The evolution of technologies of communication, such as text messaging, broadband, wireless Internet access, and third-generation (3G) mobile phone networks has transformed social media since 2000. As mobile telephony became mobile computing via “smart phones” such as the iPhone and Blackberry brands, individuals became able to access their online social networks outside the confines of their homes and workplaces. Meanwhile, faster computers and broadband access enabled a greater degree of multimedia convergence and visualization. Together, these technologies have led to a variety of new ways for individuals to network, communicate, and connect and have facilitated a greater fluidity between off-line and online social networks. The expansion and use of online social media in our society are imposing a profound effect on the way we interact with one another regardless of our age, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or physical location. Interestingly, while this digital culture has the potential to remove barriers to education, employment, health care, housing, and other consumer needs, it also raises issues that can be detrimental for the well being of the society as a whole. In the next section, we will discuss the effects of social media (i.e., Internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) on people, personally and professionally, also the positive and negative influences and repercussions the Internet plays in today's society.
Discussion & Analysis
The medium of cyberspace had initially been designed merely to serve work flow, task oriented processes within the office or academic environments and purely text based “computer mediated communications”, not designed to cultivate social relationships. With growing technological advancement, the medium been increasingly enabled to effectively convey a range of other communications (Donath & Boyd, 2004).
Social networking sites are cyber combination of a yearbook, private diary and social club. They are online communities where participants create “self descriptive online profiles”, link to other members, share videos, audio clips, and photos ostensibly for networking purposes i.e. use one's chain of connections to make new friends, dates, business partners and so forth. The first social networking site was “Sixdegrees.com” that originated in 1997. Now the most popular social networking sites include MySpace, Facebook, Xanga, Sconex, Bebo, Tagged, YouTube, Friendster, Orkut, Tribe, and Rize (Donath & Boyd, 2004).
Positve Influences of Online Social Media
Online Social Media & Human Rights
Many human rights organizations have a presence on the Internet through their own Web pages, social networking sites, and YouTube. These networks of volunteers in local communities, who might be mobilized through national and international networks and human rights organizations, have become a global Internet social networking entities. Within minutes of any event, messages and videos appear on Web and social networking sites. Every person with online access can provide information to the world. Modern international humanitarian and human rights organizations use the social networking capabilities of the Internet to fulfill their missions. The Geneva Conventions recognized the role of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in providing humanitarian ...