How Social Media Has Changed The Way We Communicate

By Joanne Hague

On today’s date in 1877, Thomas Edison is said to have written to the president of the Telegraph Company in Pittsburgh, PA. In his letter, he argued that it would be more appropriate for us to greet one another with "hello" rather than saying "ahoy" when answering the phone. Just like technology had a drastic effect on the way we communicate then, social media has played a huge roll in the way we communicate now. 

I’m Gen Y, so I grew up writing letters to penpals, using the landline and knocking on a friend’s door to see if they were home. My one-year-old son is Gen Z...and he’s already figured out the swipe function on my iPhone.

Social media today is a powerful communication tool, with social networks being one of the most dominant ways we now communicate. The rules of engagement between a business and their audience have shifted. Gone are the days of one-way interaction. Today, people expect a multimodal experience.

Anyone with a social network login has the capability to interact with thousands (sometimes millions) of people worldwide. We can now share our messages and opinions with a significantly larger audience.

We no longer have the same filters we feel obliged to use in a face-to-face conversation. Individuals and businesses now reveal so much more to each other. Social media allowed us to break through those barriers and redefine how we communicate.

We have the option to write entire thoughts in just 140 characters, or even without words at all. The introduction of the tweet has forced us to be succinct and get to the point. Abbreviations and emojis are a new language not incorrect, just different.

And new media forms like 360° video and augmented reality are providing us with increasingly immersive experiences across social with the total number of active virtual reality users forecast to reach 171 million by 2018.

Audiences want to be heard, they want to participate and collaborate and they want to connect with other users. At Likeable Media, we understand these rules. That’s why we listen first before any piece of content is created.  Only then do we connect it with the audiences that want to see it.

This is an exciting time for communication. Don’t get left behind.  

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Jo