• Annabelle Reynolds

Social Media Through the Decade

Over the last ten years, social media has been continuously changing. While social media is something that many people think of as the fad of the last few years, it actually got its start earlier than you might think. The first social media platform was called Six Degrees and was created in 1997. The main idea of it was much like the social media we see today. You upload a profile, make friends, and socialize with people online. Six Degrees was the start of an age of technology and staying social online.

There have been many advances to social media in the last ten years. Two main platforms used by teenagers today are Snapchat and Instagram. Snapchat was created in July of 2011, and has since been one of the most popular apps. On Snapchat, users can send pictures, use filters, text, and post to their “story”. Another feature users love is the “memories” section. Memories are saved pictures or videos that users can come back to and post later or send to friends. Snapchat also lets you know when it is the year anniversary of a memory, which is something that makes the app unique.

Another major app is Instagram, created in October of 2010. Like Snapchat, you can send pictures and messages on Instagram. However, unlike Snapchat, Instagram is more centered around posting pictures, commenting, and creating posts about your life or things that are important to you. Instagrammers around the world have been using the platform for more than social means. Politicians and activists use Instagram to bring to light important issues in society and the world in general. Activists like Greta Thunberg, presidential candidates, and even non-profit organizations like Doctors Without Borders use Instagram to spread their messages. Instagram is a great way to not only keep in touch, but also get information out to the public and raise awareness.

Although Snapchat and Instagram are huge in the world of social media now, there were others before they came about. One platform that is still around today is Facebook, started by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. While it technically wasn’t in the last ten years, there have been a lot of changes to the platform. Facebook is a platform where users make friends, post about their status, and keep in touch with others. Like Snapchat, Facebook has taken to the idea of having stories, where you can post pictures or videos about your immediate life. Your friends can view your story for 24 hours, and then it disappears forever, unless it’s been saved.

The world of social media never stays the same for too long. Other apps include Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Tik Tok, Pinterest, Vine, and many more have come in and out of “style”. While some apps stay in the limelight for longer, they have all been influential in the media culture we have today.

“Social media has helped me stay connected with friends who I would have lost touch with,” Lydia Burke (11) said. Social media has become such a prominent aspect of our lives that soon we won’t be able to do anything without it. “I hope that the only effect social media has on my future is that it will allow me to reach people around the world. Whatever my profession may be, I hope it [social media] stays a useful tool for connecting to people,” Burke finished.

It is becoming impossible to live in this day and age, and not use some form of social media. Whether it be communicating for a job, or learning about current events, social media has made huge advancements in the last ten years, and our society is better because of it.

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