Social Networks vs Communities.

Living in the year 2013, I assume we all know what social media is. Even if we do not have a precise definition of it, we know it has to do with communicating with various people in various region online.

social-network

Most of the time, we group our social media sites into many specific classifications. From social networking sites, micro-blogging, bookmarking sites, social news, media sharing, blog comments/forums and so on. Nonetheless, in this blog post I will be broadening those classifications and dividing our social media into two main categories (courtesy of Brian Solis’ Conversation prism) :

1. Social Networks: Our social network includes our friends, families and people we are acquainted with. The primary factor of a social networking site lies on interpersonal relationships between individuals. People sign up to these type of sites to maintain old relationships and build new ones. It includes sites like Facebook, My Space, Path, Linkedin and so on.

2. Online communities: Communities are groups of people that come together through common interests. There may be interpersonal relationship between the members, but that is not essential. One person may be a part of many communities, it depends on what his/her interests are. Our online communities includes Instagram, Soundcloud, Pinterest, Tumblr, Youtube and so on.

Knowing these two categories we should realise that both has been invented way before Social Media begins, am I right?

Social Networks has always been there. It’s the people that surrounds us, that we know and share our lives with, each person has a different social network to the other. Communities, on the other hand, comes at a wider range. Some of us might be religious and go to churches and temples, while others simply do not. We might be joining a cooking class or a photography community, it is basically related to our interests.

So what makes the Social Network and Communities provided by our social media different than it was millennia ago?

Here are some personal key points:

1. It is Faster,Wider and Easier:

This is an obvious one. With digital technology and Internet, social media allows us to be able to reach a large number of people at a split second.

2. Our solitary walks will never be solitary:

This I realised one day when I was having one of my morning jog. I do this often, and I like doing it alone, though when I think of it I was NEVER really alone. Despite having to being my house key, I always bring my phone along with me. Yes, I can’t jog without music, but I can’t seem to NOT check my social media profiles when resting from my jog. Even if I am not with anyone physically, I read my news feed on Facebook, my friends’ tweets and latest Instagram photos. Social media is just so omnipresent, that we can access it anywhere, anytime. 

3. Fakes:

One of my classmates ( Lillian, if you are reading this 😉 ) recommended me to watch an MTV series called “CATFISH”, because I’ve heard about it before, I was not skeptical at all and quickly jump straight to watching it.

The show is about how people met through online profiles and ended up knowing that one of them ( or sometimes both ) is not the same person he/she is online.

This is my third and final point. Social media platform is quite unique in a point where it allows people to create a whole new persona far from who they are in real life. Sometimes they get caught, but other times, they can hide their true identities behind their computer screen.

To an extent, some are still harmless, it could even help us develop better selves. But on other times, some people got so carried away to a point where they do horrible things (cases like cyberbullies, online psychopaths and so on).

Social-Media-Icons

I really think that social media is a new way of socialising for us. Even if sometimes we refer it as a “virtual reality”, something that is not real, it actually affect our lives, big time.

So, what do you guys think about that? Do you find social media changing your lives? Could you think of any other differences of social media to other mediums that we use in our social lives?

Comment down below!

Cheers,

Val.

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