Throughout history, there have been a handful of major events that have shifted the fabric of all of humanity across the globe. Today, it is undoubtable that the internet has taken its place amongst such massive cultural shifts. In particular, though, it is the way with which we use the internet to communicate with one another: social media. Social media has completely redefined the way that humans interact with each other, for better or worse. This trend is only likely to continue, as we barrel down the inevitable change of human progress. Here are several ways that social media is changing society today…
Great tool for business
When it comes to industry and business, social media has become an absolutely crucial tool that modern businesses need to utilize to communicate and interact with consumers. Social media platforms have enabled companies to market directly with consumers by being apart of the discussion with them. Because of this, plenty of businesses are having their own in-house teams of social media specialists who manage this side of business, while social media marketing firms are climbing in necessity and popularity. Even a decade ago, this was not even on the radar, and it marks just one way that social media has changed the way that we do business.
Has changed political discourse
This last presidential election wasn’t fought on the debate floor or with varying proposals of policy. It wasn’t even fought on the campaign trail. The main battleground was over the channels of social media. This is a notable change of how public discourse has always been handled, and is a sign of what is to come. Indeed, the primary way that people engage with politics today is through social media, and it is even where a shocking amount of people get their news.
This has positives and some very big negatives. It has opened the door for a more politically interactive populace, but it has also started a trend of people trusting sources for news that are sketchy, at best. Indeed, in the UK, many people voted to leave the EU without even knowing what Article 50, the procedural outline of what happens when a country leaves the EU, was. At a time when information is more readily available than it has ever been, we have to be even more responsible with how we digest it.
Is how young people communicate
The forefront of social media use has always been amongst young people. Indeed, it has become the spearhead for how so many youth communicate with each other. This is neither good nor bad, but does bring up some interesting prospects. As social media has increased in popularity, it has increased the social circle of young individuals, and has bridged the gap across national borders, as friendships can be maintained around the world. However, it has also provided as a new outlet for things like bullying, and even has worked as a marketing tool to sell drugs to teenageers.
Helps bring up important issues
From the civil war in Syria to the earthquake in Haiti, so many issues have been brought into the public consciousness because of social media. What makes each of these issues so prevalent, though, is that our filter of news media has been cut out of the equation. Instead of having a reporter tell us about the atrocities in Aleppo, we were seeing it from the perspectives of people who were running from the bombs. Social media has proven itself as a powerful tool to bring up important social issues all over the world.
Changing the way we handle money
Who knew that the physical wallet would one day decline in relevance, due to social media? Well, that’s exactly what has happened. The way we handle money is being fundamentally changed as social media platforms, new and old, have been finding ways for people to manage their finances through their channels. Indeed, every major bank now has departments that manages financial transactions through social media. Social media has systematically changed the way that we use money, and has become a viable way to pay employees, make major purchases, and share money with friends. If this trend continues, we may be looking at the end of plastic cards, as a way of managing finances, altogether.