I remember when I first discovered Twitter.
It was probably late in 2009 when the first couple of my friends signed up for the now omni-present social media service. I remember having absolutely zero interest in another social media platform, as apparently Facebook at the time was simply all I’d ever need. For every 140 character “tweet” on Twitter, I could be reading a 300 word update on someone’s day (“more is more,” right?) – why would I want this so-called micro blogging?
Nevertheless, I joined Twitter in January of 2010 as a result of a desire to read to-the-minute update on tennis matches I was unable to watch while I was at work. Back when Google syndicated Twitter searches with its own results, there used to be a “trending” tab where live tweets related to “Djokovic vs. Federer” (for example) would pop up; I caught myself always checking in on these live updates and figured that perhaps it was time to ditch my contrarian youth ways and give in to the phenomenon that was Twitter.
And I couldn’t have ever imagined what good it would ultimately do for me.
Through joining Twitter that fateful day, I opened the door to a limitless supply of networking opportunities in the world of sport. As a generally career-uncertain liberal arts university student, the connections I’ve made within the niche “tennis community” corner of Twitter (#TennisTwitter) has provided me with volunteer opportunities (which have in turn improved my resumé and social media skills) as well as job opportunities – I have an interview next week with Tennis Canada, wish me luck!
Changes in technology always change the way society works. If the times had remained as they were in 2009 when all I believed I needed (social network-wise) was my Facebook, I never would have found a sports community like the one I’m currently apart of, nor would have I discovered the realm of professional interest that I’m currently pursuing.
It’s a thoroughly sociological concept at its foundation. (Bare with me here.)
According to Marxist sociology, society is the result of its productive forces (so, the technologies that allow its members to produce) and is relations of production (the ways in which power and labour is divided therein.) On the internet, new ways of interacting with each other are developed daily.
The invention of Twitter changed the way brands interacted with their consumers and the way consumers interacted with their brands. Before, Facebook had “pages” for official brands, it, well, didn’t. That was a change in Facebook technology that impacted marketing’s transition into new media. What came next? We had Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Periscope all emerge in recent years, all of which have totally changed the way we engage with content produced by both people and brands, and it has totally changed our relationship with the internet as well.
As a result, brand marketers have had to change their approaches to getting their product out there and jobs like “social media strategist” have started popping up all over the place.
Oh yeah, and certificate programs like this one.
How have you noticed change in social media over the years? Has it impacted the way you do you work – or even the way you live day-to-day? Sound off in the comments!