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In the 90′s the closest thing we had to social media were AOL Chat rooms (do those even exist anymore!?) Today the options are in the dozens. Social media has definitely impacted our culture in the past few years and absolutely everyone is using some form of it in one way or another.
Here are examples of ways social media is being embraced by those you would never have thought would use it or even know about it!
1. The Amish – According to socialmediatoday.com, Amish communities have had to allow some technologies into their culture to keep it thriving. For instance, while they do allow landlines they do allow cell phones for emergency use. Their children get access to cellphones and this is how many are checking out the ‘online world’.
While an approximate number of what percentage of Amish are on Facebook is not known, it begs the question: Could social media access within the youth in the Amish community deter them from the Amish church and culture in the future?
2. Monks – I read an article in the NY Times about the monks, who for centuries have shielded away from any outside distractions, but because they are struggling to find new members they have taken to the Internet with an elaborate ad campaign featuring videos, a blog and even a Gregorian chant ring-tone. Basically they know that in order to attract a younger following they have to go online.
They went as far as to have a Facebook page to promote their cause as well as a website to shed light on their purpose and answer questions. Could the younger generation of prospective Monks having access to social media in anyway influence their behaviors as Monks?
3. The President- Who would have ‘thunk it.’ The President and First Lady promoting their campaigns on Youtube and Facebook? No other president has done it. Currently Michelle Obama is working on her Lets Move! campaign that has exploded on the Internet. It also helps that superstar Beyonce has also teamed up with her for a video that has had 10 million plus Youtube hits. Than we have President Obama who gets the Internet and social media the way that Kennedy got TV.
He has presence on about 16 social media sites including MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. His use of social media/Internet can be credited for his success in the polls. His (official) Facebook page alone has over 21 million fans, and this doesn’t include the millions of fans on other pages made by his supporters. Will presidential candidates to come look to social media as heavily as the president to help gain them popularity?
4. Inmates? – Inmates are using social media, particularly Facebook, in a couple of different ways. The first way is themselves- obviously not legal in some states (although rules on prisoner internet access vary from state to state, more and more correctional facilities now argue that online access allows convicts to remain productive individuals even while incarcerated, preparing them for eventual reentry into society).
According to Foxnews.com Inmates are accessing the popular social websites using smartphones smuggled inside prison walls and aren’t just using Facebook to update their status or share interesting videos. Some victims and victims’ families have complained that the inmates are using popular social networking sites to stalk, harass and threaten them. So what’s your take? Will inmates (maybe non-violent) having access to social media channels help them be more productive once released?
There were a few more users that I wanted to add… but I will let you all share your thoughts and see if you can guess them! Did I miss any?