How to Celebrate Social Media Day 2022 – Cool Ways to Connect

 

What if I told you you’re more likely to meet your special someone online than in person? It’s not just our love lives that are inextricably linked to the online world, our professional ones are, too. Statistics show 73% of young employees found their job through social media.

As of April 2022, 93% of internet users use social media, and each has an average of 8 social accounts. Social networks are no longer a novelty – they’ve become the norm. Social media started out for the fun of it, but in the last 20 years, it’s changed how we live and experience each other. 

Communication has never been easier, and we have more access to information and entertainment than ever before. That’s exactly what Social Media Day is about: recognizing the barriers social networks break down and celebrating their convenience.

What Is Social Media Day?

In June 2010, social media wasn’t the colossus it is today. To put things in perspective, Facebook had approximately 600 million users – a fraction of the 2.93 billion active profiles it has in 2022.

Facebook’s main competitors were Blogspot and Myspace. Back then, those were the popular choices for under-18s. Twitter only had 100 million or so active users, and YouTube could only be accessed in 19 countries. As for Instagram, it didn’t exist. Do you feel old yet? I sure do.

Screenshot of Facebook's News Feed in 2008

Even though social networking was different, it was on a steady rise and grew more popular by the day. Mashable, a digital media giant, caught on before anyone else and declared June 30th Social Media Day.

The goal was – and still is – to appreciate the many ways social media improves our lives and revolutionized the internet and social engagement.

The Evolution of Social Media

The social media sphere is richer (and decades older) than you may realize. Social networking may have been limited when it was first invented, but it goes back almost as far as computers do. Here’s the evolution and history of social media at a glance. If you’re only interested in the highlights, look for the ⭐. 

The Blueprints of Social Media

    • 1973
      • Talkomatic, TERMtalk, and Notes become the first online chat rdoom, instant messenger, and user forum, respectively. All three were designed for use on the University of Illinois’s PLATO System. 
    • 1980
      • The Bulletin Board System (BBS) surfaces as the framework of social media. The server style enabled users to ‘post’ to public message boards, play simple online games with friends, and chat with fellow users.

The Dawn of Social Networks

    • 1995
      • ⭐ Classmates.com is launched. The site helped people find and connect with former classmates, colleagues, and military personnel. It’s considered the first website of its kind.
    • 1996
      • An early version of Lunarstorm, a popular social network for European teenagers, is launched.
      • An online teen community, Bolt.com (not to be confused with the e-hailing service) is launched. It offers users a variety of previously unseen features, including daily horoscopes, internet radio, picture galleries, and browser games. It’s the first social network to offer users their own page.
    • 1997
      • ⭐ SixDegrees.com is launched as the first modern social network, popularizing the ‘social circles’ model. Users could add friends, display personal information on profile pages, instant message, and post to message boards. 
      • AOL Instant messenger (AIM) is released.
    • 1998
      • ⭐ The first blogging site, OpenDiary, is launched. Developers are credited for inventing the comment system, as well as friends-only content. 
      • Yahoo! launches an early version of its instant messaging client, Yahoo! Messenger.
    • 1999 
      • → MSN Messenger launches in the boom of instant chats, and includes voice and video call functionality. 
      • → LiveJournal is released.

