Why Is Social Media A Fad

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Social media are pervasive in today’s society and penetrate almost every facet of everyday life, be it within private interactions or the professional sphere (van Dijck & Poell, 2013). Its seemingly sudden rise in popularity has caused many to question its longevity, leading to much speculation as to whether or not social media are a fad. This essay will not concern itself with weighing up the arguments that are for and against social media being a fad, but will instead set about looking at what a fad is and then present a framework to identify them. Next, a review of what social media are followed by applying the framework to assess its status as a fad. Bikhchandani et al. (1992) define a fad as a “drastically and seemingly whimsical swing…show more content…
Social media is about more than SNS, blogs, wikis, forums, podcasts, or social bookmarking though, it represents a “fundamental change in society, technology and business practices” (Brown, 2010). Human beings have always strived to form connections, groups and allegiances, the arrival of the internet and subsequently web 2.0 has not changed an individual’s basic desire to connect; they have just created a new way to pursue these connections through platforms that are not bound by demographics, geography or politics (Brown, 2010). Social media represents the next evolution in communication and…show more content…
Kietzmann et al. (2011) also point out that the generation X (those born between 1963 and 1979) are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook, this is interesting as previously this group was seen as a “relatively rare contributor to web 1.0”. Access to the internet is transcending traditional political and socio-economic boundaries, and the proliferation of social media is breaking down demographic walls, it is therefore unlikely that the effects of web 2.0, mobile services and UGC will be ending in the near future. The platforms built on these technological foundations and this change in communications style are also therefore unlikely to disappear any time soon but will continue to evolve; granted a social media platform may come and go in terms of popularity, but social media is about more than just a single platform. As Bikhchandani et al. (1992) explain: “behaviour may change frequently even if value seldom changes”. This means that the popular platform of choice may lose favour, but the value placed on social media itself and the two-way conversation will not. If the value placed on Social media will not change, does this mean that social media is more than just a fad. Let us see what happens when Marx and McAdam’s (1994) framework is

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