This chapter contains a schorlarly understanding of what is social media ,the origin and history of social media,the types of social media channels,the characteristics of social media the negative impacts of social media and the attitude of youth towards social media
1.1 What are social media and new media?
According to Junco et al.2011 social media are “a collection of internet websites,services and practices that support collaboration,community building,participation and sharing.example of social media channels today as noted by Joosteen,( 2012),ranges from networking platforms such as facebook to video sharing sites such as you tube. Rice (1984) defined new media as communication technologies that enable or facilitate user to-user interactivity and interactivity between user and information.
1.2 Types of social media
According to many schorlars social media channels include a diversity of application with different core fiunction and structures ,for example social media channels today include facebook,myspace, linked in,and web blogs just to mention,therefore,there are many types of social media used for different functions; for instance social media for chatting,social media for sending videos e.t.c. Therefore social media have been classified by schorlars depending on their functions,based on this social media are classified into seven types.
There are seven types of social media ,the first type includes the wikis.according to Mayfield,2008;Pfeil,Zaphiris,&Ang,2006 wiki is a communication mechanism to create web based content that require collaboration.it allows its users to create ,modify and disseminate information,a good example of this social media is the wikipedia,another type of social media are web blogs, these according to John V.Pavlik 2013 are web pages of short, frequently update postings by an individual that are arranged chronologically,blogs contain thoughts ,links to sites of interest or whatever the blogger wants to write,a good example is word press.Another type of social media are discussions boards and web forums.John V.Pavlik 2013 describes it as ” a type of online “bulletin board” where internet users can post mesages that can be seen by others coming to the discussion board and in which they can post response to previous messages or posts or create their own discussions on a new topic,an example of this social media is the WELL(Whole earth ‘lectronic link).Another type of social media are socialnetworking sites, according toBoyd;Ellison,2007, they are sites that enable users to articulate a network of connections of people with whom they wish to share access to profile information, news, status updates, comments, photos, or other forms of content,example of such site is facebook.Another type of social media is the chat rooms,according to John V.Pavlik,2013 he describes chat room as “a virtual room”in which acommunity of users can visit and talk to each other through text messages in real time,an example of this social media is yahoo.another social media type are the microblogs.Microblogs according to John V.Pavlik,2013 is a technology that allows frequent update of shorter posts and content,an example in this is twitter.the last type of social media is email.John V.Pavlik describes it as an exchange of messages via telecommunication between two people.
1.3 General characteristics of social media
Mayfield ,2008 outlines the characteristic of social media into five: participation,openess,conversationality,community and connectedness.Participation according to Burgoon et.al 2000,participation is the extent to which senders and receivers are actively engaged in in the interaction as opposed to giving monologues,passively observing or luking,its participatory nature allows interested parties an opportunity to engage in an interaction.For example encouraging conrtributions and feedback from everyone who is interested.Another characteristic of social media is openess.Openess according to Mayfield,2008 is defined by the perceived ease of giving and receiving information and comments by its users.social media has few barriers that limits one to access information or make comments, so information can easily travel between sources and users(MeadowsKlue,2007).For example when we have the younger generation sharing information about their lives online via social media sites like facebook.Another characteristic of social media is connectedness,Teixeiria,(1992) describes connectedness as interpersonal ,community and general social ties.connectedness allows people to connect to the outside world and to easily expand their experiences.For example in facebook when we receive friend requests from friends or from friend of a friend.another characteristic of social media is conversationality,Mayfield ,(2008) describes it as the transmission or distribution of of information to an audiece by two way conversation rather than one direction.he gives his description with comparison to traditional media channels which was a one way communication mechanism or rather linear communication ,traditional media channels includes television,radio and newspaper just to mention.The last characteristic of social media is community and commonality, social media allows individuals and organizations to identify and communicate with the people whom they want to be associated with.(Mayfield, 2008) says it does so by offering a mechanism for individuals and organizations to form communities and to develop relationships effectively with others who share some commonality with them. For example, most social networking sites were launched to support demographics in an intimate, private community, such as the early Facebook for college students (Boyd ; Ellison, 2007). While social media helps foster communities, its aim is not simply on creating communities which are more continuous and regular in nature, and centered on a concept or common goal, as opposed to a collection of content. For example, viewers that post various online comments on a news story or video have something in common but might not necessarily be seen as belonging to a community. In other words, social media provides an effective means of developing communities, but its core utility is in linking individuals and organizations with others that share a certain commonality, as determined by their temporal needs and interests at the time of interaction.
