Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A History of Social Networking and Its Influence on Social Media

          In the early morning hours of March 4, 1971, I was born.  The same year saw the birth of email - two computers sitting side-by-side communicating for the first time.  Not as Earth-shattering as the first images of man walking on the moon two years earlier but the implications of this seemingly insignificant moment would prove to be the spark that ignited the launch of social networking and, ultimately, social media as we know it today.
Photo Credit: Jackie's Page

Social Media & Social Networking Defined

Many argue as to whether this moment in history truly was the birth of social networking. To answer this, we first need take a look at what the term “social networking” means and why it isn’t synonymous with “social media”. Social networking is the act of engaging with like-minded people with the purpose of sharing knowledge, while social media provides the vehicle for us to share this information. Confusing? Here’s another distinction between the two: try to view social networking as a verb, denoting what we do online, and social media as a noun, the network of online platforms that enable us to do what we do online.