SOCIAL MEDIA: #scary or #friendly? You decide!

Written by Andrei Ramba

Have you ever imagined what a huge impact social media can have on our life? When somebody gets a surprise break-up message, that somebody gets instantly mad; when somebody sends a risky text, that somebody gets anxious and nervous, and when somebody receives a good notification, that somebody feels relaxed and happy. Almost every teenager has experienced this impact. Whether positive or negative, it has changed something in us, humans. However, you should ask yourself the following question: “How come that social media has influenced me?”

Everybody has their phone with themselves almost all the time. We, teenagers, receive a huge amount of notifications every day. We check our phones so often that we cannot realise how quickly our mood can be changed.

You must have seen how hard it comes to keep in touch with everything and everyone. Sometimes, everything seems out of control. Well, that is how social media influences us. Back in the time when social media was not a thing, people were used to talking to each other. There were no gossip and secrets on the internet and there were no bad comments on the social platforms. Now, everything revolves around what you do on social media.

Social Platforms are like some cards in a game: if you play them well, you will win. That is how it works nowadays, too. There are plenty of platforms dedicated to us, teenagers. Every social platform has its secrets, secrets that can be revealed by learning the basics of each and every one of them.

1. Facebook

Facebook may be the most know social platform that has ever existed on the Earth. The founder of this company is the well-known Mark Zuckerberg and it was launched on the date of the 4th of February 2008. It has been a while since Facebook was created, approximately 10 years. At the moment there are 2.27 billion monthly active Facebook users, while at the end of 2008, there were only 150 million monthly active Facebook users. Wow … these numbers are extremely high. A study made by the “WordStream” company has shown that adult Facebook users in USA spend 68% of their mobile device time using this app. Teenagers do not use Facebook anymore. A huge wave of teenagers has recently transferred to Instagram and/or Snapchat, apps that give them more possibilities like sharing on “My Instastory” or “My story” or using funny filters and stickers for their photos. The only reason for leaving Facebook is that the number of adult users has rapidly increased and teenagers apparently did not like to post on a social platform where grandma or grandpa could see that.

2. Instagram

Every teenager must have at least once heard about Instagram. It is really popular with teenagers and young adults. It was founded in October 2010. More than 40 billion photos have been shared in the Instagram history. Currently, there is more than 4.2 billion number of Instagram likes per day. 32% of all Internet users are on Instagram. The most popular Instagram user with a total of 144M followers is Selena Gomez. You slay, @selenagomez! The app has some cool features as Instastories, Boomerang, InstaTV and Highlights.

Your Instastories can contain many other nice features such as Music (for some regions only), Superzoom, Polls, Countdowns, Questions, Gifs, Location Tags, User Tags, Hashtags, Emoji Sliders, Stickers and Filters. The main purpose of this app is posting photos. A lot of stars and brands use this social platform to promote themselves. At the end, on thing is certain … everyone loves Instagram.

3. Snapchat

5 years ago … Snapchat was created … by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, students at Stanford University. The idea for Snapchat came while they were preparing their final project. In one of the interviews, Spiegel mentioned that they failed on almost 34 projects until they found Snapchat. The app was firstly named “Picaboo” as an iOS-only app. Picaboo was renamed as Snapchat in 2012, after rebranding and launching the app available for Android users, as well. Today, the application has more than 300 million monthly active users. Especially after 2014, Snapchat added many features such as Streaks (which actually made Snapchat that famous), Geofilters, Stories and Discover as well as cool “Spectacles” glasses by increasing its active users. Snapchat firstly introduced the concept of “My Story”. Afterwards, Instagram somehow “copied” this and introduced “My Instastory”. It was not something bad. The real scandal showed up when Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube exactly copied this. Not so cool. However, Snapchat remains one of the most used apps by the teenagers.

4. YouTube

YouTube is a popular social media platform dedicated to videos. YouTube was originally created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005. The company was created after one of its founders became frustrated with trying to share video footage of a dinner party. He was unable to do so over email because of attachment size limits. Quite funny, isn’t it? Now YouTube is known worldwide, being the third most visited website. The first YouTube video was entitled “Me at the zoo” and shows founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. “Me at the zoo” was uploaded at 8:27 PM on Saturday, April 23, 2005.

The 19-second video has been viewed over 30 million times. However, the first video to reach 1 million views was a Nike Ad featuring Ronaldinho in September 2005. By July 2006, YouTube announced over 65,000 videos uploaded every day. At the same time, the site received 100 million video views per day.

5. Twitter

When we talk about popular social platforms, our little bird cannot be forgotten. Twitter was founded on March 21st, 2006, 12 years ago, by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams and launched in the month of July the same year. Twitter is famous for its “tweets”. The hashtag (#) was first proposed by the user Chris Messina debuted in August 2007. The common wisdom at the time was that it would be “too techy” to catch on. Chris now has over 75,000 followers. Twitter is the social web’s news breaker, having more than 3600 employees. Twitter was almost called “Friendstalker.” No joke, had Evan Williams had his way, we might all be “Friendstalker”-ing instead of tweeting. Thankfully, the Twitter co-founder’s tongue-in-cheek name suggestion was cast off as “too creepy,” reports the New York Times. The platform could have also been dubbed “Twitch,” “Twitcher” and “Jitter.” Twitter was eventually settled on after one of the co-founders read the word’s definition aloud from a dictionary: “The light chirping sound made by certain birds; agitation or excitement; flutter.” And — chirp, chirp — history was made.

To conclude, we could say that social media has a great impact on our life. It’s up to us to decide if it’s rather positive or negative.