Initial Thoughts on Social Media

“I can’t wait for my high school reunion to see how everyone turned out…”

I guess I wanted everyone to know I thought this Facebook page was funny when I liked it back in the 8th grade. In my defense, that was when the majority of my newsfeed was my friends liking random pages with funny tag lines and dumb jokes.

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When I first liked the page, I was a middle schooler living in a suburb outside of Houston. At that point, I would say my page contained mostly friends from where I grew up in the Houston area. Twenty-four of my Texas Facebook friends have liked that page at some point.

When I was in high school I moved to Paris, France and went to an international school with classmates from over 54 different countries. Nine of my Facebook friends from my high school have liked that page.

After high school, I decided to go to Boston College. Eight of my Facebook friends from college have liked that page.

While at Boston College, I studied abroad for a semester in Geneva, Switzerland. Four of my friends from studying abroad have liked that page.

At this point, you might think this blog is about how everyone likes everything on Facebook regardless of your location …. and you’re partially right. However, my favorite part of this particular page is not who liked it, but rather who created it. One day during my junior year at BC, my friends and I started talking about how annoying it was that all of those old liked pages would randomly post and pop up on our newsfeeds. That was when my roommate (we’ve lived together for 3 years) mentioned that when she was in the 8th grade living in New York she LOVED to create Facebook pages. As you can probably guess, “I can’t wait for my high school reunion to see how everyone turned out” is her page and it has 370, 977 likes. So not only have my friends from Houston, Paris, Boston, and Geneva (all of which aren’t necessarily even from those places) liked that page, but my roommate who I didn’t meet until college actually created the page before we ever even imagined meeting, let alone living together.

It was an odd coincidence for sure, but I think it also serves as an important reminder of how important social media can be. I think social media plays a bigger role in our daily lives than most people ever imagined it would. Admittedly, that particular page is a bit useless to my life. Nonetheless, the interactions and audience it reached are still pretty amazing to consider. A few years ago I read Thomas Friedman’s novel, The World is Flat, and he talked about how the world is being flattened by globalization.  This article is a bit dated, but the message it conveys still holds very true today- the world is being flattened and Globalization 3.0 has definitely contributed to making the world seem tiny.

I feel like social media is such an integral part of this flattening, as more and more people are connected every day in so many different ways. The example I gave above is actually quite irrelevant to my life… but we can still consider the web of people who liked it. My roommate/admin of the page was kind enough to send me some of the page’s statistics:

Fun Statistics:

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In addition to providing where each like comes from, Facebook goes a step further to also show the gender and age breakdown. Not a shocker- most of the likes come from millennials.

Screen Shot 2016-09-12 at 6.18.37 PM.pngWhy does this matter?

This was also only one example of one common link between me and a few of my 1,369 Facebook friends. Social media isn’t disappearing anytime soon so it seems more vital than ever to really understand the different platforms and how interactions are shaping today’s world. When I think of social media, I think of connectivity. Social media allows me to see my elementary school friends photos on Instagram, my favorite authors boards on Pinterest, celebrities snapchat stories, my family’s group messages on Facebook full of fun gifs and conversations. Even though my parents and younger brother live in France, my older brother lives in Texas and I’m in Boston- social media helps to reduce that geographical space’s effect. At my internship this past summer we frequently used Skype tools to conduct interviews instead of flying candidates out to Boston. Humans of New York connects people globally to come together and empathize with all of humanity. Be it a popular page (Apple’s twitter) or a small messenger chat with my family we are all able to connect on so many different levels and exchange tons of information. Personally and professionally- social media seems to have no bounds in the connections it can create.

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Right now I’m using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Google +, Goodreads, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat and admittedly…I had Myspace at one point. I used LinkedIn jobs to find my summer internship this past summer. I used Facebook groups to find my freshman year roommate. At the same time, I also found my old best friend from elementary school and I considered us connected when really all I did was view her Insta pics and read the about section on her Facebook. Sometimes when my friends mention people to me, I search them on Facebook. Or when I read an interesting article, I like to look at the author’s tweets. Social media is everywhere and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!!  

2 comments

  1. Great post! I liked the Facebook page example. What has been most surprising to me over the past 10 years of teaching/ studying social media is just how often it continues to surprise me with new social situations (in good and bad ways) that I had never before previously considered. Let’s hope it stays as interesting going forward!

  2. Your story about the Facebook page was very interesting and really highlights how small the world is, despite its size. While Facebook is such an expansive network (more than 1 billion users), Facebook allows for the capability to make the world more of a community. Personally, there have been many cases where a friend I have had from high school is best friends with a friend from camp who is best friends with a friend through school. Six degrees of separation is a reality!

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