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Social media is a general reference to the applications and websites that are designed
by different companies to share content across the platform easily and quickly, thus time
efficiency. The word social media comprises two words: social and media. While social is a
direct reference to something which affects people, media refers to a tool that is used to share
data. This brings the conclusion that by saying social media, there has to be some form of
sharing data and information, and this sharing is between people who are aiming at
socializing. Most people think that social media is just apps like Facebook, Instagram, and
WhatsApp which are the most common. Still, the real factor is that social media started with
websites that existed years before mobile applications. Social media has become essential for
almost everyone, and with this, it impacted the lives of people either positively or negatively
and how they go about doing things.
The rise of social media
In 2020, Facebook, which is the largest social media platform, is estimated to host
more than 2.4 billion users now, some owning just one account and others with multiple
accounts. WhatsApp and YouTube have also grown to have more than 1 billion users, each
with the number of people joining these platforms increasing steadily with the continuous
production of smartphones. Perrin, A. (2015) found out that:
Young adults (ages 18 to 29) are the most likely to use social media – fully 90% do.
Still, the usage among those 65 and older has more than tripled since 2010, when 11%
used social media. Today, 35% of all those 65 and older report using social media,
compared with just 2% in 2005(pg. 52-68).
Compared to the world population of 7.7 billion, this means that Facebook alone is being
used by at least 35% of the total population bringing the figures to at least 1 in 3 people is
using the platform. This has made social media have a significant impact on the world. Many
have found friends and life partners while a majority can get news from all over the globe,
and in some cases, it has helped people in mobilizing and pushing for change.
Reasons for the rise of social media
The growth of the internet is one of the main factors that has promoted social media.
Almost everyone has access to an internet-enabled phone. Without the internet, there are no
social media to be specific. In the 21st century, virtually all the young and old generations can
surf the web and this is the reason why a social media platform like Facebook has risen so
fast. Facebook, for instance, offers its services through the World Wide Web and mobile
phone applications from both the old kind of phones and smartphones with internet access.
This has made it reach out to the vast majority, given that it caters to the ...
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