Skip to Main Content

Technology and Society: Social Media

This guide is designed to assist library patrons in easily locating resources for computing technology and its impact on society.

Books on Social Media

The Impact of Social Media

The Impact of Social Media

The following are some Internet resources that discuss the impact social media has on our lives. 

Social Media's growing impact on our lives - a discussion from the American Psychological Association

The use of social media and its impact on research - What is the purpose of social media, and how does it tie into science?

Association of Social Media Use With Social Well-Being, Positive Mental Health, and Self-Rated Health: Disentangling Routine Use From Emotional Connection to Use - discussing the impact of social media on our behaviors.
The Impact of Social Media: Is It Replacable? - from UPenn, discussing the impact of social media.

Is Social Media Bad For You? - from the BBC discussing the pros and cons of social media's impact on our lives.

The Social Dilemma

Netflix, which itself is one of those hybrid social media websites, released a documentary entitled The Social Dilemma, that delves into the darker side of social media's influence and impact upon our lives. The trailer for the film, which you can see by clicking here, is quite instructive particularly with some of the comments made underneath. 

Growth and Expanse of Social Media and Websites

Most Popular Social Media - Growth 2004-2020 - This video graph from the YouTube channel, Global Stats, shows the growth and development of social media companies since 2004. It doesn't show earlier social media such as AOL, which is disappointing, as AOL dominated social media from the late 1990s to 2004. It was so dominant that in 1998, Nora Ephron directed a remake of an older film entitled "The Shop Around the Corner" with AOL as one of the main features, along with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in the lead roles. She called the film, "You've Got Mail", which was an iconic automated response whenever a user logged in to AOL. (You can hear what everyone experienced in the 90s logging in to AOL here.)

Most Popular Websites 1996-2019 - This video graph from the YouTube channel, Data is Beautiful, does include AOL, so you can see the dominance it had over the late 1990s. If you compare the beginning of the video with AOL's dominance, and the end of the video with Google's dominance, it is pretty striking how people migrate between media applications and websites. 

Types of Social Media

Types of Social Media and Definitions

I've linked below several websites that provide some kind of ordering of the different types of social media. As you can see, there is not, as yet, clear consensus as to how to best categorize social media applications and websites. The most important facet of social media applications is that they are interactive, so that the user can add or delete items to that application or website. From there, the distinctions come as to what can be added and deleted. Take a look at the different websites and their slightly different ways of categorizing social media applications. The Wikipedia page, a social media website iself as users can create and edit content, has a great entry for social media that shows the multitude of parameters surrounding social media and its impact on society.