My generation (which has been dubbed ‘the Millenials’) grew up in a hyper-connected, digital world. To put it into context, I graduated high school in 2007, in the middle of the Facebook/Twitter explosion. Even as early as middle school, I was already connecting with my friends on AIM. In my circle of friends, group chats had already replaced three-way calling. By the time Facebook came around, I didn’t really see what the big deal was. I felt as if it had been here all along in some way or another – it was just the newest iteration of what had been done before.
It's exciting to think about what the "next big thing" in social media will be. But while we wait for the next Facebook to be invented, I thought it'd be interesting to take a look at my own personal social media history.
Around the time I was growing up, Friendster started gaining popularity among the crowd a bit older than me. But my group of friends decided that blogging was the cool thing to do. On Xanga, I could write my own thoughts and comment on my friend’s posts, all while customizing my page to look the way I wanted it to.
I soon moved on to Live Journal, despite it being not much different than Xanga. But since all my friends were on Live Journal, it was another way to stay connected. Although they were technically blog posts, I consider posts on Live Journal as being a precursor to the Facebook status update.
In high school, MySpace was king. On MySpace, users could write comments on a bulletin board, comment on other people’s pages, create photo albums and share their interests with their friends and the world. Part of MySpace’s appeal was the ability to fully customize your page. I learned my basic knowledge of HTML from endless summer days spent “working” on my page.
Facebook, Twitter and Beyond
If MySpace is like Microsoft then Facebook is like Apple. Clean, simple and easy to use. In an instant, all my friends made the switch from MySpace to Facebook. The switch to Facebook marked the explosion in social media sites. From Twitter to Tumblr to Instagram to Linkedin, it now seems as if there are more social media sites than we have time for. But having grown up with social media, it is now simply just part of my routine.
What is your social media history? Do any of these sites ring the bell?
Jimmy Diaz is an Associate with Consensus Inc. He's also a Gleek!