The Rise of Social Media Giants

    • 2001
      • SixDegrees.com shuts down. 
      • MSN Messenger is integrated into Windows XP and becomes Windows Messenger.
    • 2003
      • ⭐ Friendster is launched and becomes the most popular social network. 
      • → LinkedIn and its competition, XING, are launched. 
      • → Skype’s first beta is released to the public. 
      • Hi5 and MySpace are founded. 
      • ⭐ The earliest version of Facebook, FaceMash, is released to university students in the US.
    • 2004
      • ⭐ FaceMash rebrands as Facebook and opens the site to public users. 
      • ⭐ Flickr is launched and becomes a favorite for photo and video sharing. 
      • Google releases Orkut, a social network made for users to keep in touch with established friends and make new ones online.
    • 2005
      • ⭐ Reddit and YouTube are launched. 
      • Facebook adds unlimited photo sharing to its features. 
    • Reddit launches.
    • 2006
      • ⭐ Twitter launches. 
      • Facebook introduces its News Feed.
    • 2007 
      • ⭐ Tumblr, FriendFeed, and Justin.tv – considered the first live streaming site are launched with immediate popularity.
    • 2008
      • Facebook acquires FriendFeed for $15 million.
    • 2010
      • ⭐ Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and Quora are launched. 
      • ⭐ Mashable declares June 30th Social Media Day.
    • 2011
      • Skype is acquired by Microsoft. 
      • → Google+ launches and initial reactions are favorable. It amasses 21 million users and more than a billion posts in its beta, leading many to assume it will overtake Facebook. 
      • ⭐ Twitch breaks off from Justin.tv to keep video game streams niche. 
      • ⭐ MySpace is sold for $35 million.

Social Media Becomes Mainstream

Tinder's website homepage in 2013.

    • 2012
      • → Tinder launches. 
      • Snapchat introduces video sharing functionality. 
      • → Facebook acquires Instagram for $1 billion.
    • 2013
      • Twitter launches Vine and Google creates Hangouts. 
      • → Instagram introduces video sharing. 
      • MySpace attempts a relaunch.
    • 2014 
      • Justin.tv shuts down emphasizing Twitch. Amazon then acquires Twitch for $970 million. 
      • Snapchat introduces collaborative timelines. 
      • → Musical.ly, TikTok’s predecessor, launches.
    • 2015
      • Periscope and Discord launch.
    • 2016
      • Yahoo! begins shutting down
      • Vine is discontinued.
    • 2017 
      • ⭐ TikTok launches.
    • 2018: 
      • Musical.ly shuts down and merges with TikTok. 
      • Yahoo! Messenger is discontinued.
    • 2019: 
      • Google+ shuts down citing low engagement.
    • 2020: 
      • Clubhouse, a voice chat-based social network, is launched.

The 5 Largest Social Networks

In 2017, reports showed 2.7 billion active social media users in the world. This number has doubled, with 4.9 billion active users recorded in 2022. At this rate, forecasts estimate 5.58 billion social media users by 2027.

It’s clear that if you want to be where the people are, you should join social networks, but which ones? According to 2022 data, the following are your best bet.

5. WeChat

Active users: 1.2 billion

WeChat is touted as a super app. It’s most popular in China, where nearly everything centers around it. WeChat integrates everything from free voice and video calling to in-app games and payments. 

Users turn to WeChat for a number of tasks, including scanning QR codes, e-hailing, and even personal identification. It’s revered for its unique and creative functionality, though no western counterparts have caught up to its capability just yet.

4. Instagram

Active users: 1.4 billion

Instagram may have started as a photo-sharing app, but it’s used for so much more these days. Instagrammers use the app for instant messaging, video sharing and streaming, interactive posts, visual storytelling, and marketing.

Instagram has followers and not friends in mind, so it’s one of the top choices for influencers and rising stars. Since it’s a Meta property, it shares features and resources with Facebook – including Ads Manager and other business tools.

3. WhatsApp

Active users: 2 billion

Many consider WhatsApp the IM that ended all other IMs, and it’s praised for its ease of use and convenience. Users can send a variety of messages including text, images, video, and voice notes. Voice and video calls with other users are free. 

The app also includes group chats, disappearing messages, 24-hour statuses, document sharing, and live location streaming.

2. YouTube

Active users: 2.5 billion

YouTube’s creators intended it to be a video dating service. Users could upload videos about their love life, preferences, and personality to match with potential mates. The team abandoned the idea early in its development and rewrote YouTube as the video streaming service we know today.

Timing was everything. Instead of posting videos for others to download or tune into, YouTube perfected the idea of video on demand. What began as a simple way to ‘Broadcast yourself’ evolved into the largest video service of modern times. Many credit YouTube for the dawn of influencer culture and career content creation.

