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What Is Social Media?- COM 460

September 5, 2013

Today, social media rules the world around us. People connect with people, products, businesses via social media outlets. We as a class defined social media as a living thing that provides a hub for networked communication, dialogue, relationship management and information creation and dissemination in digital and mobile environments. This is but one definition; social media can mean different things to different people based on how they use their technology.


In Andy Kinsey’s article Men Vs. Women “How Do Women and Men Use Social Media Differently?” forwarded for class discussion by Dr. Karen Freberg, social media use is dissected based on the gender of the user. The article illustrates how men and women use some social media more than others. For example, me spend more time on YouTube each week than women, but Pinterest consist of more than 70% women audience. Social media in this aspect allows the user to explore interests based on what social communities they are actually interested in. 


Social media video YouTube Social Media further illustrates how social media is about the people who use it. Users today seem almost overly willing to share every aspect of their lives on social media sites as an extension of who they are. The stats given in the video exemplifies how social media is now part of not only one’s personal interests, but is used by government, business, and other traditional aspects of every day life. The quote by Erik Qualman incorporated in the video rings true by explaining that “we don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it”. Even if a person is not a social media user themselves, chances are they are missing out from others sharing ideas on social media.


Social media is currently at a point a where success can be found in integrating the old environment with new or undiscovered avenues. One such example can be seen in social media giant FaceBook. FaceBook is unique in that it combines old environments (friends talking to each other about stuff) with new avenues like corporate sponsored social media sites. The article Business on Social Media gives tips and information about how even local businesses can get in on social media’s ability to promote. With tips like “follow the right people”, “Be real” and “Think multimedia”, businesses who are successful social media users behave much like individual users; businesses have their own personalities in a sense. This field of social media and marketing promotions is something that interests me personally as a career  choice and I look forward to exploring it further during this course. 


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