It's a social world out there.

Rewards of Social Media

Posted on: November 29, 2009

Social media is a phenomenon which, to date, has provided numerous improvements in communication globally. However, these improvements and the rewards we have seen from then have no come without their counterpart, risks.  As someone who uses many different social media services for many different reasons, I will argue that, when used with respect, the rewards far outweigh the risks.

As Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter explains in his February 2009 Ted Talk on listening to Twitter users, “We didn’t anticipate the many, many uses that would evolve from this very simple system.” (1) This statement, while simple, rings very true. The idea behind social media is bare bones, connect people. Connect people on all corners of the globe, people with similar interests, people who work together, those who know each-other and those who don’t.  The simple updates that sites, like Twitter, allow users to make, not only connect these people, they educate and inform them.  It was clear at first that Twitter would be a place for friends to find out what others were doing on any given night, however, the many other uses that would come during the evolution of this service were underestimated.

Twitter and many other social media sites offer a place for socialization with friends, collegaue and even people we never have, and likely never will meet. We follow and friends people wDuring these interactions we may pass and recieve links to interested personal life or work related news.  We might find a link to a funny YouTube post, or a sad NYTimes.com article.  We might see pictures a friend took while driving to working or while on vacation. We might find out our friends have too much time on their hands or that a colleague works too much from home.  The bottom line is social media pushes us new and information to us, and we are able to learn from much of this information without even realizing it.

1) Williams, E. (n.d.). Evan Williams on listening to Twitter users | Video on TED.com.TED: Ideas worth spreading. Retrieved November 29, 2009, from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/evan_williams_on_listening_to_twitter_users.html

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