Social media and social networking has almost overlapped to the point of being an interchangeable phrase. But, that is not actually accurate. Social media and social networking are two distinct entities that do share commonalities. This article will help build the elementary Venn Diagram of the similarities and differences between the two.

Social Media:

Social media can be defined as “computer mediated technologies that allow for the creation and sharing of information, ideas, etc.” I like to consider that word: “information” when really understanding the concept of social media. Think back before the World Wide Web. What was “media”. You might think of radio, television, newspapers, magazines, etc. Now, those are transmitted onto the internet through social media avenues such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and others. Social media applications may change from time to time, but that does not diminish the meaning of the term. Consider MySpace… out of date, right? Business can use social media to advertise, transmit information, and attract customers.

Social Networking:

If social media is dependent upon the term “information”, let us give social networking the key term “connection”. Social networking can be defined as “an online platform that is used to build social networks or social relationships with others.” In social networking it is important to go beyond transmitting information and actually form a relationship. Connections need to be made, similar interests discovered, and relationships built. Whether the similar interests are career endeavors, fashion styles, or music choices- these relationships are keys to social network success. Think about eHarmony. This site thrives on the concept of social networking- networking to the point of dating and sometimes even marriage. While not all relationships go that far, it does provide a great example of how to think about social networking. You want to connect with other people.

Social Media & Social Networking Together

It is understandable how these two can be considered one in the same. The overlaps between the two are almost indestructible. You cannot really imagine having one without the other. They are both dependent upon internet connection and the technological trends. Social media is somewhat dependent upon building connections with others in the way of building a large follower base to spread information towards.

Many people shy away from social media and social networking, but whether you like it or not it is a huge sensation.

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo explains it this way. “Will the social media phenomenon lessen? I don’t think so.”

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