http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/10/the-history-and-evolution-of-social-media/

This article starts in the 70s with Usenet and quickly goes into the late 90s. Its interesting to see how people have glommed onto these networks to share their ideas and creations as well as pour derision on what is shared. The conversations in these forums range from comical to abusive, creative to destructive, supportive to derisive. Social media in my opinion allows people to show more of their true selves without worrying about social morays in their immediate social group, this can be a freeing experience as so many of us seem to wear masks in our public life, hiding what we consider others to look down upon. Social media or web 2.0 brings people together and allows individuals and groups to create new cultures, share ideas and knowledge in such an incredibly easy way. What is even better is that it keeps getting better, easier to do so. Even the US government is getting in on web 2.0, Obamas digital information czar is doing an admirable job in dragging all the government data to the forefront so that taxpayers can actually view and find a use for the data that our taxes help pay to generate. What I am thankful for is that the information and services are being kept free, monetized simply by innocuous ads. One could argue that the socialized web is a huge evolutionary step for humanity, socially and developmentally. Its not amazingly easy to make new friends or mentors around the world, to have someone to confide in, to argue with, to learn from. Traditionally it has been mans fault that we fear what we do not know, now we dont have to fear the unknown because we have access and the ability to learn about other cultures, to talk with those people in their own language because the computers can automatically translate for us. Breaking down the barriers that separate people brings us all closer together, making it harder to turn a blind eye to another persons plight. And that much easier to help those in need.

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