Modern social media technology has remedied the inconveniences posed by its social networking predecessors. But with these improvements and the global interconnectedness of communication come opportunities for malicious infiltration of social networking platforms. Social networks have become the hackers’ main platform for cyber attacks such as the distribution of malware, phishing schemes and more. Behind any posted link, public photo or friend request could lay a plot to steal your personal or company information – and that’s just one motivation among the many possibilities.
Innovations can simultaneously solve inconveniences and create new ones. Make sure you are educated on how to mitigate risk and prevent your identity from becoming someone else’s.
Then: In the late 1890s, the work of Emile Durkheim and Ferdinand TÖnnies, which focused on sociological and behavioral research, foreshadowed the eventual emergence of social networks.
Émile Durkheim, Ferdinand TÖnnies
Now: Technology startups are following in the footsteps of the social network giants, creating products focused on social networking in a myriad of industries, interest areas and formats.
Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey
Post-it: The inventor of the original form of shorthand communication once said, “I thought, what we have here isn’t just a bookmark. It’s a whole new way to communicate.”
Twitter: Art Fry’s revolutionary Post-it note has been replaced by Jack Dorsey’s 140 character “tweet.” There is no faster way to communicate.
Fun Fact: 500 Million → The number of post-it notes would take to circle the globe. The same number of “tweets” posted on Twitter on average, every day.
Corkboard: George Brooks of Topeka, Kansas patented a new way to use corkboards. Using thumbtacks, people could pin up their favorite pictures, notes, lists and anything else they wanted to display for easy reference.
Pinterest: The virtual scrapbooking site allows users to “pin” items to their virtual “boards”, keeping an unlimited number of items in one place, making them instantly accessible and sharable with anyone. Goodbye thumbtacks!
Fun fact→ Cork Oak trees are not cut down to harvest cork. Rather, the bark is harvested by hand every 9 years allowing the trees to live to be over 300 years old.
Address Book: This system of storing contacts’ information was as simple as writing it down. Contact information like first name, last name, address, and phone number was stored in a physical book.
Facebook: Facebook users can have the biggest address book they want. It makes the traditional address book function (keeping in touch with contacts) exponentially easier. Users can also put a face to the name.
Fun Fact → 1 in every 7 people, across the world, has a facebook profile. Over 1,000,000,000 users.
A Nice View: When people wanted free live entertainment, they could just look through their windows to watch what other people were doing and view the latest happenings.
Youtube: YouTube is the new window to free entertainment. Users have instant access to a customizable view of whatever they want to see – not just what’s happening in the neighborhood.
Fun Fact→ The first video on youtube, uploaded at 8:27 PM on Saturday April 23rd, 2005 was shot by Yakov Lapitsky at the San Diego Zoo.
The Rolodex: The Rolodex was invented in 1956 by Arnold Neustadter and Hildaur Neilsen. This became the premier way to store all of your business contacts’ information.
Linkedin: LinkedIn allows users to connect to new business contacts without having to remember anything but his or her name. It facilitates networking, selling products, finding a new job, and more.
Fun Fact→ Linkedin, The Social Network for business professionals launched on May 5, 2003. At the end of the first month in operation, LinkedIn had a total 4,500 members in the network. As of now, over 300,000,000 users have joined.
Scrapbooking: Scrapbooks were a way to compile anything of interest – photos, newspaper clippings, stamps, and more – in one place so you could pull it out anytime and be reminded of things meaningful to you.
Tumblr: Tumblr, a microblogging platform, allows users to store and post all types of media that has meaning to them, and share it with whomever they choose. Users can also follow these virtual scrapbooks of users whose interests align with theirs.
Fun Fact: In the 15th Century, commonplace books, popular in England, emerged as a way to compile information that included recipes, quotations, letter, poems, and more.
The telephone: The telephone was the first device in history that enabled people to talk directly with each other across large distances, but not free of charge and limited in distance.
Skype: Skype allows users to instantly communicate with peers by voice using a microphone, video by using a webcam and instant messaging over the Internet, all at no cost and anywhere in the world.
Fun Fact→ The Italian-American Antonio Meucci invented a telephone in 1871, which was five years before Alexander Graham Bell, but was too poor to renew his patent for it.
The Polaroid: American scientist Edwin Land introduced the first instant camera in 1948. Polaroids were a way to see your photographs just minutes after they were taken. There was also a spot to write a caption.
Instagram: Instagram allows users to take and share photos and videos instantly, as well as customize various aspects of the photo to suite their liking. Not only can users add captions, others can leave comments
Fun Fact: Since it’s inception in 2010, Instagram has hosted over 20 billion photos.
Modern social media technology has remedied the inconveniences posed by its social networking predecessors. But with these improvements and the global interconnectedness of communication come opportunities for malicious infiltration of social networking platforms. Social networks have become the hackers main platform for cyber attacks such as the distribution of malware, phishing schemes and more. Behind any posted link, public photo or friend request could lay a plot to steal your personal or company information – and that’s just one motivation among the many possibilities. Innovations can simultaneously solve inconveniences and create new ones. Make sure you are educated on how to mitigate risk and prevent your identity from becoming someone else’s.
- Tönnies, Ferdinand (1887). Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, Leipzig: Fues’s Verlag. (Translated, 1957 by Charles Price Loomis as Community and Society, East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.)
- Durkheim, Emile (1893). De la division du travail social: étude sur l’organisation des sociétés supérieures, Paris: F. Alcan. (Translated, 1964, by Lewis A. Coser as The Division of Labor in Society,New York: Free Press.)