Social Media Changes Everything

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

—Marcel Proust1

Social media can best be described as a conversation that takes place online through a set of tools that can include text, audio, video, and pictures. Some say it's the future of communication. Leading companies, like Facebook and LinkedIn, have created platforms for online communities where individuals can share information about themselves in private or to the public.

Social Media Categories

There is a variety of social media types, broken down by the following categories:

  • Social networks. Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on allow users to search, link to other individuals or groups, and share information (e.g., interests, contacts, or posts) in a private or public manner, typically called a profile setting. Facebook's “like” button allows users to indicate their preferences for content, albeit only positive, while Twitter allows bursts of 140 characters to “followers.”
  • Social sharing. YouTube, Snapfish, Flickr, and so on let users share specific types of content, such as videos and pictures, publicly and privately.
  • Social news. Sites like Digg and Newsvine publish recent news topics and let users vote and comment on articles.
  • Social bookmarking. Sites like Delicious and Reddit allow users to find and bookmark information that's of interest, access it from anywhere online, and share it with others.

Social media use ...

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