Social media crash course

Welcome to the inaugural post in our Silver Surfers series. Now you might be thinking “Who is a Silver Surfer, and if you’re talking about me, should I be offended?” Silver surfers: are you amazing baby boomers, and late gen-Xer’s who are maybe a little less comfortable with all that the internet and technology has in-store. And no offense is meant. Some of my very favorite people fall into this category, and many of the topics we’ll cover in this series are from those conversations. So let’s begin with social media.





Social media is everywhere these days. On the news, on every smart phone. Hell, gas stations even have social media campaigns these days. So what is it? What purpose does it serve, and is it for me? These are legitimate questions. Social media takes an investment of our time, and our information. If the purpose of media is to inform, educate or entertain, then the purpose of social media is to perform all these functions, and most importantly, bring people closer together. Connecting with families and friends from across the world as quickly as your WiFi will carry you, what a world we live in!


top three

The Big Three


Social media is more than Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (or what I call “The Big Three”). It’s chat rooms where people share similar interests, or Classmates where you can keep up with the people you went to school with. It’s online dating sites, because really, where do people meet any more these days? It’s youtube, Vine, Flickr and Instagram where literally your media is social. There’s Tumblr where it’s a little bit of all of the above. With all these outlets, the possibilities to connect with others are endless.

So who are the major players? As I mentioned previously, there’s a whole world of social media, but there are some clear leaders. The big sites (in order from most users) are:

These sites don’t have a lot in common, but what they do have in common are what make them stand apart from the crowd: easy-to-use, secure, fun and friendly, fast-paced and habit forming. Most people you know will be on one or more of these sites. Maybe even all, there are some really in-touch people out there.

So now that you know a little more about social media, stay tuned for more information about them in upcoming posts. Now go out there and explore!


Warning: popularity not included

Ilse Ferris

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