Social Media exploded on the scene in 1994 with one of the first networking sites called Geocities. Actually, it didn’t explode on the scene. It kind of slid in there. It was ten years later that Facebook came into play. Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004 and the rest is history, as they say. Last year, in 2012, 121 billion minutes were spent on total social media sites around the world, up by 37 percent from 88 billion minutes in 2011. In September 2012, Facebook alone counted over 1 billion active users. Social media has substantially changed the way we communicate between organizations, communities and individuals.
It’s a little humbling to think that I contributed to those 121 billion minutes. I wonder how much time I have added to the number. 121 billion minutes equals 200 million hours, or 8,333,333 days, or 22,831 years spent connecting with others via social media. This does include everyone around the world, but that’s still a little overwhelming!
I had a birthday two weeks ago. At my age, if we’re lucky, we get a birthday cake and someone to sing happy birthday to them. I was lucky this year. I had a great group of adults sing to me and give me a cake on my day. I am blessed. But I also had connections all over the world send me birthday wishes and greetings via social media. And it was really fun. It made my day.
I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but I am blessed that I had over 175 people on my Facebook account wish me a happy birthday. All day long I would check the account and see who had commented. It might have been a simple wish or something with a little note, but each one represented a friend from my life wishing me a great day. Some of those people were from high school. It caused me to remember some of those wonderful memories from way back when. Some were from my Baylor days. I smiled at those and remembered those days of great challenge and development. And craziness. I also remembered my girls who are now in college and I said a prayer for them. Some of the wishes were from my days in other churches and I remembered days of great joy, memories of ministry and fellowship. Some were from my current walk on my life journey and they reminded me that the blessings continue to be new everyday.
I didn’t post a thank you immediately following my birthday, but I post it now. Thank you to all those who took time to connect and wish me a great day. You made a difference in my life that day!
I read recently about the growing problems within social media. There will always be those who take something good and turn it into something destructive. But today I’m grateful for the connections and the changing lines of communication. It made a difference. And it added another 175 minutes to pool for 2013. Thanks, everyone, for my little piece of the pie, (or cake) in the great scheme of social media!