When the telephone first came out it was some unknown phenomenon. Suddenly people had the capability to make a call to anyone, anywhere. I’d like to position that Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc) is no different.
It took some time for most people to understand the role of the phone in everyday life. But look around you today – people only think about phones when they don’t have access to one. It’s become part of the background noise. There’s nothing special about it. And to clarify – I mean phone as in the device that places phone calls. Smartphones are phones only in the sense that this is but one of their features.
Social Media will soon do much the same. Tweets and Facebook posts will continue to develop a place in everyone’s life and become part of the background noise. Choosing to not use it will become the same thing as willfully never making phone calls.
This isn’t to say that everyone will post daily to Twitter or that everyone will have a Facebook page. No, this is to say that Social Media is nothing special. It’s only an evolution of the communication platforms we all already use. It’s email meets phone meets fax meets television. Nothing special while being unique at the same time. The fascination will slowly fade and it will become just another utility.
And that’s the key – utility. Social Media will be as necessary as email or phone calls but it will also become as ordinary as those things. Everyone will continue to use it their own way but everyone will use it. And no one will think twice about it.
Give it another 10 years or so but it’s on its way to being just another communication utility.