Social media connects the community

Plenty of choice: A plethora of social media options is now available to the next generation. For Jye Barker (left), Taylor Quinlan and Ewen Walsh, primary schoolers at Kyabram P-12, age restrictions restrict their social media use. Jye told the Free Press he uses Unblocked Games, allowing him to compare notes with other users from around the world. Taylor said Messenger Kids was her social media of choice, connecting with her 20-plus friends on a regular basis, while Ewen is a huge fan of It is considered the best option by those in the know for sharing the world of gaming with friends.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter lead a long, and ever emerging, list as the most used social media platforms that are now part of everyday life — in spite of a constant debate relating to the pitfalls and benefits of their place in society.

No matter your point of view there are precious few members of modern society who don’t hold an account with one of the many providers that share our daily celebrations and frustrations with the outside world.

Kyabram Tomorrow and Tongala Together, two organisations born out of the modernisation of connecting with their respective communities, will be among those celebrating World Social Media Day on June 30.

While parents and educators fight to protect the next generation from the perils of online bullying and unwelcome intrusion of advertisers into the lives of our children, information sharing has never been easier for the likes of the Kyabram and Tongala development groups.

Both have created significant footprints in the Campaspe Shire through consistent, targeted and well- thought-out posts on their respective social media channels.

World Social Media Day was first celebrated in 2010, the brainchild of Scottish-based Mashable — who, before writing this article, I had never heard of.

Mashable was created in 2005, amid a decade-long list of creative concepts which are now accepted as almost necessary additions to the applications that appear on the home screens of our phones, tablets and computers.

To find a starting point you can wind the clock all the way back to 1844 when Samuel Morse made the first steps toward some semblance of social media by sending a telegraph from Washington DC to Baltimore.

More than 150 years later, in 1997, Six Degrees broke ground on the creation of online friends and uploading of profiles. They were, however, well before their time and in spite of attracting millions of users a lack of technology led to their eventual downfall — only a handful of years after the start-up.

Blogging became a thing in 1999 and Friendster followed in 2002, the creative format attracting a $30 million buyout offer from Google — which they rejected. The failed business deal is considered one of Silicon Valley’s biggest blunders.

LinkedIn arrived in 2003 and has stood the test of time, unlike several of its predecessors. It now has more than 500 million users, used as a search tool by both employees and businesses.

In 2004 Google created its own email service, Gmail, the same year as Facebook was launched by Mark Zuckerberg. In a little more than a decade the site had more than two billon users.

YouTube, the nemesis of my own household, arrived in 2005 and is now filled with an extraordinary array of ‘YouTubers’’ who make a living out of mind-numbing acts that appeal to everyone from primary schoolers to pensioners.

In between those years My Space took its place in the social media framework, while Twitter followed hot on the heels of Facebook in 2006.

Snapchat came on line in 2011, a year after Instagram was launched.