1. Facebook

Active users: 2.9 billion

Don’t believe Gen Z when they tell you no one uses Facebook anymore. It’s the largest social media platform by a landslide. Facebook is more populated than China – the most populated country in the world.

Perhaps Facebook remains on top because it has a winning formula: it’s all the other social platforms rolled into one. To break it down, here’s a glimpse at what Facebook users can do:

  • • Share long and short-form text posts.
  • • Post images and videos.
  • • Livestream.
  • • Chat.
  • • Play games.
  • • Promote and manage businesses, including selling directly through Facebook storefronts.
  • • Join groups, follow fan pages, and even leave starred reviews.
  • • Host and participate in fundraisers.
  • • Buy and sell in Facebook Marketplace.
  • • ‘Friend’ or ‘follow’ others, with full control over who sees your content and who can contact you through the platform.

Facebook gets a lot of criticism, and as younger generations set the online climate, who knows how long it will continue to reign. Still, it covers all aspects of entertainment and is a favorite of most social media users.

Social Media Pros and Cons

Social media has undoubtedly changed the world for the better in ways, but with great power comes great responsibility. Its impact on society is significant, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a good thing. Are its benefits worth its drawbacks? You be the judge.

👍 Social Media Connects Us

Social media goes beyond rekindling long-lost friendships or butting into your friend’s business from afar. Humans are herd animals, and social media combats loneliness.

We use apps to keep in touch with loved ones, job hunt, promote our businesses, date, and entertain. Anonymous apps, like Reddit, make it easy to vent and lean on others for emotional support. 

As proof of this, think what the world would have been like if we didn’t have social media to see us through the pandemic.

👍 It’s An Ocean of Information

When last did you buy a newspaper, or rush to a library to research something? Compare this to the last time you learned something online, no matter how small or silly. 

A good example of how social media is a free resource is a recent TikTok trend. The objective was to share a ridiculous fact you didn’t believe until you looked it up. TikTok users are more-educated as a result. 

Social networking is a great way to expand your horizons, learn, and participate in educational conversations the world desperately needs more of.

👍 Social Platforms Are Convenient

Remember the days when we had to type out our resumes, print and fax them to potential employers? How about when we had to wait weeks for friends to receive our letters and postcards, and then wait even longer for a response – if the P.O. didn’t lose your mail.

One of the best things about social media is that it’s instant, and has cut out many a middleman. Whether it’s a webinar you can join from bed or pizza delivery in two taps, social media has made life easier. That gives us more time and can lessen some of our stress.

👍 It Gives Us Strength In Numbers

Social media may just be our most powerful method of activism. Whether it’s protests like March for Our Lives, awareness campaigns like #MeToo, or fundraisers like the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, social platforms give us a chance to garner support.

Social media brings important causes like Black Lives Matter to a wider audience, and… it also inspired people to storm Area 51 to see what the US Government was hiding in there. Social campaigns don’t always work and none are perfect, but they’re more viable than ever before.

👍 Social Sites Can Be Uplifting

There was a time when, if you wanted to build a business or self-promote you’d be scoffed at. The best way to become successful was to leave it to the big brands and hope for the best. 

Now, independent artists, entrepreneurs, and even ordinary people have the opportunity to go viral and make it big. 

Justin Bieber’s career took off because he was discovered on YouTube. PewDiePie, the most subscribed to individual, started out making silly gaming videos and now has a net worth of $40 million. You could be next!

👎 Social Media Exacerbates Bullying

Tweet from the actress Amber Heard that verges on cyberbullying.

You don’t have to look far to find a troll online. Social media may be a form of communication, but often it’s harmful.

It’s easy to be cruel to others when you can hide behind a screen or a username. It’s also easy to justify bullying when we can shift blame to the victims. They put themselves out there, right? Commentary is a consequence of their attention-seeking, right?

