Social media refers to the computer-based technology that will help to facilitate the sharing of thoughts, information, and ideas using virtual communities and networks. Social media is by design, internet-based with users having access to a plethora of content through electronic communication. Users generally engage in social media with smartphones, computers, tablets, or any device that is connected to the internet using web-based software or application.
Social media is a global phenomenon with users from all over the world. While it might have originated from Europe and America, India and China top the list of social media usage in the world today. With more than 3 billion users on social media, it is the biggest community in the world. While it originated as a means through which family and friends can interact, it soon became a means for businesses to reach a wider audience. It has gradually turned to a global community, and if there is a scenario that encapsulates what a global village is, it is social media.
This is a digital tool that gives users the opportunity to create and share their content with the outside world. It covers a large variety of websites that perform different functions. There are various social media networks and platforms, all operating in different ways. For instance, there is Twitter which focuses on short texts and links shared as tweets. There are also others like Tiktok and Instagram, which focus on videos and photos.
The uniqueness of social media lies in its extensiveness and the fact that it is uncensored. However, many social media platforms have their rules which usually restrict violent and nude contents. When such limitations are compared to what other exists for another mass communication means such as radio stations, television channels, or newspapers. All it takes to access social media is access to the internet.
While social media include several applications and websites, how they function varies. In order to access social media sites, the users usually have to create a profile, and the email address is generally required. All that requires most time is the creation of the website, and once that is done, users typically have access to the contents and can share their contents as well. All that is left is to interact based on the interface of the social media platform.
The impacts of social media on the way the world works today cannot be overemphasised. One of the most significant effects is in the way information is shared in the world today. Social media has revolutionised information distribution, making it more accessible to everyone and breaking the boundaries that censorship once imposed on sharing information.
Another impact is in the way connections are formed, not merely between individuals but also businesses, organisations, and even nations.