Social Media – How did we get here?

social-mediaFigure 1. Retrieved from The Huffington Post (2016)

Think about your morning and night routine for a minute. What does it look like? Do you have an alarm clock or do you use your phone as your alarm? When you go to bed, what is the last thing you do? For many of us, we would like to say that it is reading that we do or that we turn off all our lights and make sure to get a full night’s rest. But the reality of our morning and night routines is that at some point, most of us will be on our phones checking our social media sites – for one reason or another. In this post, I will be discussing the important and effect social media has had on our culture. In addition, how social media has now curated online branding and its importance to your professional network.

sm2Figure 2. Retrieved from Grossman, S. (2016)

From Dial Up to Web 2.0

Our world has changed dramatically since the world of Web 2.0 can into play. Web 2.0, meaning new age media, has not only given us great new tools to incorporate in our everyday lives, but it has also become an essential part to our lives. It has engrained itself into our culture and inevitably has changed our social interactions, as well as the meaning of them. According to Jose van Dijck (2013), “utterances previously expressed offhandedly are now released into a public domain where they can have far-reaching and long-lasting effects. Social media platforms have unquestionably altered the nature of private and public communication” (p. 7). To some this can be a scary thought to have, but to others it is a way to connect more than ever before. Our culture is now, almost entirely, a global society.

Just Google it?

People have been exposed to the World Wide Web since 1991 and it has ever since evolved into a world of its own (van Dijck, 2013). The essentials started the process with emails, websites/blogs, and list-servers (van Dijck, 2013). Since then we have been exposed to a variety of the same concepts and even more. For example, search engines such as Google and Yahoo have become staples in the home for searching content. In fact, Google has been the leader of it all making the word “Google” into a modern verb – e.g. “just “Google” it”.

And with the advancements of programming, software building, and new needs created by the access we have of the internet, certain platforms have become our new “hangout” spots. Places that people like to “hangout” at are YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. An interesting thought to think about is one noted by Feenberg (2009), where he noted that “social media platforms, rather than being finished products, are dynamic objects that are tweaked in response to their users’ needs and their owners’ objectives, but also in reaction to competing platforms and the larger technological and economic infrastructure through which they develop” (as cited by van Dijck, 2013, p. 7).

sm-3Figure 3. Retrieved from Twin Design

How did you begin using Social Media? And why? What was your first account and do you still use it?


van, D. J. (2013). The Culture of Connectivity.: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from