Social Networking

Online social networking is one of the most popular things to do online. The concept of online social networking has reinvented the way that people do business, meet, date, talk, interact with their doctors, find employment, make money, and so much more. There is an online social networking site for everyone. Online social networking brings people together, over the internet, for a shared purpose, which can be sharing pictures, messaging, video, information, and so much more. There are online social networks that are dedicated to a topic, such as YouTube. YouTube is a very popular social networking site where individuals upload videos. Anyone can watch these videos, but people who have signed up for an account can comment thus interacting and creating one of the social networking aspects. There is a link on each video that allows people to share them with others. YouTube videos can be of anything that adheres to their terms of service.

In 2009, Facebook became the most popular online social network. Facebook was originally a site for college students, but opened up its membership to anyone. By doing so, the numbers grew rapidly. It is an online social network that gathers people together as an online community. One of their biggest draws is reuniting friends and making new ones. It requires people to sign up under their real name instead of being able to create screen names. Some people think that this makes Facebook a safer online social networking site. Facebook has a myriad of ways for online social networking, including status updates, picture sharing, applications (games, quizzes, horoscopes, and many more), instant messaging, news links, notes, and messages. As an online social network, it has become a huge draw for businesses, entertainers, celebrities, and websites. Online social networking through Facebook has changed the way that businesses interact with their customers.

Some of the other notable online social networks are MySpace and Twitter. MySpace is an online social networking site that offers similar things as Facebook. With MySpace, users could decorate their own profiles, send messages, leave comments, write notebook entries, share pictures, post bulletins, and other things. It became quite popular for musicians and is still a great place to search for new and old music. Twitter is an online social networking site that limits the user to 140 characters. It is also referred to as micro-blogging and is also a very important business tool. With Twitter, users can make an account for themselves or businesses. Twitter users can subscribe to the update feeds of others and are known as "followers". When a user sends out a message or update in their 140 characters it is called a "tweet". Twitter has definitely added to the online social networking verbiage.

Online social networking has had a tremendous impact on society. It has enabled people to communicate when they otherwise never had the opportunity. People have met through social networking sites, fallen in love, and gotten married; they have inquired into employment opportunities and found jobs. One of the most amazing feats accomplished by online social networking sites is the gathering of community during disasters. After the devastation of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, millions of tweets and Facebook posts mobilized a global response for assistance. Online social networking was responsible for raising millions of dollars in donations for Haiti and their relief fund.

Online social networking will surely continue to be the wave of the future. There are millions of users on one social network or another, many belonging to multiple sites. Online social networking is become increasingly more important for use by businesses to reach customers and consumers. Smartphone cell phones are built to enable constant access to social networking sites. It will be interesting to see what other social networks arise in the future.