1.4 The origin and history of social media
Six Degrees was the first social media site that was founded by a financial analyst and legal professional Andrew Weinreich, and was launched in 1997. Six Degrees was created based on the theory that every person in the world could be connected to each other by just six degrees of separation. The site lasted from 1997 until 2001.Six Degrees was the first to combine personal profiles, instant messaging, friends lists and the ability to search other members friends lists.Six Degrees may have been created a bit before its time. As the site grew, the world of online advertising was in its infancy and Weinreich was unable to keep the site afloat .Later after the closure of Six Degrees another founding father Adrian Scott came up with Ryze which was started in 2001,it was started to help connect business professionals .According to his book About Ryze,2013,”Ryze helps people make connections and grow their network.You can network to grow your business,build your career and life find a job and make sales,or just keep in touch with friends.”
After that social media sites began to explode with popularity with friendster being launched in 2002 by a Canadian computer programmer Jonathan Abrams. The service allowed users to contact other members, maintain those contacts, and share online content and media with those contacts.The site was also used for dating and discovering new events, bands and hobbies. Users could share videos, photos, messages and comments with other members via profiles and networks.in 2003,several other sites were launched,linkedin for instance was laumched in 2003 by several founders, Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant it was specifically aimed for business users to form professional networks and business connections.Later the same year MySpace is conceived by staff from Intermix Media (nee eUniverse), including marketer Chris DeWolfe and former computer hacker Tom Anderson.In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched ‘The Facebook’. The Facebook was created as social networking for college students.”The facebook”, as it was originally known; the name taken from the sheets of paper distributed to freshmen, profiling students and staff. Within 24 hours, 1,200 Harvard students had signed up, and after one month, over half of the undergraduate population had a profile.The network was promptly extended to other Boston universities, the Ivy League and eventually all US universities. It became Facebook.com in August 2005 ,US high schools could sign up from September 2005, then it began to spread worldwide, reaching UK universities the following month.As of September 2006, the network was extended beyond educational institutions to anyone with a registered email address. The site remains free to join, and makes a profit through advertising revenue.YouTube wasis another social networking site launched in 2005. It was founded by Jawed Karim, Steve Chen and Chad Hurley. They were employees of PayPal. It was a social sharing that let users freely upload and share a video.In 2006 Twitter was launched , it was known as social networking and microblogging site. It let its member to share and exchange 140 character messages. This short message was called as Tweets.More social sites continuued to be launched ,In 2010 several other sites were launched these included instagram,and google buzz.Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger unleashed the photo-sharing platform that, though they didn’t know it at the time,Instagram lets registered users upload photos or videos to the service. Users can apply various digital filters to their images, and add locations through geotags. They can add hashtags to their posts, linking the photos up to other content on Instagram featuring the same subject or overall topic. Users can connect their Instagram account to other social media profiles, enabling them to share photos to those profiles as well. The other one is Google Buzz,it was a social networking, microblogging and messaging tool that was developed by Google and integrated into their web-based email program,gmail, users could share links, photos, videos, status messages and comments organized in “conversations” and visible in the user’s inbox.On October 14, 2011, Google announced that it would discontinue the service and that the existing content would be available in read-only mode. Buzz was discontinued on December 15, 2011 and superseded by Google In 2011, Google launched new product of social networking named Google plus (Google+). Google plus let you have a video chat (hangout) and exchange information.In 2012, The first social scrapbooking that gained 10 million users faster in history launched. This social scrapbooking’s name is Pinterest. In Pinterest, you could create and share album of photos.More of social sites continue to be launched.
1.5 Negative impact of social media on youth today