Assignments, University Work

History Of Media: 2) Social Media

Social Media: To enable this, you will research a particular aspect, object, or event that relates to contemporary and even future media history.


When looking at social media you must also look at the creation because without this there would be no social media. I believe that social media is an expansion and development of email, this is because before websites such as Facebook where created emails where the first way of communicating with each other. As stated by John Naughton “For almost two decades, email was the driving force behind the network expansion. Left to itself the Internet would probably have continued to grow at a healthy rate, but its expansion would have been limited.”[1] (Naughton, J, P212). As shown in the quote emails can be seen as key reason for the expansion of the internet which later resulted in the creation of social media, this is because we needed more ways to communicate over the internet, because although we could communicate with each other through email, we showed no emotion as it was seen as a more professional platform of communication.









Social media is seen as a key element of modern society and life, with the creation of platforms that allow for expression we are in the generation of YouTube, Snapchat and Vine stars. We have built the world where everyone feels the need to state and inform all of their “Followers” what they are doing at every second of our lives.  “Some social media have gained phenomenal popularity over the last decade across many parts of the world, and across boundaries of class, gender and generation. Today, social media are used by individuals, by the public sector. Social media are hyped as a victory for individual users over corporate power, and as the privileging of user-led, two-way, many-to-many, communication rather than mass mediated, one-way, one-to-many, communication. (Drotner et al P2) “[2]. When looking at the history of the social media we could see that in the beginning, its main goal was to allow for people to voice their opinions to the people who knew them and later on to thousand all over the world.


The first form of social media occurred in 1997 was Six Degrees it had all of the well-known elements of a modern day social media with users being able to upload images and create an online persona which then allowed them to connect with their friends. When looking at modern times social media platforms have grown and doubled with sites dedicated to all forms of life, for example, LinkedIn, which is a business and employment-oriented social networking service that operates via websites launched in 2002 and is now seen as the key form of connecting in the business world. Other sites such as Tumblr created in 2007 and early on Blogger a 1999 site are used to showcase opinions and arts and can even be used to create and form companies. Blog posts have been used in thousands of ways allowing people to find others who share the same ideas and beliefs. These sites show the expansion and development of the media world when looking at social media due to the fact that they indicate that we are able to show our emotions in a way that all can see.




Modern forms of social media, however, where created as a way for younger generations to communicate with each other, Facebook is a key example created as a way for creator Mark Zuckerberg to communicated with fellow university students. When looking at the way the platform has expanded from its beginnings in 2004, many would state that it is a phenomenon as it has become part of daily life worldwide, with all people all knowing and finding each other through the use of Facebook. Other features that are connected to modern social media is the use of emoji to show emotions whilst texting and writing. “Creative, colourful, and sometimes perplexing, emoji add energy to SMS messages. These little-illustrated characters popped up in the ’90s in Japan, where they enable cell phone users to write more efficiently than with complicated Japanese characters. Since making its way into the mainstream Western culture, emoji fever has exploded.[3]”( Bonnington, C) As stated emoji can be seen as part of modern forms of communication much like of the internet, this is

hieroglyphics were used as ways to communicate during Ancient Egypt.





Looking at the 21st-century social media has been able to question forms of Media such as Hollywood alone Media forms. Social media has done this by creating their own form of celebrities and branding. Examples of this would be to look at the momentum and fans that stars like PewdiePie and Lilly Singh IISuperwomanII Have created they have been able to branch out into Modern forms of media with Lily Singh Having a world tour and movie. This ability to branch out has resulted in companies such as Facebook demanding to be seen as not just social media but actual media companies and news outlets. This is because many younger Generations use Facebook Twitter and other social media network to find out about news and staying communicated with the outside world. This, however, is not something that companies such as Facebook do not what to happen. This is because they may wish to keep their title of being a social media company. Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, may reject the claims that it is a media company he has launching software that is made to help destroy fake news and outlets on Facebook. BBC, however, till seeing this as Facebook moving into becoming a traditional Media company. “Every day there are several pieces bemoaning the duopoly that Facebook and Google allegedly have over the media industry. Those complaints unite the New York Times with The Sun. So while Facebook claims not to be a media company, the impact that it has on other media companies, together with its role in disseminating false information, will mean that publishers continue to condemn it. They argue that Facebook may be one of the world’s greatest companies, but it is shirking a crucial public duty – namely, to be arbiters of truth. The world’s biggest platform, increasingly, has the role once fulfilled by news publishers, without the legal restrictions and social obligations. In short, Facebook is a media company – even though it doesn’t want to be.”[4] (Rajan, 2016). When looking at Facebook and its influence on the way we now consume news many looks at it as a way to give out quick and fast information on current events such as Facebook live stream being used to show police brutality and aid in the black lives matter movement in America, with it being continuously on the trending section of both Facebook and other social media outlets such as Twitter.


Modern forms of media have developed to the point where we have begun questioning if our society has become dependent on the media form. The future of social media seems to show it overpowering and taking the place of historical media forms.

[1] Naughton, J. (2000). A brief history of the future: The origins of the Internet. London: Phoenix.


[2] Drotner, K., Schroder, K., & Dawsonera. (2013). Museum communication and social media the connected museum (Routledge Research in Museum Studies; 6).


[3] Bonnington, C. (2013). Emoji. 21(5), 60.


[4] Rajan, A. (2016, December 15). Facebook: Social network, the media company – or both? BBC Entertainment & Arts. Retrieved from


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