You’re a living, breathing human with internet access, so there’s a 99% chance you have come in contact with social media in just the past 24 hours alone. In fact, you probably found this article from a share on a social site.
But should social media really be referred to as “social” anymore?
Social media began just under 15 years ago, and has become such a constant in the lives of the average population that we can no longer imagine the world without it. We are constantly checking in to see what our friends are up to, posting status updates, and even creating our own content in the hopes of becoming “internet famous”. In fact, many people these days make a living on social media, myself included.
However, social media has changed, and will continue to do so over its lifetime. When social media first began, it revolved around talking and connecting with other people on a personal level. It was, quite literally, “social”. Now, we run to social media as a way to stay informed about the world, find entertainment, and promote the causes we care about.
Social media has become a lot less about being “social”, and a lot more about being media.
Let’s face it, social media is now what the television industry used to be. Complete with more ads than you are even aware of with every click of your mouse or tap of your finger. Social media platforms are performing at higher rates than even our most traditional news sources like the newspaper industry. Social media is the new media.
Many argue that the term “social” just makes this media form appear as an inferior to competitors in the market, and are rallying for it to be dropped. In fact, Facebook claims they haven’t used the word “social” in their headquarters for years. Instead, industry leaders believe that social media should be referred to as digital media moving forward, since it dominates the online front, and will continue to do so for many years to come.
While it would reap benefits for those employed by and passionate about the industry, dropping the term “social” from social media has a long road ahead of itself before it becomes a cultural norm. But whether you call it social or digital, there’s no question as to the dominance this media platform holds in our every day lives.
Could you ever stop referring to social media as “social”?