Everything you should know about Social Media in 2022
If you live in the modern world, you’ve probably used social media, even if you didn’t notice. We as a society use social media everyday to communicate, share experiences, learn and procrastinate. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Discord, Reddit – there are so many options nowadays.
But what is social media, exactly? In general, social media can be seen as a collection of websites and apps that focus on communication, content-sharing and collaboration. You can also see them as any web platform where you interact in any way with other users. Social media can have many definitions according to the purpose people give it. A business can use it for marketing goals, reach its audience, to set up a store and manage content. You may be familiar with Instagram or Twitter business accounts. Some people might only use them to stay connected with family and friends. Facebook may serve this purpose, for example. Social media can also be used to document important memories in the form of photos or videos, to educate and to promote the creation of content like podcasts and blogs. YouTube fits this description, too.
Social media platforms come and go with time. Do you remember MySpace? In 2022, so far the most widely downloaded social media apps are TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. There are other platforms that sometimes are referred to as social media, although some people might disagree with that. WhatsApp, Telegram, Discord, Quora and YouTube are examples of this.
Social media use exploded up with the release of the smartphone. But, where did all these platforms come from? It all probably started with the radio. Millions of people used to tune in during the 20th century to listen to news, sports or even fictional entertainment. However, two-way instant communication was not possible with a radio. Television, newspapers and magazines, these were for some time the only options people had to stay informed and connect with others and shared the same limitation as the radio.
With the creation of the Internet, many brilliant people had a giant network to experiment with in order to connect people. First came the creation of small sites like Geocities, Classmates.com and SixDegrees. Software like the old Windows Live Messenger allowed a group of people to communicate live on the internet. Sites like Facebook and the likes of MySpace were early examples of social media. By 2015, around 22% of the population spent their online time on some social media site, and by 2020 there were around 4.08 billion people actively using social media on their phone.
One can see the impact of these platforms by analyzing statistics before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before 2020, people spent around 50 minutes on social media but, in 2020, that number increased to 65 minutes daily. It also increased the numbers of users in platforms like TikTok, becoming one of the fastest growing social media sites that experimented a rise of its monthly users rate by 38%.
The pandemic has also had influence on younger people, with YouTube being the most popular social media app on kids between 9 and 12 years old. The main reason for kids to use this app is to consume content, while the reason adults use social media during the pandemic is to stay connected and stay informed about what’s going on at the moment.
Government organizations, institutions and businesses also use social media for different functions. For example, the government might need a social media account to interact with citizens, analyze public opinions, and share important information with the community. Institutions can use it to promote their activities and reach a wider array of people.
This also applies to business, big and small. Using social media accounts, businesses can promote, interact with potential clients, create a marketing strategy made specifically for their online venture, and more. The possibilities for a business using social media are infinite. You can sell almost anything on Instagram or Facebook’s marketplace, Amazon, Shopify – from candles to slime, from books to food, and digital products like e-books and posters. This opportunity of growth and building a market from scratch or being able to promote an already existing business is a big pro for social media apps.
However, there are some negative aspects involved with social media. One of the most used criticisms against social media are the negative effects on mental health. First, they can cause addiction. These apps and platforms are designed to make the user feel happy and keep using them. Because of the way that addiction works, using social media can make other aspects of life seem less exciting when used over a long period of time. Users tend to feed on these cycles by going to social media to feel better.
Another common criticism is the negative impact on the self-image. Social media is used as a platform to showcase the good things about one’s life. People tend to make comparisons using whatever information is available. If you see that your peers are happy all the time, and they’re achieving a lot in their life, you may feel inadequate and that you don’t meet your own standards. Repeated use of social media without awareness of this can make people unhappy about their life, looks and personality.
Other, and probably the most present now, has to do with safety and users security. Most social media companies use targeted ads. This works by storing data on search and content users interact with. Later, the platform starts showing the user similar things based on the recommendations of an algorithm. Some people have problems with this as it’s seen as a privacy invasion.
Others are afraid that companies might sell their information, like addresses, phone numbers and other personal details. Companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google are known for this. That’s why some try to enter the minimum amount of information allowed. One way of doing so is by acquiring a virtual number.
You can verify an account and bypass SMS verifications most platforms ask for. To get one of these numbers you need a good provider like us, Major Phones. Sign up today to see we are a reliable company, work quickly and offer real US and UK numbers.