Social Media according to Rouse (2016) is defined as the collective of online communication channels dedicated to communication based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. One of the most obvious things of social media is that it increases brand-awareness, brand loyalty, it builds brand equity, humanizes a brand, helps you stay top of mind with your customers and it helps you establish you brand as an authority and though leader. Additionally, social media gives individuals faster communication, improves sales, makes distributing content easy. Furthermore, social media is also one of the best platforms for storytelling. The purpose of my essay is to give the trends of social media as well as the impact it has on the academic performance of the youth and their social relationships.
2. Trends and changes in the use of social media
Youth is the time of life when one is young and often means the time between childhood and adulthood. It is also defined as the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit etc. characteristic of who is young. Youth is an experience that may shape an individual’s level of dependency which can be marked in various ways according to different cultural perspectives. According to previous studies one of the defining phenomenas of the present times is reshaping the world as we know it, is the worldwide accessibility to th internet. The lovechild of the worldwide web is social media which comes in many forms including blogs, forums,business networks, photo-sharing platforms, social gaming, microblogs, chat-apps and last but not least social-networks. The power of social-networking is such that the number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 3,02 billion monthly active social-media users by 2021, around a third of the earths entire population. An estimated 750 million of these users in 2022 are expected to be from china alone and approximately a third of a billion from india. The region with the highest penetration of social-networks is North-America, where arpund 70 percent of the population has atleast one social media account as of 2017, 81percent of the United-states population had a social media profile. Ephraim(2013) Furthermore, the use of social networks in South-Africa and on African continent in general continued to grow at a steady rate with many more countries like Ghana, Nigeria,Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia,Zimbabwe,Namibia,Cameroon, Tunisia, Morocco and Kenya adopting the new technology. The reason for the growth of social media has been attributed in a trend towards purchasing finished goods. By 2009 , African countries to join the list of countries with significant numbers of persons using social networks. According to www.crisscrossed.net in 2009 , South-Africa had 1,1 million facebook users, morocco 369000, Tunisia 279000 and Nigeria 220000. The year 2009 was the year that saw the birth of several indigenous social-networking sites in Africa. More over, controversies exist on which country is truly Africa’s internet and social-networking giant which was either between Egypt and Nigeria. It was indeed Nigeria since it is the most populated country of over 170 million. Nanji (2018) The major differences is social media use by age, some 88% of 18-29 year old use social media compared with 78% of americans age 30-49, 64% age 50-64 and 37% age 65+. Americans age 18-24 are significantly more likely to use platforms such as snapchat ,instagram and twitter even when compared with americans in their mid to late 20’s. In general when it comes to gender, women seem to use social medias more to foster social connections. A study conducted by the Pew research centres found out that younger females are more likely to blog than males their own age, even males that are older than them. In a study of blogs contained by MySpace, women were found to be more likely to not only write blogs but to also write about family, romantic relationships, friends and health in those blogs. A previous study of Swedish social network users found that women were more likely to have expressions of friendship, specifically in terms of posting their pictures, naming hteir bestfriends and also writing poems to them. The last thing I looked at is the most popular platform of social media and according to previous studies from Rosamond (2017) Facebook with more than 1,8 billion monthly active users remain the worlds most popular social network. Social media strategist Vincezo Consenzo has been charting the most popular social networks by country since 2009. His jaanuary 2017 worldmap of social media reveals that facebook is still the leader in 119 out of 149 countries analysed. Conseza’s January 2016 map showed facebook as the number one social network in 129 out of 137 countries. Instagram which has 600 million monthly active users was the runner-up in 37 countries and twitter second in the U.S and most of western Europe. The second choice for Indians was linked in QQ and Wechat , Chinas favourite messaging apps, have even more users than Qzone.