Perhaps the most prominent and well-known of all online formats of communication is social networks. These websites have been a staple feature since the early years of the Internet, and are one of the oldest methods of online communication. Since online communication is what social networks are designed for, this is what most people think of when considering online communication. In the early years of the Internet and online social networks, these websites were not significantly different from, say, written letters or postage. Some of the earlier social networks, like AOL or Myspace were designed simply for sending messages or reading articles. As the years have gone by and the Internet has continued to grow and evolve, so to have the different social networks, particularly within the last decade. Newer, more interactive social networks have arisen, including Gmail, YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitter.
In the past, social networks were designed and used for much simpler functions than they are today. With the introduction of social networks like YouTube and FaceBook, social networks have evolved and diversified considerably. For example, YouTube is a social media that is heavily video oriented; people can post videos and socialize and interact about the videos by commenting on them. FaceBook is an example of a more well-rounded social network; FaceBook allows its users to make text-based, picture-based, or video-based posts, as well as several others. What social networks do you use? How have these social networks impacted how you communicate online/offline?