Social media originated as a tool that people used to interact with friends and family but was later adopted by businesses that wanted to take advantage of a popular new communication method to reach out to customers. The power of social media is the ability to connect and share information with anyone on Earth (or multitudes of people) as long as they also use social media.
Some of the teens I spoke to were concerned about how technologies such as Snap Map – a Snapchat feature that tracks your friends geographically, in real time – were spreading through their schools, and mistrustful of the privacy consequences of being surveilled by your followers wherever you go. “Snap Map is this big thing with a lot of my friends, but there is a sense of privacy that is being breached as well,” Isabelle says.
Capitalizing upon human curiosity is an ingenious idea that would lead to the creation and launch of Quora in June, 2009. The website, co-founded by two former Facebook employees, Charlie Cheever and Adam D’Angelo now claims that it received more than 80 million monthly unique visitors, with half of them coming from the U.S. So far, the question-and-answer website has managed to raise $141 in venture capital funds and while it doesn’t look ready to go public yet, it’s definitely a company to watch.
Observers have noted a range of positive and negative impacts of social media use. Social media can help to improve an individual's sense of connectedness with real or online communities, and can be an effective communication (or marketing) tool for corporations, entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, political parties, and governments. At the same time, concerns have been raised about possible links between heavy social media use and depression, and even the issues of cyberbullying, online harassment and "trolling". Currently, about half of young adults have been cyberbullied, and of those, 20% said that they have been cyberbullied regularly. Another survey in the U.S. applied the Precaution Process Adoption Model to cyberbullying on Facebook among 7th grade students. According to this study, 69% of 7th grade students claim to have experienced cyberbullying, and they also said that it was worse than face-to-face bullying. Both the bully and the victim are negatively affected, and the intensity, duration, and frequency of bullying are the three aspects that increase the negative effects on both of them.