Our language has been invaded with a whole new set of word usages and punctuation related to social media and social networking sites. You have probably heard of Facebook and Twitter and you might even use them. As a connected business professional you may have a profile on LinkedIn. But do you pin on Pinterest? Share your photos on Instagram? Do you Stumble? Are you a Viner?
Social networking has been around for longer than you may think. As early as the late 70s Bulletin Board Services (BBS) were developing. BBS started as local hobbyists created home systems that others could dial in to using a terminal program. The BBS would then allow users to share files and also converse on message boards or via direct â€˜chattingâ€™. While only used by a small fraction of the most techy among us, the underlying technology of BBS played a big part in the development of the current world wide web.
The history of social networking includes Listserv, Genie, AOL chat rooms and many others throughout the 1980s and 1990s. MySpace started in 2003. Facebook entered the scene in late 2004. The latest statistics claim that Facebook has over 1 BILLION USERS! (Mind-blowing, huh?)
What started as the humble BBS has now become the behemoth that is Social Media. We are now bombarded with new information and requests to â€œLikeâ€ or â€œTweetâ€ at every turn. Have you noticed the newest trend of putting social media â€œremindersâ€ right at the bottom of your favorite TV show â€“ directing you to visit the Facebook page or Tweet a certain hashtag?
It took BBS 20 years to develop, Facebook 7 years to get to 1 Billion users, and now Vine, the newest social networking darling, has reached over 13 million downloads in just 1 year!
There certainly are many questions swirling around the â€˜right placeâ€™ for social media in our lives. Many would argue that the noise is deafening and the usefulness of sharing the details of our lives online is, wellâ€¦not useful. And certainly all of this sharing raises big concerns about privacy, highlighted by the news coming out of Washington these past few weeks.
It really is hard to know how all of this fits in and fits together in our lives and in the lives our children. What are the right security measures to put in place? What are the right social media outlets for your business? How do I â€œstay connectedâ€ without always being plugged in?
Social networking and social media are here to stay, if only because as humans we do like to be connected to one another. And of course, who doesnâ€™t love a viral YouTube every once in a while? But it is important to answer the questions about how online connectedness fits into your offline business and home life, so be sure to consider this issue and dedicate time to addressing these questions.
Trish Glees is president of T.G. Consultants. She has been in the IT field for 20 years and is an extremely knowledgeable and experienced IT professional. The companyâ€™s project management experiences ranges from small to multi-million dollar information technology projects, for both commercial and residential clients. Whether you are running a business or just want to spend more time with your family, our solutions allow you to focus on what is most important to you, because we take care of all your computer issues. We are a 100% woman owned company. Contact Trish at firstname.lastname@example.org.