The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, (New Edition, 2014), defines Renaissance as rebirth, a movement or period of vigorous artistic and intellectual activity, (p. 422). Today we see that rebirth in our human activity, the way we communicate and how fast the news spreads all around the world. Much of that fast spread of news comes from the social media revolution. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn generate millions of users worldwide.
There are more than 2 billion active social media users around the world (Pew Research Center, 2015). The average person has five social media accounts and spends about two hours every day on these social networking sites, reported by (Mander, J., 2015 from the Global Web Index).
These networking sites are vibrant online tools that help people keep in touch with family, friends, and even stay informed on the latest news. It has transformed the way we communicate in today’s modern society.
As humans, we want to stay connected and this is one of the reasons why social media has grown so explosively. Being connected is one of the deepest drives we have as humans. Social media has changed the way we interact with each other and even conduct business. “One of the greatest innovations of technology is social media, not just in our ability to communicate but in our ability to market directly to those we want to reach,” (Sachs, J., 2016).
With so many individuals online today, the use of social media and online shopping has increased dramatically. Clothing, shoes, jewelry, books, and cosmetics are among the products bought online regularly (Bednarowska, Z., Jedruszek, B., 2012). Many businesses have realized the full potential of these social networking sites and have begun to use them as a marketing tool to advertise their brands. Nine out of 10 U.S. companies are now using social media (Holmes, R. 2015).
We become powerful and connected through social media. It is especially helpful when we are traveling overseas. In 2010, I came to Ball State as an exchange student and the only way I could communicate with my family and friends back home in Tajikistan was through social media sites like Facebook and Skype. I have had many meals with my family through Skype.
According to The New York Time, 2016 there are more than 1.6 billion people who use Facebook alone, and about 74 million who use Skype. A quarter of the world’s population now uses social media to connect every day; some for business, some for pleasure, some to stay connected. Social media is a gateway that connects us to the world. It is a bridge that connects each and every one of us together, in essence it is a Renaissance of information technology.
Bednarowska, Z., Jedruszek, B. (2012). PMR: Nearly 70 % of young people buy online. Retrieved from: http://www.research-pmr.com/userfiles/file/wp/wp_35_869_2012-12-20%20-%20Nearly%2070%20of%20young%20people%20buy%20online%20-%2002.pdf
Hardy, Q. (2016). Facebook and the Problem With News Online. The New York Times. Retrrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/14/technology/facebook-and-the-problem-with-news-online.html?_r=0
Holmes, R. (2015). Why Businesses Can’t Survive Without Social Media. Fortune.Retrieved from: http://fortune.com/2015/11/18/businesses-cant-survive-social-media/
Mander, J. (2015). Daily time spent on social networks rises to 1.72 hours. GolabalWebIndex. Retrieved from: https://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/daily-time-spent-on-social-networks-rises-to-1-72-hours
Social Media Usage: 2005-2015. (2015). Pew Research Center. Retrieved from: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/08/social-networking-usage-2005-2015/
Sachs, J. (2016). The 7 Best Social Media Channels for Business Marketing. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/young-entrepreneur-council/the-10-best-social-media_b_11654820.html
Skype Company Statistics. 2016). Skype. Retrieved from: http://www.statisticbrain.com/skype-statistics/
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, (New Edition, 2014). Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Springfield, MA., USA.