A Look Back in History: Two Decades of Social Media
I’m a twentieth-century woman and my social networking history dates back to the year 1994.
It all began in college…
I was first introduced to Hotmail while studying Marketing and Advertising. Internet was really popularizing by then so after setting up my first email account I was soon moving to the first popular IM tool of that moment: the ICQ (I seek you). I really liked the idea of instant chats with people around the world so when Messenger came along I switched in a blink of an eye. And I stayed there until it was acquired by Skype a few years ago. By then, I was a very happy Skype user and I still am.
I have lived and enjoyed the fast evolution of connectivity of the last two decades: from the dial-up connection to DSL to fiber-optic and mobile 4G connections. And I do remember the day when I decided to join Facebook for the first time and how it changed my life.
When I first joined Facebook in 2007, it felt like a whole new adventure in instant communication. A place to share my photos and stories with my friends and family around the world. A place to connect. A spot to get in touch.
A couple of years passed before I considered joining any other social network. I tried some of them without much interest until, six years ago, I decided to give Twitter a try and see for myself what all the fuzz was about. It took me a while to get active. I had to learn how to write using only 140 characters and sound “interesting”. It was a totally new concept of social communication, and a challenge.
Once my Twitter skills improved (with patience and lots of dedication) I discovered Pinterest, Google Plus, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, LinkedIn, WordPress, Foursquare… I decided to jump in that pool for once and for all. I set up profiles on every single social network that was “something”. Why not? I had the time and the eagerness. I really wanted to learn what the social frenzy was about and how connections and communities were built. At the beginning for people, and later on for brands. And I loved it!
What started as mere curiosity
changed my career and my life!
Twenty years have passed and I’m still dazed by the amazing opportunities of social networking. But what I like the most is the humanization of communication between people and brands. The change has started and only time will tell where this will lead us.
Being an old school marketer, and although I strongly believe that the essence of marketing remains the same since its beginnings, the tools have definitely changed. We live today in a high-speed world where the information is delivered all at once. You are there or you lose the chance. You read it now or you’ll be late. But in spite of all the craziness, the information prevails everywhere. There is a footprint.
Networking. Apps. Gamification. Mobile devices. Faster connectivity. Digital Marketing. eCommerce. eLearning. Online news. Influence. Viralization. All these words, along with so many others, have become our usual daily topics. In one way or another we are all connected and we are all part of this digital world, whether we want to be or not.
And this changes us. The world evolves in a way that we need to make decisions.
Today. We need to make a change or life will pass us by.
But the most valuable lesson that I learned through social networking, thanks to all the people that I have met over these past years, the experiences that they have shared with me and my own experiences, is that no matter how big a dream may seem, the only way to see it come true is if you start working on it. It might take months, years or a lifetime but the feeling of having a plan, pursuing your goals and not giving up is what will give you a sense of fulfillment and will make you feel that “that part” of you is still alive.
Being “social”, what it means today, is what has inspired me to “do”. When boundaries of place and time disappear, you get to learn so much more about this world and the people in it. We are brought closer together in a way that I never even dreamed of, back in the XX century.
One step will lead to another and great things will happen along the way. It happened to me when I decided to set things in motion. Our lives are influenced by technological advances that move very fast, and we need to be open to all these new ideas and concepts. Ready to learn something new every day. You never know, it might change your life one day as it changed mine.
This is me and this is what I do: I’m a Social Media Manager at MGR Consulting Group. Proud Social Media-holic. And now I ask you, how has Social Media changed your life?