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Social media, the new news outlet

How many times a day do you log onto Facebook and Twitter? 3,6 or 9 times a day sound about right? 48% 18-34 year olds check Facebook as soon as they wake up, so those numbers wouldn’t be too unrealistic for most people. When the website started, it was just for socialization with friends on the internet. Now eight years later, it is so much more than that.

I can remember being in high school, and first getting a Facebook profile. The layout then looks absolutely amateurish compared to timeline, but back then, it was revolutionary. It wasn’t before long that the rest of the world caught on to what us teenagers were going crazy over, and now here we are. Instead of going to a publications website for stories, most of the time I just check their Twitter feed or Facebook page. They update both just as fast as the website, sometimes even faster. Also, I have always found it interesting what others are saying about a publication which both of these social media outlets show.

And to be honest, most people our age are more likely to put information on either their Facebook or Twitter page before actually telling anyone. I cannot count the number of times I have been asked by my parents how I heard a story before they did, and my reply was simply, “Facebook or Twitter.”

The big question now is, why do we put so much of our lives on social media pages? Now, because it is so popular, do we feel obligated to share EVERYTHING with the world? Personally, I think it is more an issue of convenience. If you put something either on Facebook or Twitter, you are absolutely guaranteed that someone will see it. This is how stories get spread, and why the news is now moving faster than ever before.

There is a downside to all of this, but I’m not too sure we even know what that is yet. I know people are saying that Facebook and Twitter will phase out in a few years, but I think the mindset we have will stick around for awhile. I just hope that if that should happen, we have not become too reliant on social media to the point where we do not know how to report the news without it.

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