I distinctly remember my first experience with Social Media, back in 1995 while at junior school. The computer room had 50 computers two of them connected to the internet with 14.4k modems. You would join a server which would contain a bunch of areas, each of which would contain users thaty you could chat to or share files with. The whole system was in terminal which meant commands were used instead of mouse clicks.
Each server had its own image, like a club logo including images of lions, dragons, butterflies and provocative women. These were not photos, but pictures created using a series of charactors in colour. I distinctly remember asking the question “so where are you from?” and the excitement of knowing that i had connected to someone across the globe, and the only thing in common being that we were sharing the black screen with a bunch of blocky letters.
A BBS in terminal seems incredibly primiative in todays high tech world, but incredibly they satisfy the same goal as today. The ability to connect and socialise with others online. The diference was back then the only thing in common with the other person was the platform, you weren’t really friends and not likely to hang out with each other socially. Whereas today your friends , colleagues, school mates, family and networks are online. You now have something in common and a reason to connect.