Social Media, What?

Posted By on Jan 24, 2014

Remember when you could pick up the phone and call someone?

Remember when leaving a message was on an answering machine at a house?

Remember when sending a message meant writing a letter?


Now we text rather than call.

Now we leave a voice message on a cell phone rather than on a home phone.

Now we instant message rather than write a letter.


Life has changed over the past 25 years:


1991                American Online launches AOL and DOS, the first World Wide Web

1994                Geocities launches as a community where users create their own websites

1995       gave users the freedom to post their own content online

1995       is born allowing users to find and connect with old classmates

1997                AOL Instant Messenger launches

1997       launches allowing users to create profiles and list friends

2002       launches growing to 3 million users in 3 months

2003       is created and by 2006 has 100 million users

2004                Facebook, Digg and Flickr are created

2005                YouTube launches making everyone a video away from being a sensation

2006                Twitter launches and with 140 characters you can describe anything

2008                Facebook takes over MySpace as the most popular social networking site

2011                Google introduces Google+

2012                Introduction of Vine and Path


The original plan was to write an article helping families understand the ever changing world of social media. As research began, I realized that one article would be insufficient. Over the next month a series of articles will be written on social media and the impact it is having on our children, families, and educational system. Please read each article and begin having conversations with your children, no matter the age, about the impact of social media on their lives. This impact even begins in the elementary years. Having three boys (13, 9, 3) I have discovered the influence social media has on our household and the mind and hearts of my children.


Let’s start by taking a short test:

(Put a check next to each of the words you could define and the social media outlet they represent)


_____  Tagged

_____  Trending

_____  Pictures

_____  Hashtag

_____  Connections

This five word quiz is nothing difficult to complete, however, it may define for you how “in the know” you are with today’s social media. In my second article I will give you the answers.

Numbers that might shock you:


3.1 Billion – Number of email accounts worldwide

112 – Number of emails sent and received per day by the average corporate user

$44.25 – The estimated return on $1 invested in email marketing in 2011

2.1 Billion – Number of Internet users worldwide

800 Million – Number of users on Facebook

200 Million – Number of Facebook users added in 2011

225 Million – Number of Twitter Accounts

18.1 Million – Number of Follows to Lady Gaga, Twitters most popular user

250 Million – Number of Tweets per day (October 2011)

2.4 Billion – Number of Social Networking accounts worldwide

1 Trillion – Number of video playbacks on YouTube

48 Hours – The Amount of video uploaded to YouTube every minute

14 Million – Number of Instagram accounts created during 2011

4.5 Million – Number of photos uploaded to Flickr each day


These numbers all come from 2011 statistics. What is in store for 2014? More importantly, what is in store for my sons who graduate high school in 2018, 2022 and 2028? When you look at these numbers and think about your own children and the change they are experiencing, it brings the conversation to reality.


Tim Elmore (2010) states in his book, iY Generation, “Ready or not, they are entering the adult world.” Unless we wake up and make some adjustments in the way we interact with them, I predict rough waters ahead. “We can already see several of the unintended consequences of this new world we’ve created for them – a world that allows for high speed, contact connection, sedentary lifestyles, pitiful relational skills, and a large dose of narcissism.” (p. 15)


Right now the word count on this article is at 660 words and many of you have already tuned out or turned it off. Over the course of the next month the goal is to open your eyes and your hearts to understanding the influence social media has on our students and our society. May we learn a lesson from the advice that Mordecai shared with Esther in Esther 4:14, “Who knows, perhaps you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this.” (Holman CSB)


May you learn and gain insight from these articles much like I have from studying and writing them. The hearts and the minds of our children are at stake and one reason you place your children in a private, Christian school is to allow the staff to partner with you. These are interesting times, which call for strong partnerships together!


“Social Media, What?”


Elmore. T. (2010). iY Generation, Our Last Chance to Save Their Future. Poet Gardner 
Publishing. Atlanta.