The effect of Social media on society
Social media is now a global phenomenon; you would be hard pushed to find anyone who uses the Internet that does not use some form of social media. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Flicker and Youtube along with many more sites have users interacting with each other in many different ways.
Social media is defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content”[Wikipedia, 2011]. The idea of sharing your thoughts via a blog or uploading a video or pictures of different events has really caught the average users imagination. User now find themselves using the different websites as an everyday part of life, with the brainchild’s of the various site becoming some of the richest people on the planet.
Other than sharing your photos and thoughts and other social interaction, the uptake of social media has had a big impact on business and on politics. Businesses have realized the potential of social media as a way of advertising; users of Facebook and YouTube almost amount to 1 billion, so the use of these media for getting your message across is truly global. It’s this global nature of the sites that has helped to shape not only the business landscape but also the political landscape.
So did Facebook and Twitter help over through a government? This is a question that has been hotly debated over the last 6 months or so. Here in the Middle East the impact has been key to the civil uprisings, which have indeed culminated in the change of government in two countries, civil war in another and mass deaths in four more. But how have social networking sites had such a drastic affect on society? The answer comes when you look at the local media in the countries affected. In these countries the media tended to be heavily regulated or controlled by the government, so stories of unrest were often kept...