Millennials have contributed more to our society than many acknowledge. We are the generation that sacrificed our lives during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and we are the generation that organized and voted for the first black president. However, what could be our most impactful and long-lasting contribution is the advent of social media.
To accommodate a global economy, social media was created to provide an internet-based community-driven tool used to build relationships and create open and honest dialogue with other like-minded people. Although the first recognizable social media platform, Sixdegree.com was created in 1997, the most notable platforms were created in the early 2000s by Millennials.
LinkedIn was first launched in May 2003, MySpace was launched in August 2003, Facebook was launched in February 2004, and Twitter was launched in 2006.
Although social media was meant to enhance our lives by connecting us with individuals we wouldn’t otherwise connect with, the industry has its problems.
In 2015 it was widely discovered that social media designers were deliberately using human behavioral theory and techniques to create more addictive features to keep users on the platform. Facebook acknowledged that its platform was used to illegally influence the 2016 presidential election. In 2018, Instagram acknowledged that illegal drugs were being sold on its platform, and everyone knows that users’ private information is being sold to the highest bidder.
Notwithstanding these issues, we continue to use social platforms because it enhances our lives. Since late 2020, the demographics on who participates in social media is wide ranging. While about 69 percent of Americans use Facebook, approximately 40 percent use Instagram, 28 percent use LinkedIn and 23 percent use Twitter.
Historically, societal feelings toward social media were generally negative. However, during the 2020 global pandemic, social habits were forced to change and Americans began to openly support social platforms and changed their habits.
In 2020, Americans averaged 82 minutes on social media, which is significantly higher than their usage in 2019. Some may think these new habits are negative. However, if we weren’t able to connect with our community through platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, the global lockdown would have more negatively affected us.
The usage of social tools like Zoom, Lyft, or UberEats has allowed us to work from home, travel, and order food and groceries in ways we have never done before.
Social media is a trillion-dollar industry and growing every year. This is important to know because social media is not going anywhere and will be in our lives from now on. Therefore, people of all ages should embrace the social media culture.
David Cannady, Esq.
Attorney and Former Prosecutor
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (954) 707-0530