2010 saw the release of a film entitled “The Social Network,” which documented the rise of Facebook beginning in 2004. As ubiquitous and pervasive as Facebook has become, with more than one billion users, it may come as a surprise that social networking wasn’t actually invented by Mark Zuckerberg. It wasn’t even MySpace in 2003. Friendster in 2002? Nope. Even before the Web, Internet-based online services such as AOL and Prodigy brought people together. Before the Internet was even a thing, people dialed into services such as CompuServe as early as 1969. Before that, teenagers connected by hanging on the phone and talking all evening (much to the chagrin of their parents). And before the phone there were mail correspondence and pen pals.
The rise of the web has accelerated the pace at which social networks can be established, the immediacy with which communication can take place, and the ease of establishing and maintaining relationships. Obviously, such acceleration brings positive and negative consequences.