Social Media, the platforms which are anything but… Social. Over the years, social media has become ever present and more of a necessity within our everyday lives.
2003 saw the birth of MySpace, an online way to chat and keep up to date with your friends. Before the release of its soon to be biggest rival, Facebook in 2004, MySpace was the ‘in’ platform and the trendiest way to keep up to update your status and photos. MySpace is still a website available today, but is now aimed towards music socialising and music promotion.
Facebook, the social networking platform that changed the internet. Founded by Mark Zuckerberg in his university dorm, initially just as a platform to rate women across his campus, the website grew into something wider within the online world and spread like wildfire across the college network. Facebook was one of the first platforms to be rolled out across all platforms of mobile/tablet and computer, creating a whole network of people right in your pocket. In 2010 the movie ‘The Social Network’ was released, focusing around the origin story of Zuckerberg and his platform, this movie also showed the trials and tribulations Zuckerberg and his team went through to create the success the platform has today.
Since Facebook, other social platforms have been created such as Twitter, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat. They have completely revolutionised the 21stcentuary and how people view the world. Snapchat a tool that allows you to send short videos and photos to your friends is slowly growing to overtake Facebook for the biggest social platform. Instagram, as photo sharing platform, where you can upload photos of anything you want for your friends and others to like and comment. Vine was another extremely successful platform in its prime, later bought by social giant Twitter. Although they created some of the most famous social media influencers around today, (David Dobrik, Liza Koshy, The Paul Brothers to name a few) the platform didn’t stick around. It evolved around the comedic element of a 7 second, usually comedic, video that people could like and follow to get more content from that user, and slowly became a career for many of its most popular creators.
Social media may sound like a great way to socialise and talk to friends/family all over the world, it has slowly become the decline in safety and mental health for many of its users no matter the platform you use. Bullying, an ever prominent problem through schools/work, the creation of social media gave an extra platform for those bullies to hide behind, Online bullying has become one of the biggest issues throughout many children’s lives growing up, be it through a private message or a comment an a post you’ve made.‘’The first rule of the internet, don’t look at the comments.‘’- Ralph Breaks The Internet. This isn’t confined to one platform, there is no escape for some online, it doesn’t matter what you use or do, the trolls will find a way.
Snapchat a large infulencer of social media, used by over 191 million people all around the world, in 2017 they introduced the use of SnapMaps, a location tool for your contacts to see where you are. A large safety issue, which struck fear to most parents for your children as you are automatically opted in to the feature and there was no warning of the update, so unless you change the settings your contacts can see where you are at any given moment. ‘’It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time. Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat – giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map – we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person.’’ -Childnet, 2017. Though not the first platform to introduce the location feature it was most popular among children as it has one of the lowest age limits of all the platforms, not that it stops younger people from gaining access to the site.
The online industry is booming and bigger than ever, showing no signs of stopping. These platforms though intended for the ease of socialising between friends and family all over the world and to have it all in your pocket, but this ease has aided the evolution of online insecurity for predominantly teenagers and continues to be a problem for many all over the world.
If you are experiencing bullying of any sort be it online at school or at work. Please reach out, you are not alone.
Stand Up Foundation http://www.standupfoundation-uk.org
Childnet. (2017). Introducing ‘Snap Maps’ – the new location sharing feature in Snapchat. [online] Available at: https://www.childnet.com/blog/introducing-snap-maps-the-new-location-sharing-feature-in-snapchat?utm_content=buffere2c35&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer [Accessed 5 May 2019].
Ralph Breaks the internet. (2018). [film] Directed by P. Johnston and R. Moore. United States: Disney Animation Studios.