level of basically controlling our lives? (Although it’s healthier to think along the lines of us controlling IT.)

I recently watched a video in my social media class called “Download: The True History of the Internet”, which I found interesting in relation to the veritable explosion of social media in our lives today.Here are some quick facts about “the history of social media”:

1.   It all started with the founders of mp3 companies like Audion and WinAmp in the 90s, launching the sharing  of audio files  over computers and the Internet.

2.   Sean Fanning, the founder of Napster, shifted the role of the Internet even further with his music sharing service, which proved to be a more reliable method of sharing.

Napster, however, was eventually shut down due to copyright claims by “The Man” aka the music industry.
3.  In the millenium, social media was anyone’s game with Myspace, YouTube and Digg exploring this level of sharing in the new millennium.

Below is a spoof on the “Social Network” for Myspace, which compares the site to the now conglomeration of Facebook (made possible by YouTube):

Facebook, founded by Mark Zuckerberg, took a “social graph” of human relationships and applied it to a “6 degrees of separation” theory of universal connectedness. Facebook’s ridiculous size of almost 10-50 million users doubles every 6 months according to Mark Zuckerberg, which means that it will likely have a very large impact on the future of social media. Facebook is currently competing with King of the World Google for implementation of complete Internet searching on Facebook.

In the future, Facebook Platform will be an even larger, all-encompassing entity which provides useful applications for people and businesses to make connections. Before we know it, Godzilla Facebook will grow exponentially before our eyes and leave no man, woman, or child behind (not to be dramatic or anything.) It will likely increase the potential of having successful campaigns, communications and interactions primarily through Facebook- the true embodiment of the digital age.

So, to wrap up on a personal note, social media is huge. For someone looking to enter into the professional world in this day and age, innovation is pretty major in achieving success. Until next time, happy sharing! 🙂

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