At school, social media can be a brutal barometer of popularity. “If you meet someone new and they ask for your Instagram and you only have 80 followers,” says Sharp, “they’re going to think: ‘You’re not that popular’, but if you have 2,000 followers they’re going to be like: ‘You’re the most popular person in school.’” Sharp quit social media at 13. “I’d rather not know what other people think of me.”
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Social media may have been influenced by the 1840s introduction of the telegraph in the US, which connected the country. ARPANET, which first came online in 1967, had by the late 1970s developed a rich cultural exchange of non-government/business ideas and communication, as clearly evidenced by ARPANET#Rules and etiquette's "A 1982 handbook on computing at MIT's AI Lab stated regarding network etiquette," and fully met the current definition of the term "social media" found in this article. The PLATO system launched in 1960, which was developed at the University of Illinois and subsequently commercially marketed by Control Data Corporation, offered early forms of social media with 1973-era innovations such as Notes, PLATO's message-forum application; TERM-talk, its instant-messaging feature; Talkomatic, perhaps the first online chat room; News Report, a crowd-sourced online newspaper and blog; and Access Lists, enabling the owner of a notesfile or other application to limit access to a certain set of users, for example, only friends, classmates, or co-workers. Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis conceived the idea of Usenet in 1979 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, and it was established in 1980.