Ever wonder where the idea of social media got started?

I truly doubt there are many people out there that have not at least attempted to use some form of social media. Even some of the most isolated areas in the world are getting internet connections, and sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are often the first destinations. Social media is just a regular part of modern life, these days.

But how did the entire concept of social media sharing come to be? What sparked the phenomenon?

The Origins

How The Idea of Social Media Sharing Came to Be
Credit: Khalid Albaih

This is extremely hard to answer. Because really, social media sharing is just a slightly adapted idea that has been used online for a long time. Links have always been shared from one site to another. Livejournal and copycat sites used to have lists of blogs that person read. RSS feeds allow for subscriptions that were an early form of following.

Of course, you also have the other social networking sites that have become dinosaurs today. Sites such as Friendster and Myspace, which technically had this concept through “friending”. Though the modern equivalents like following on Twitter did not catch on.

So, where did the concept of social media sharing come from? It depends on how you look at it. The best answer is probably that it is a concept that developed from many directions and other platforms.

“Following” Found In Nature

How The Idea of Social Media Sharing Came to Be

The question of examples of following in nature was brought up on Quora back in 2010, and it is an interesting way of looking at it. Ants follow one another by scent, as one user points out. Lemmings follow one another by movement. Swarms follow the same kind of pattern.

But really, any kind of mass habitat culture will have following within its infrastructure. Humans are very much the same, in how we observe those both in our lives, and those outside of it. Just look at the popularity of tabloids and celebrity gossip blogs.

Do you have a theory as to the true origins of social media sharing as a concept? Let us know in the comments!

Guest Author Jessy is the business and social media blogger for Business registration database, the free tool giving your business profiles more online and social media visibility.

Image Credits: 1, 2.

One thought on “Ever wonder where the idea of social media got started?”

  1. I think it is a combination of factors that make social media popular, not just that as a biological creature humans are wired to be social and in groups, survival in primitive times were based on strength in numbers. But the collection of information as well, the need to know and learn and keep up with what’s going on, social media feeds us information faster.

    Either way, I think we are just tapping what is to come in communication and social sharing, where borders will be further removed and people from anywhere and everywhere will be able to communicate with each other, developing friends, business partners or even getting help from strangers will be “normal”. This will especially become true once translation software becomes more accurate and popular which can in real time translate any language into another language between communication devices.

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