MetaMedia: Social media more than 140-character tweets

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In recent years, social media has become a common household topic and a way of getting to know what’s going on around the world. People have used sites like Facebook and Twitter to announce birthdays, marriages and deaths. News can now travel rapidly thanks to the Internet and the hashtag.

A study on statisticbrain.com on Jan. 1 shows there were 645.75 million active registered Twitter users, and Facebook announced in September that it had 1.19 billion monthly active users.

There were 6,151,203 tweets about the Boston Marathon bombing last spring. The Internet fueled speculation but also helped friends and family members find out quickly that loved ones were safe.

But even televised events are discussed on high levels. On Sunday, there were more than 15 million tweets about the Grammy Awards. Celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Austin Mahone and model Kate Upton were all discovered on YouTube.

One story that made headlines this month was when a Kentucky woman, Susann Stacy, reached out to family and friends for help after her husband beat her.

She took a “selfie” as a call for help when her husband disconnected other means of communication. A friend saw her post and immediately called 911.

In the past, people had to go out and protest or post fliers to make their views known. In the event of a national attack like 9/11, they had to trust the news to cover the story or hear about it from others probably via a land line.

Social media changes all of this. It opens so many doors for people to speak out about an event, their social life, television shows or world events. Whatever it may be.

If you have something to say, tweet it, post it to Facebook, submit it on YouTube. Just let it be known.

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