The growth of technology has given rise to many new things that help or effect or daily lives in one way or another. While newer gadgets and devices have dramatically helped change how we connect with each other on a global scale, nothing has had more of an impact on globalization than social media in the last 10 years. Social media is redefining the global landscape. It affects how we communicate with family, friends and complete strangers; how we keep up-to-date with the latest news; and how businesses and brands now operate (Onwuanibe, 2015). Thanks to social media a simple conversation between two people could be happening thousands of miles apart without either person even knowing.
In the past before social media, most communication was done privately through letters and telephone, or through a broadcaster like radio and TV. It’s now an online home for people living away from their family, it can become the main place they live, where they spend most of their time (Schaefer, 2017). When people live great distances apart they are able to recreate the sense of living close together. Social media enables friends from different places in the world to connect, or even people with similar interests to share ideas. It just brings people together in a way that has not been seen before.
Another way that social media affects the global community is by giving us all a voice to organize on important social issues including everything from human rights violations to climate change. Bieber says (2018) “Present and future revolutions are and will be actively using social media as a tool for protest. Social media is very effective at spreading information rapidly to a broad audience. The availability to use social media creates global connections. These global connections make it possible for countries to express new and old concerns to all” (Medium.com). Before social media it could be difficult to reach others with similar beliefs and group together, where now its just as simple as sending out a message. That message could instantly be picked up by millions in a matter of moments allowing people to quickly get together and organize on an issue.
Beyond connecting with each other, social media has also changed how many businesses operate. While most businesses do operate a webspace, social media has dramatically changed how they can quickly communicate with the masses. When Pew Research Center began tracking social media adoption in 2005, just 5% of American adults used at least one of these platforms. By 2011 that share had risen to half of all Americans, and today 69% of the public uses some type of social media (Pew, 2018). Or on a global scale there are claimed to be over 3 billion internet users, and studies have shown that as many as 2 billion of them have active social media accounts. Popular social platforms have become marketing giants, offering businesses valuable data about their customers and a (mostly) free way to reach them (Copp, 2018). That means that any business who doesn’t utilize social media is missing out on a huge opportunity to get in front of millions of potential clients. Because of this many businesses now focus entire international marketing campaigns to just social media. Coke for example regularly creates new content to bring their international fans together to share pictures and stories about their brand. Ten years ago, if a business had attempted that they would have been laughed at, but today it’s the norm. It’s truly a new day for business.
As technology continues to advance, opportunities on how to use social media on a global stage will only continue to grow as well. We all now live in a digital community and are connected in more ways than people will ever realize so whether you love it or hate it, social media is here to stay.