Long before the words “social media”
became commonplace, people discovered that linking computers together was a
great way to talk to other people. In 1971, the very first electronic mail
message was sent, within two years, seventy-five percent of the traffic
across what we now call the Internet, was generated by that first killer app, email.
We discovered that people really liked using computers to be social, to the
point that now, there are over 270 billion emails sent every day. Yet more than half of them are spam. In this course, we will
explore how media got social, how the internet, the web and mobile devices have
changed the way we socialise from that very first email, through to today. We’ll
talk about how social media enables more people to participate in more ways than
ever before, and also to consider the conflicts, like how the impact of
antisocial behaviour online is often seen as less destructive than face-to-face. In
the last decade, platforms like Facebook and Google have become central to how we
socialise. Every day new ways to communicate are emerging from animated
pictures, to filters that communicate everything from our mood to what we’re
watching. And almost every interaction online leaves behind a trace, that often
becomes linked to our real names and part of the story of who we are online.
In How Media Got Social, we look at where social media came from, the opportunities
created, the challenges still to overcome, and what happens to all those social media
traces that we leave behind. This is our story, the story of how each of us is
social every day. We look forward to continuing that story, with you.