When we think of social media we all assume and picture the newest platforms out there such as Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and etc. What we have to realize is that social media is not a new trend; it has been an ongoing trend that has evolved into the various platforms we now know. Back in the days it was known as communication.
In the past, people used to communicate via hand written letters. These letters would travel far and near to arrive to their final destination. Little by little this form of communication began to spread. As a result, a new form of communication arose, the telegraph, in 1792. For those that don’t know what this is, it is a system for transmitting messages from a distance along a wire, usually creating signals by marking and breaking an electrical connection. This form of communication gave people an alternative way to communicate, than hand written letter delivered by horse (especially when it was long distance). Then in the 1800s major changes came our way. The telephone and radio were invented. With these new devices people were able to communicate much faster (almost instantaneous if available on the other end). Messages, news, and advertisement ran through the radio and was a much faster way to reach more people at one time. To the people living in that day and age it could be said that radio, telephone, letters and telegraphs were their social media platforms. It was the way they were able to communicate with their public.
With the invention of the computer, it allowed for exploration on ways to communicate using this devise. When the first computers came out, they were not as domesticated as they are now. People needed to learn how to code in order to use them. Their codes were punched into cards, and then they would be taken to a machine to be read in order for the message or program to appear on the screen. At the time, this form of communication seemed more time consuming (and expensive) than picking up a phone and dialing. As the creation of new technology evolved, the Internet became more domesticated and easier to use for nonprogrammers. As a result, people were able to use email and chatrooms for faster communication. As more people began the exploration of the Internet new platforms made their way to mainstream America and have been very successful such as Facebook, Twitter, and twitter. These platforms have created a new way of how we communicate with the world.