The impact of social media can hardly be put into words because of how massive it is. Accessibility, billions of users, and people from almost every global region make it the strongest medium of communication with no precedent examples of anything like this.
Anyone who has a cellphone with internet capability can access the web and use social media. All they need is an internet connection like Charter internet or any other network and they can quickly hop on social media. Go through this brief blog to get an idea of the changes social media has brought to communication.
Back in the late 90s and early to mid-2000s, SMS/MMS messages were the primary mode of written communication. Later, the addition of the feature of sending direct messages on social media and the launch of dedicated message apps has somewhat taken the mainstream attention of the masses from traditional MMS and SMS messages.
Today, meta platforms (Facebook and Instagram) and other major names like Snapchat have pretty much taken the old SMS/MMS options out of the equation, especially for Gen Z and Millennials. Social media platforms with a core focus different from the ones mentioned earlier like TikTok and Twitter have the option of sending messages too.
Since you don’t need to know someone’s number to text them on social media, social media messages significantly changed the existing texting trend. Not to mention that sending social media messages does not cost you the message charges.
Substituting Audio and Video Calls
Just like messages, social media apps now also have the option of making audio and video calls. Again, no need to have the phone number of the person you want to call. Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat have straightforward options on the screen to start a call with whomever you want. Again, you do not have to pay network charges to call whoever you want whether they are in the same country as you or not. The only costs billed by your network are for internet data for using social media for calling and texting.
However, the option of making video and audio calls is limited to fewer apps than sending a DM.
Sharing Your Thoughts with Thousands of People
Every status update people do on Facebook or tweet is visible to their friends, people who follow them, and even to people with similar interests. Every interaction further boosts that post on the platform. Your post gets noticed by the friends and followers of people who interacted with it. This chain goes on to increase the visibility of your thoughts and make them visible to thousands to millions of people. Viral posts even platforms. For example, a screenshot of a viral tweet posted on Facebook can be noticed by a lot of people.
This type of reach to a massive public can influence people and build a perception. For instance, an old tweet by some politician can affect their current reputation. Similarly, celebrities backing or opposing a political campaign can have an influence over the people. Since social media is (mostly) independent, people often get to see both sides of a story.
Going Live Whenever You Want
Written posts, images, and videos are some effective methods of sharing your thoughts. On top of recorded thoughts, you can also speak to people in real time by going live. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok offer the option of live streaming with high-definition video. Usually, when someone goes live on these platforms, their followers receive a notification.
People can talk to the person who is going live by sending messages. Pop celebrities usually go online and talk to their fans this way. Also, two people can talk while others can watch and listen. Such lives often give people access to celebs they may never meet in person. Such live streams are prime examples of the utilization of social media as a medium of mass media instead of one-on-one communication.
Getting Your Voice Heard on All Levels
Before social media, the medium for the people’s voices to reach the highest levels was the press. And the press is not entirely independent and never has been in the past. Also, not everyone had access to it. Social media has bridged such gaps. For example, now you can disagree with a political figure, and it has a very high chance of getting noticed by the person. Twitter is the best-suited platform to do this. People can tag government officials and other such people. This is the type of freedom of expression people never had before.
All this and many other things are because of the influence of social media on the way people communicate.