Social Media – Then and Now

By Sophia Stines


Different trends and fads come in and out of Vogue in the blink of an eye. But what about the trends of Social Media?

The earliest form of Social Media is formed in the 1970’s with PLATO.  PLATO allowed users to communicate on the instant messaging system TERM-talk. Since then notable Social Media platforms include AOL messenger (1997), MySpace (2003) and Facebook (2004).

In 2017 about 81% of the United States population had some form of Social Media profile. That’s about 264,443,951 people. That is larger than the entire population of France and Italy combined. In America about 73% of teens use Social Media.

Some Social Media applications are extremely popular such as Instagram, and Facebook, although some applications are not as widely spoken of such as GroupMe, Pinterest, and even Buzzfeed.


  • It is extremely easy to find people on Facebook because of their “people you may know” feature. For instance, if someone has friends on Facebook, it will take those friends, and find friends that person may know based off the existing friends they already have.
  • One of the many uses of Facebook is to network and allow companies and possible jobs to see some of the work a person has done. A user can post charity work they’ve done, or even artwork.
  • Many High School students use Facebook for fun. In a High School in New Jersey, as a tradition, the seniors pick “senior names”. For example, a student named Russ changed his Facebook profile name to Toys ‘R’ Russ.


  • Instagram allows you to like and follow fellow users’ profiles. Instagram is a great way to follow favorite celebrities and friends. A user an also watch many tutorials.
  • On Instagram there is an option to make an account private. This means a user has to accept a follow request before someone can see the content on their page.
  • One popular trend on Instagram is creating a “finsta”. A finsta is similar to a regular Instagram account, but people post silly pictures and videos for their friends. A finsta user will take their name and turn it into a pun or silly saying such as Kristina into “Kristini the Panini” or Julia into “JuJu on That Beat” in reference to a popular song.


  • GroupMe is often used for after school activities like sports and clubs.
  • GroupMe allows a large number of people to be in a group at one time.
  • GroupMe also does not change the conversation based on what type of phone users have.
  • If a non-iPhone user is included in a group message on iMessage, there is limited access as to what you can do. This includes changing the group name or adding people to the group.
  • GroupMe also offers a set of emojis that come with the app and non-GroupMe users can be included in conversations.


  • BuzzFeed posts news articles, quizzes, product reviews, and much more.
  • BuzzFeed allows users to shar their “Horror Story Newsletters” that users contribute to, and they often ask members of the BuzzFeed community to share tips on different topics like cooking and cleaning.
  • Buzzfeed offers a wide variety of quizzes and polls such as “Pick an Outfit and We’ll Guess Your Age”, or “The Ultimate Would You Rather: Dinner vs Dessert.”
  • On the app, you can also read articles on current events and watch videos from their channels like “Try Guys” or “Ladylike.”
  • Buzzfeed offers a wide range of material which makes it an extremely fun application to use.


  • On Pinterest, there are boards you can follow which include hair, crafts, and cooking.
  • Pinterest allows users to make their boards private or public and sort them into categories. If someone finds a great pin about cooking, they can add it to their cooking board for themselves or to share with others.
  • Pinterest has a trending page that features trending topics on humor, beauty, food, DIY, and many more.
  • Pinterest is a great app for collecting ideas for a school project or just for deciding what hairstyle to try.

There are so many other Social Media applications that are offered in today’s world. Social Media is a great way to connect with friends and collect ideas.

There is an app for every personality, so pick one that’s fun for you!