Myspace Days: Development of Social Media

When you first open your social media account your entire feed is flooded with what everyone is doing. As you keep scrolling and see everyone taking amazing trips, having fun guy nights, best friends captioning inside jokes on pictures, which could have a negative effect on the person who isn’t out doing all those kinds of things. Especially the youth because the amount of likes and comments is considered a way to determine the popularity of that person. Social media has a great effect in society. Three things that it has affected by the usage of social media are how people socialize with each other, how society views themselves behind the screen versus reality, and the effects how businesses are growing.

If someone in today's world were to ask you if messaging or texting someone was a form of socialization they would most likely answer yes. Since the inception of, socializing has become much easier especially for introverts because socializing could all be done via messaging. According to the article “Social Networks, gender, and friending: An analysis of Myspace member profiles” the author Mike Thelwell writes that “For teenagers, it seems that their Myspace activity can be deeply embedded into their lives, for example, influencing their self‐esteem. A consequence of this is that social networking is not only an interesting new form of online communication but also one that is important in its own right”. Since Myspace gave people the opportunity to become more social in the online communication world, people have become more confident when it comes to talking to people that they most likely wouldn’t have in person. Online socialization gives a person the courage to start a conversation with someone and can provide a boost of confidence, and can eventually lead to meeting them in person after having talked to them online. Meeting with someone you have already been socializing with on social media can be much easier and less stressful when you have established a rapport and already know a little about that person. It makes the process of meeting someone not feel like they are meeting a stranger but someone they already know a little about.

Although communicating online through social media can give you the self-confidence to eventually meet someone in person, it also allows you to truly express yourself more freely. Society can use social media as a way to allow someone who doesn’t feel comfortable expressing their opinions with their peers. While being online there is a sense of protection behind the computer screen to be themselves. This could also be used to be used to create a profile under the conception of the looking glass self. Social media can be an escape to be someone you want others to view you as and not who you really are. One of the biggest ways that is used is a women’s body image. In the article “Thin-Ideal Internalization and Social Comparison Tendency as Moderators of Media Models' Impact on Women's Body-Focused Anxiety” authors Helga Dittmar and Sarah Howard wrote how “Negative reactions to thin images are conditional on internalization only, whereas high internalization undermines the positive effects of exposure to average-size models when it combines with strong habitual social comparison”. Dittmar and Howard found in their experiment how much a women’s mind can change so quickly on what others think and what is being labeled as beautiful. Studies also show how a women’s mood can dramatically change and deteriorate as she spends time on social media. For example, in the article “Social comparisons on social media: The impact of Facebook on young women's body image concerns and mood” by Jasmine Fardouly, Phillippa C. Diedrichs, Lenny R. Vartanian, and Emma Halliwell wrote “ Furthermore, women high in appearance comparison tendency reported more facial, hair, and skin-related discrepancies after Facebook exposure than exposure to the control website”. This is because of social media and how it plays a role of trying to change yourself by pretending to be someone else, taking pictures of yourself that are edited before they are posted, and pictures that are only taken after being dressed up so in your pictures you look your best. Since women are valued by their beauty, this is why is predominantly affects women.

Being someone who you’ve always wanted to be can become a reality with social media. Just like growing businesses trying to sell a product, media needs to have the best profiles to engage your customers and to sell the product. Before social media businesses would count on their most polished salespeople to promote a product as a way of getting the product known to customers. Businesses still use person-to-person contact as a way to promote, but social media is also now utilized and valued just as much as person-to-person contact. More companies are starting to use social media programs that work with customer relationship management (CRM). In the article author Carolyn Hellar Baird, a global CRM research leader says that “This new paradigm – Social CRM – recognizes that instead of just managing customers, the role of the business is to facilitate collaborative social experiences and dialogue that customers value”. Carolyn Baird is saying that having social media creates a new discussion that is available at the click of a button and even becomes an attraction to customers by having a website that is personal to the company and has everything a customer would need on it. Having easy access to a website is an attraction for customers. Social media has also made businesses like charities for donations a lot easier to manage and has even made it easier for people to log on and to donate by using social media. Erik Qualman is the author of the book “How social media transforms the way we live and do business” states that “They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to make a difference in the world, and they believe in the collective power of the crowd”. People want to be a part of something like donating to a charity and social media makes it much easier to access these charities and donation sites. This generation is used to being able to do so much digitally and making something like even donating accessible at the tip of your fingers will allow people to donate much easier than before.

Social media has been rapidly growing since Myspace days and will continue to grow with multiple social media outlets to choose from. Social media has been used to create a place to socialize and meet people anywhere in the world and gain the courage to be able to connect with many people. It also allows you to express yourself using a profile and photos that show wither who you really are, or who you want to be. Social media is a great opportunity to be yourself and meet people with similar interests and beliefs. It also affects how women see themselves physically which has an effect on how people post and take pictures to put up on their profiles. Social media has also been a breakthrough for growing businesses by allowing them to reach out to customers all over the world. Social media provides a company a way to connect to you with specific products that meet your needs. Overall, the three things that have been affected by the usage of social media are how people socialize with each other, how society views themselves behind the screen versus reality, and the effects how businesses are growing.  

29 April 2022
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