It’s undeniable that social media is taking (already taken) the world by storm.
Check out Craig Smith’s August tally of how many people are using some of the most popular social networks (shortened version below):
These figures grow exponentially every day so it seems only natural to think that social media is becoming a huge part of how we communicate and how we’re engaging in an ever-changing digital landscape. But in what ways is our use of social networks extending to the way we browse / surf the net?
Word of mouse
The little social media icons appearing in the side bars and footers of websites everywhere are a testament to our penchant for sharing content. As UTS lecturer Jim McNamara puts it – sharing is not so much “word of mouth” as it is “word of mouse” – since its only a click away. The underlying assumption of the icons is that users will make use of their social networking accounts to share content.
Social media is integrating our use of the net and allowing us to connect and share in ways that we couldn’t before both in terms of the speed at which we can do it and our reach. Here are some observations on why we like sharing online content:
- we can inform others about products and services we care about and potentially change attitudes / behaviour or encourage action
- define ourselves (self-presentation/self-disclosure) about who we are and what we care about
- helps us connect and stay connected with people with common interests
- supports causes we care about
- to feel more involved in the world
Why do you share online?
(On the subject of sharing, don’t forget to share this post via the menu of icons when you hit the comment box ;))