On a side note.
Another step towards educating myself about the world of social media.
Back on topic.
My theory, thus far:
There is no concrete definition or commonly accepted understanding of exactly what social media is, because social media opportunities and the availability of social media technologies grow and evolve so fast that there is not time to define it precisely as it is in one phase before it moves to the next.
When the concept of social media first originated email was the latest ‘technology’ and sole form of ‘social media’, soon to be followed by the ‘bulletin board system’ which today would be considered an extremely primitive example of a forum.
If you look back at commonly used terms today, you will see the same is true of many of those terms too. The meaning they held when they were first born into literature is vastly different to the one it holds now.
In order then, to reach a genuine understanding, and form an accurate definition, it will be necessary to go back to the beginning and construct a timeline of social media breakthroughs, adding a customized definition for each phase on the timeline.
In this way we can (hopefully!) reach an understanding of what social media is in our current phase.