The emergence of the internet in the late 20th century resulted in substantial developments in world communication and eventually morphed into social networking sites (SNSs). The introduction of the SNSs into the communication world revolutionized the way of interaction among people. Today, we can trace the achievements of various social constructs, such as education, governance, and entertainment. It is estimated that two-thirds of the internet’s populace globally regularly use social networking sites (commonly referred to as ‘social media’) as communication tools. The evolution of the internet to its current state has occurred in phases over a long duration. It is now considered part of the historical trends identified in communications media. The major shift from traditional communication techniques in media to the current communication methods through social and networking platforms has been interesting and furious with the growth and development rate that has never been observed before. Some of the vital forces that prompt these transformations in the virtual networking sphere are socio-cultural, political, and economic forces within the regions that harbor active internet users. The rise of internet usage among individuals from almost all parts of the globe has benefited a selected group of individuals, while it has been shown to cause detrimental effects to others.
Genesis and Historical Imprint of Social News Sharing
Throughout the history of human beings, there have been developments of technologies that enhance communication convenience with each other. Ranging from the smoke signals to written communication and the telegraph’s invention in 1972. which altered the social discourse among human beings, was highly revolutionary. Communication took a turn-over in the 1800s when the radio and telephone were introduced to the human interaction scene. The explosive development of technological advances in computing forms the cornerstone on which social media networks are anchored (Chadwick, Vaccari, & O’Loughlin, 2018). By the turn of the 1900s into the millennium (2000), social media platforms’ growth had taken the world by storm (Kalsnes & Larsson, 2017). It eventually birthed the multiple platforms available for users to navigate based on their needs. The creation of social media stems from the rise of communication technology, hence attaching it to social media’s historical trends and influences (Carlson, 2016). Human beings have always had an instinct for social engagement with each other. Social news sharing networks and communication technology are interlinked since they are both mediums of social engagement and transmission of multiple news content.
Figure 1. ‘social media’ (Concinnity, 2020)
Beneficiaries of the Transformative Effects of Social News Sharing
The growth and development of social news sharing networks have benefited people in the global communal set-up. Some beneficiaries have been impacted in social, economic, or political aspects by the social media environment advances being marked periodically (Trilling, Tolochko & Burscher, 2016). Notwithstanding, a section of the internet users population has not been treated quite favorably by recent technological advances. These include sectors like banking and industrial enterprises due to the increased automation of services leading to massive retraction of jobs from some of their employers. Leaders have been forced to adapt to the social news sharing techniques to enable them to reach a broad base of individuals within and probably beyond their territorial regions. Some of the current political figures that have succeeded in utilizing social media platforms to engage their followers include the former U.S. President Barack Obama, the incumbent U.S. leader, Donald Trump. Russian President Vladimir Putin, and French President Emmanuel Macron. They effectively use their online presence to update, inform, and listen to their followers’ concerns. They also make critical observations of the issues concerning their regions in the background.
Social news sharing networks have significantly revolutionized the economic landscape in the past few years. It is mainly due to the significant shift marked in marketing strategies used to develop and sustain a credible and profitable online outreach (Trilling, Tolochko, & Burscher, 2016) . Jeff Bezos, the world’s most wealthy man on the planet, is an ideal example of individuals who have adequately harnessed the potential of social news sharing platforms to create an online market giant such as Amazon, of which he is the CEO and the founder. Some of the other individuals who have hit the ceiling in the online economic space are Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, Bill Gates, and Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg. The benefits of online social media platforms are demonstrated by the emergence of social media brands and influencers who have played a critical role in the transition of marketing from traditional digital platforms such as televisions and radio to the social media market environment (Karnowski. Leonhard, & Kiimpel, 2017). Companies have now invested in collaborations with notable individuals in different communal settings to promote their commodities by elevating their credibility that results from the associations with public figures. Among the individuals who have reaped the benefits of these technological advances in social interactions internationally include Kim Kardashian West, Selena Gomez, Christiano Ronaldo, Beyonce, and Kary Perry.
Effects of Social News Sharing Sites on Students
There have been improved student-instructor relationships through various online learning platforms due to the personalization of approaches used in teaching a student the course study material. It also creates a safe space for interactions between students and their instructors for issues that they would have otherwise been apprehensive about presenting in the physical class setting. According to Karnowski, Leonhard, & Kiimpel (2017), the internet accommodates many users, there is free interaction among the users that promotes the development of significant collaborative abilities. Students could partner with other tutors or students in other regions worldwide through particular internet social platforms. The flexibility presented by the emergence of social media in learning spaces cannot be underestimated. As a result, students gain enhanced motivation for learning as they have less worry about geographical, financial, or time barriers. Cyberbullying is increasingly becoming a concern among students due to the unshielded exposure to the social networking environment filled with people from all walks of life.
In as much as there are considerable benefits attached to the rampant growth of the new sharing networks in learning spaces among students, there have been several established risks that also come along. These include cyberbullying, privacy concerns, and depression susceptibility. The leading causes of cyberbullying among students are proactive aggressive behaviors, exposure to violent tendencies, and minimal perceived social support systems (Chadwick, Vaccari & OToughlin, 2018). There is immeasurable private information that individuals feed into their preferred social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter. Instagram, MySpace, and Linkedln, which could make a student a target for harassment. Some individuals with malicious intent extract data from vulnerable internet users and misuse it as they suitably see best. Il has also been observed trial most news sharing platforms lack flexible framework abilities to enable their users to deal with individuals who violate their privacy boundaries adequately (Kalsnes & Larsson, 2017). Moreover, excessive social media usage could have adverse effects on the student’s English employment through their course studies, and they may end up making avoidable errors in their examinations.
The transformative introduction of internet innovations in social networking structures has benefited multiple individuals in varied ways, such as political, economic, and socio-cultural. Some of the global figures who have benefited in a political aspect of these advances are Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Emmanuel Macron, and Vladimir Putin. There are others such as Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma. Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates, who has had a taste of data exchange’s economic benefits through social news sharing networks. Finally, influencers have increasingly changed the game for businesses by introducing new marketing techniques that directly engage the consumers. Beyonce, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian West, Katy Perry, Christiano Ronaldo, and Selena Gomez are influencers who have dominated the new online influencing business domain. The rise of the social news sharing platforms can be credited for significant benefits accrued by groups of people across cultural, age, gender, occupational, and nationality boards. Students have been obtaining considerable gains in their educational ventures courtesy of the efficient use of social media platforms relevant to their studies. However, it is also necessary to acknowledge some of the undesirable effects of social media networks on regular users. There have been concerns raised about the inappropriate use of social networks on individuals, especially students. Some of the adverse effects include breach of privacy, cyberbullying, and the reduction of performance ratings in linguistics subjects.
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