Social Media Essay

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Social Media Gehad Alwan Professor: Gus Weekley, JD LEG100 – Business Law 1 May 5, 2013 In less than a decade, social media, in many ways, seems to have “taken over the world.” This statement is not hyperbole. As one of the largest social networking sites in the social media universe, Facebook boasted more than 750 million people actively using its service. If it hasn’t already, Facebook will soon grow twice as large as the population of the United States, which currently hovers at 311 million. Even so, the vast majority of companies did not immediately join the social media revolution. Instead, they spent varying amounts of time observing from the sidelines. But when the first wave of companies did join, it was because they anticipated the significant business benefits of this “brave new world” where the personal, the professional, and the commercial combine seamlessly, and in the blink of an eye. Unlike traditional media, which offers a one-way experience (in which media outlets broadcast information for public consumption), social media offers a two-way interactive experience. Consumers of social media, unlike consumers of traditional media, can interact instantly and directly with either the originators or the authors of the proffered information. They can interact with each other, too. It is the interaction and cross-communication that makes social media possible and is precisely what makes it so world-changing. As with any new technology, there is a downside. Social media also creates a whole new world of privacy, security, intellectual property, employment practices, and other legal risks. But the opportunity to interact with anyone, anywhere, anytime is too world-changing to ignore. It has altered the traditional media expectation of consumers listening passively to radio and television broadcasts, or reading newspapers and magazines, with no hope

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