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The History of Social Media Since 1994

Friday, September 8th, 2017

The story and history of Social Media
The history of social media is an important milestone for business and websites. Social networking may seem like a fairly new marvel on the Internet with Twitter and Facebook being the two most popular, but in reality, social is not and never was just devised of these two platforms. In fact, Facebook and Twitter were rolled out nearly thirty years after social started on the Internet. It’s true that it was not until 2004 and 2006 when Facebook and Twitter kicked off that social media started to change the world and the way that people communicate online, but the truth is that social media started with email, usenet, the world wide web, blogs and AOL instant messenger. The history of the Internet is the history of social networking.

Social Media History
The phenomena of social networking blossomed in 1994 with the creation of Geocities, which allowed its users to setup websites modeled after certain urban areas. At that time, more than 1,500 web servers were online in 1994 and people were referring to the Internet as the Information Superhighway.

  • In 1971, a government organization called ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) sent the first email.
  • In 1980, Usenet worldwide distributed Internet discussion system was launched and with it, thousands flocked to the message boards to discuss music, science, literature and sports.

These two events signal the dawn of social networking.

What do people do with social media?

  • Posting and sharing
  • Reading and viewing
  • Linking and commenting
  • Interacting with brands
  • Interacting with fan pages
  • Playing games
  • Chatting and messaging

What is social?

  • It’s huge. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populated in the world, behind only China and India.
  • The amount of video uploaded to YouTube every minute is more than 24 hours (double from the year prior).
  • The number of YouTube videos viewed per day is over 2 billion (double from the year prior).
  • The number of images hosted on Flickr is over 4 billion (that is 13 times more than the Library of Congress).
  • The number of companies using LinkedIn to find and attract employees is 95%.
  • The number of marriages last year between people who met through social media is 1 in 6, which is twice as many people who met in bars, clubs and other social events.
  • The average number of tweets per day on Twitter is over 27 million (that is 8 time more than the year prior)..

Who is social?
More than half of the human race is under the age of 30. So if you want to a sense of where the world’s media habits are headed, it makes sense to watch what kids are doing.

Reaching customers
Social media is the best way to reach your most influential customers, and the only way to reach your most cynical ones. Social media is the crack cocaine of the Internet. We want it, we need it, and we go through withdraw when we don’t have it.

The future of business and social
Social media is a way of thinking. It’s not about sales or ads or click-through rates. It’s about pursuing relationships and fostering communities of consumers. Businesses that wish to grow need to rethink their entire business marketing process. Social requires businesses to make plans because with social, customers are in the center and they are in control.

Level the playing field
Social media is dramatically leveling the playing field and connecting us like never before. So, forget your brand. You don’t own it. You can spend all sorts of time and money trying to manufacture public opinion, but ultimately it’s up to the public.

Social media is redefining everything.

  • How we work
  • How we play
  • How we learn
  • How we share
  • How we discover
  • How we create
  • How we complain
  • How we celebrate
  • How we mourn
  • How we applaud
  • How we influence
  • How we collaborate
  • How we investigate
  • How we evaluate

The rules of social media are basically the same as media.

  1. Listen
  2. Engage
  3. Be real
  4. Be respectful
  5. Have fun

Home on the Internet
Social media is the ongoing conversation of the planet. It’s the source of news, and more often that not, social is the home on the Internet. It’s the home page and the place where most people spend time on the Internet. Social media is the mainstream. It moves the media mouthpiece and constantly distributes to the hands of the public.

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Blue Whale Challenge – What It Means for You and Me

Friday, September 8th, 2017

What Is the Blue Whale Challenge?

The Blue Whale challenge is an online ‘game’ comprising of 50 challenges that an individual is instructed to complete, one by one. Each challenge becomes progressively riskier and more dangerous – including, for instance, watching horror movies, waking up at odd hours in the night, and acts of self-harm. In the final task, the individual is asked to take their own life.

The Blue Whale challenge was created by a 22 year old psychology student, Philip Budeikin, who incited several teenagers to end their lives. He has been suspected to suffer from a psychiatric illness, and while he has been arrested, the game is still widely popular online.

Why Do Teens Do It?

In order to help young, impressionable minds, it’s important to understand why they would engage in such games in the first place.

Teenagers who are suffering from a psychological condition or facing difficulties at home or in school are likely to be insecure and vulnerable, making them easy targets of such games.

Pressure from peers can drive young people to engage in activities in order to be accepted in their friend circles. Some children are more susceptible to being influenced by the attitudes and behaviours of their friends.

Psychologists have suggested that certain personality traits, like thrill seeking and being adventurous, make an individual more likely to fall prey to such games. Children who are victims of bullying may also play such games in order to gain a sense of approval for performing these tasks.

Taking Action – What Can You Do?

As Teenagers

It’s important to be educated about peer pressure and its effects. Such awareness can play a critical role in helping you inculcate confidence and assertiveness.

  • Be Assertive

You have the right to say ‘no’. Realise that you have the choice to do – or not do – something. If you don’t feel comfortable with someone or something, don’t be afraid to speak up.

  • Be around Friends Who Can Support You

It’s important for you to have a social network of friends who are supportive of and respectful towards you.

As Parents

As parents, you need to give the right guidance and support to your children, so that they can feel self-confident and are less vulnerable to the perils of the internet.

  • Be Aware and Supervise

You should make yourself more aware of cyberbullying and other dangers that your children may be facing online. It is vital for you to exercise some degree of supervision over your children’s online activities and to have regular conversations with them, so you are aware of any struggles your child may be facing and can take steps necessary to address the problem.

  • Talk to Your Child

Talk to your child about peer pressure, but do it in a setting that is comfortable and non-threatening for both of you. Don’t try and be instructional; instead, hear them out and listen to what they have to say. This will help build trust and encourage your child to reach out to you when they are distressed.

  • Help Them Be Assertive

Tell your children that it’s okay to say ‘no’. You can also help them rehearse ways to stand up to peer pressure and come up with alternatives to build their confidence.

As Teachers

  • Build Awareness

Schools are key drivers for spreading awareness and promoting the psychological well-being of students. As teachers, you also play an important role in encouraging open discussions about mental health.

  • Look Out for Warning Signs

You need to ensure that you are trained to identify the early signs of emotional difficulties and mental health problems in children. It is important to refer children who have experienced a stressful event and are exhibiting behavioural problems or signs of depression to the school counsellor.

The Blue Whale challenge is a wake-up call that emphasises the important role that all of us – teenagers, parents and teachers – have to play in preventing further such tragedies. It also highlights the need for identifying the early signs of mental illness and taking timely action for the treatment and rehabilitation of those young people struggling with psychological difficulties.