Throughout the history of civilization, communication has always stood as an important part of people’s lives. From the early cave inscriptions, through letters, to the advent of the telephone and television, communicating with one another was essential for sustaining that which made us human: the desire to act together, to bond, to grow fond of each other, and finally- to share common experience. However, it wasn’t until the arrival of its majesty the Internet that this need became absolutely phenomenal. For the simple reason that the Internet stemmed a unique branch of human contact: social networks.
Nowadays, when life can hardly be imagined without the Internet and its vast array of services, social networks would not make an exception either, because they became one of the most important services on the almighty “Net”.
People use social networks for various reasons, ranging from the simple “hanging out” and chatting away till the morning comes to the more complex “scientific purposes”. But one thing prevails: sharing information. It may and may not be valuable of clever, it may or may not be essential and of utmost urgency, but information as such is prevalent when it comes to social networking. And people would share almost everything: their social backgrounds, their social statuses, their emotional status, their political, religious or cultural views, opinions on various topics, private photographs, links to other Internet sites etc, etc. The things that weren’t possible in the days of letter writing and telephone calling are now reality. A person can talk to many people (friends, colleagues, acquaintances) at the same time, without having to wait for a reply. If the reply doesn’t come in a matter of seconds- because every one is online now! – it will come in a few minutes. Even hours seem too much now. And the most important feature of social networking is that it hits big numbers. Very big numbers. In a matter of seconds, a person’s thought can be seen and acknowledged by millions of people. That wasn’t possible twenty years ago.
The world has indeed become a global village, the news travels fast, and the globe spins double circles now. Indeed, this could be a completely new age. A new dawn of man. Something that was aspired to for centuries: the idea of people living together, and sharing the best from all the cultures, uniting in the common goal of peace and prosperity. I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one. Almost nothing is impossible now: the media will not be controlled as easily as they used to be, because if something happens, for instance, in Australia, and you’re not certain about the veracity of the news on television, you can simply get in touch with your friend down in Melbourne, or Perth, or whatever, and find out everything straight from the horse’s mouth. This turn of events poses an even greater question: will we need media as such in the future? The Internet has slowly taken over the media throne of the world, and it’s obviously planning to keep it. Social networking goes hand in hand with this master plan, and the years to come will prove that everything changed when Facebook saw the light of day. There are many more, of course, G+ , Twitter, Pinterest etc, and they’ll keep them coming, that’s certain. People will keep signing in to these virtual realms until they get bored or discover something more interesting to immerse themselves into. The latter is more probable, I reckon. It’s not just personal use that drove the internet to be the all important factor it is today – many businesses see it as fertile grounds for marketing, from regular campaigns to more specialized marketing services like e-mail marketing. The Internet provides these companies with many more ways of getting in touch with the potential consumers, which is both a good thing and a bad thing from time to time.
But as much as these social networks are an overall good and useful, one has to bear in mind that there are numerous perils lurking about. There is the question of personal safety, data protection and the time consuming factor present when it comes to the actual time spent online on a particular social network. People have to be careful when taking out their personal data out in the public, and have to realize that sometimes- less is more. There is no need of pasting every single picture or writing down every personal trait, activity etc. All in all, the world has become a different place with millions of people sharing trillions of information on a daily basis. The most important thing is that cosmopolitanism is no more reserved for the few. It is something that is experienced more than ever. Let us hope that this is just the beginning.