Life without a presence on social media is hardly conceivable in the 21st century. The term refers to all online media where you can network and exchange ideas with other users from all over the world.
Today, social media features go far beyond the functions of the earlier "guest book" on a "homepage". In addition to text, social media offer many other types of media content that can be presented to other users, such as photos and videos.
What is “social media”?
Like the entire network culture, the social media world is constantly changing. While communication used to be primarily via IRC, networks such as StudiVZ, SchülerVZ or Facebook established themselves at the beginning of the new millennium. The former are already outdated and have found their end in the web world, but new social media platforms are constantly being added. An account with the long-standing top dog Facebook is no longer mandatory for many online users. Younger generations in particular are now increasingly gathering on interactive platforms such as TikTok or Snapchat. Important social media platforms that are very popular in Germany include:
Social media platforms live from their exchange among users. New words and slang terms are constantly being developed that make their way out of social media and into everyday language. The words have different sources and backgrounds. Most of the terms come from abbreviations that users want to save time typing. Common terms that have been known on the internet for years are, for example, " wtf ", " afk ", " idk " or " asl ". These abbreviations share their English language origin. However, acronyms also arise from German expressions again and again. " GuMo " or " druko " are particularly popular and well-known.
The social world of "real life" is of course also reflected in the online media, so that numerous expressions from other cultures also make it into the German online language. " AMK ", " wallah " or " moruk " are just a few of the many examples of terms from Arabic or Turkish-speaking countries that can also be read in German posts on Twitter and Co.
Memes: Funny pictures on social networks
In addition to having their own language, social media are also characterized by memes. These are recurring motifs that are slightly modified. The meme culture has been busy doing this for years and is constantly providing supplies. Some motifs have lasted for years, but other images have more or less disappeared from the internet in the meantime. Examples of popular meme themes:
The good thing about memes is that anyone with internet access can create their own images and present them to the public. Reddit and 9Gag are particularly popular places for this. Many images have their origin there and are published by users on other platforms, where they are shown to an even larger group of users.
Smileys & Emojis on Social Media
Online communication is unthinkable without smileys. Emoticons help to understand what is written in online communication. In the past, due to a lack of alternatives, you had to make do with common characters on the keyboard. Special characters like ^^, <3 or ;) got their own meaning, which almost every online user can still decode today. In the meantime, however, ASCII smileys are only used by hardcore users. All major platforms now rely on emojis for everyday use. These symbols can be found directly on the smartphone keyboard and sent in the texts of apps.