Social Networking in Popular Culture

One of the phenomena’s of today’s popular culture is the emergency of social networking. Everywhere you hear about Facebook or Twitter. With the wide spread use of cell phones, everyone from grade school children to grannies are posting or “Tweeting”. Web based social network services make it possible to connect people who share interests and activities across political, economic, and geographic borders. Through e-mail and instant messaging, online communities are created. But social networking use is not limited to instant messaging. Facebook and other social networking tools are increasingly the object of scholarly research. Scholars in many fields have begun to investigate the impact of social networking sites, investigating how such sites may play into issues of identity, privacy, social capital, youth culture, and education.

Several websites are beginning to tap into the power of the social networking model for philanthropy. Such models provide a means for connecting otherwise fragmented industries and small organizations without the resources to reach a broader audience with interested users. Social networks are providing a different way for individuals to communicate digitally. These communities of hypertexts allow for the sharing of information and ideas, an old concept placed in a digital environment.

Social networking is also influencing American politics. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace were used by 21 percent of online adults leading up to the November 2010 elections.

These adults used the sites to connect with campaigns and elections. Two percent did this using Twitter. The majority of this group, at 11 percent, used the sites to see who their friends voted for in November elections. report.
Data gathered from Twitter (courtesy of Tweetbeat) and Facebook (courtesy of U.S. Politics on Facebook) paint an interesting picture. Americans are a politically chatty bunch, if nothing else, and their web-based public messages prove it.

In fact, tweets about the State of the Union address far outnumbered tweets about other events of the day, including tweets about the upcoming Super Bowl. Tweetbeat counted around 400,000 tweets about the State of the Union address, and 100,000 appeared in the first hour of the event itself.

Social networking is also influencing governments abroad. The current unrest in the Middle East has a social network connection. Egypt’s Internet is suffering major outages, the Associated Press is reporting. A major Internet provider in the country is saying no Internet traffic is going in or out of the country. Protests in Egypt are expected to intensify with opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei’s return to Cairo, and reports of Twitter and Facebook being blocked inside the country by Egyptian authorities continue to surface through the social networks themselves, and according to HerdictWeb. Users are also reporting that SMS – short message service – is being blocked as well.

Social networking is evolving rapidly. At the forefront of emerging trends in social networking sites is the concept of “real-time web” and “location based.” Real time allows users to contribute content, which is then broadcasted as it is being uploaded – the concept is analogous to live radio and television broadcasts. Twitter set the trend for “real time” services, where users can broadcast to the world what they are doing, or what is on their minds within a 140 character limit.

There is also an application for social networking in the business world. . Companies have found that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great ways to build their brand image. According to Jody Nimetz, author of Marketing Jive, Jody Nimetz on Emerging Trends in B2B Social Networking“. Marketing Jive, November 18, 2007. Accessed 26 October 2009. There are five major uses for businesses and social media: to create brand awareness, as an online reputation management tool, for recruiting, to learn about new technologies and competitors, and as a lead gen tool to intercept potential prospects. These companies are able to drive traffic to their own online sites while encouraging their consumers and clients to have discussions on how to improve or change products or services.

Once thought of as just a fun activity, social networking is becoming a useful and important tool is today’s world. It is constantly evolving, but I am sure it will be one of the things that our generation is remembered for.

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About smurphyrules
I love my son, my fiance, my mom and the new children that will be becoming a part of my life.

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