Wrong! Bullying is bullying, and it’s never justified. Unfortunately, social media has caused instances of cyberbullying to skyrocket. In one survey, 60% of young participants said they witnessed cyberbullying but didn’t intervene. 

👎 Social Media is Addictive

Social media releases dopamine into your brain and can be physically and psychologically addictive. This can be extremely problematic, causing a slew of issues including:

  • • Withdrawal from society and self-imposed isolation.
  • • Lowered self-esteem, and a distorted perception of others.
  • • Anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.
  • • Deterioration of work or school performance.
  • • Neglecting your physical health to spend more time online.

👎 Social Media Can Wreck Your Mental Health

Numerous studies suggest social media takes a negative toll on our cognitive functioning. It could ruin our memory, shatter our sense of self-worth, and trigger depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.

Mounting research shows a connection between social media platforms and rising suicide and self-harm statistics. Social media was also shown to make us less empathetic and more narcissistic, which doesn’t help the bullying stats at all.

👎 Social Mistakes Can Come Back to Bite You

Mistakes you made ten years ago can easily resurface and jeopardize your relationships, career, and reputation. Social activism is a huge benefit to social media, but it can be weaponized. Cancel culture is sometimes taken to an unjustifiable extreme.

One example is Reddit’s role in the Boston Marathon Bombing investigation. Redditors attempting to find the bomber sent authorities after the wrong person. It ruined his reputation and put his family in danger even though he was innocent.

👎 Social Platforms May Compromise Your Safety

Apps like Facebook and Instagram are great ways to show people what you’re up to, but this can be dangerous. Social media has bred a whole new world of crime, on and offline.

Remember, predators access social media just as easily as you do. Stalkers, bullies, abusers, and sexual predators can (and do) use social media to target people. 

Last but not least, cyberthieves don’t even have to steal your information anymore, since you may be willingly giving it away on social media.

You don’t have to fear cybercriminals if you take the necessary precautions. Get CyberGhost VPN to increase your online security and privacy. 

6 Ways To Stay Safe Online

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, but that someone doesn’t have to be you. Here are quick and effective ways to protect yourself.

1. Limit the Information You Share

I wasn’t kidding about cybercriminals having it easy. Let me show you my personal Facebook profile, set to “View as public”. It might not look like much, but if you look me up, you’ll discover:

My nickname, and that I quite like Finland.

Screenshot of a Facebook profile set to View As Public

My job and my location.

Screenshot of a a profile's About section on Facebook

My friends, where they live, and where they work.

Screenshot of a Facebook friends list set to public

Who I am related to:

Screenshot of relationship and family connections on Facebook

And even the soccer teams I root for, and restaurants I’ve been to and reviewed.

Strangers can access this information just by visiting my profile. If you don’t want people to know everything about you, you need to audit your social media accounts. Make sure you’re not volunteering information to others.

2. Be Careful Who You Let In

Catfishing is a huge problem in today’s world. It’s easy to be fraudulent online, because anything goes. Remember, people aren’t always who they say they are. It’s a good idea to go through your friend/follow list, and declutter the ones you don’t know, trust, or feel good about.

3. Change Your Privacy Settings

Social media platforms have security measures in place, you just need to learn how to use them. Make sure you’re not sharing your personal information like your address, place of employment, or where your kids go to school. It’s all too easy for people you don’t even know to keep tabs on you, and this could have serious, even deadly, implications.

4. Take Action

We see it all the time: someone posts that their account got hacked and they’re not responsible for the things they posted. Chances are they clicked on a suspicious link, downloaded a corrupted file, or signed away their privacy. Here’s how you can prevent losing your identity to cybercriminals:

  • ❗ Never disable your firewall. Your computer has automatic security features that halt viruses, malware, and spyware in its tracks. Nothing is worth disabling this feature. Consider adding best-in-class protection with CyberGhost Security Suite.
  • ❗ Update your passwords frequently. It’s tedious but necessary. Alternate between lower and uppercase letters, include numbers and symbols, and use as many characters as you can.
  • ❗ Make sure your browsers and software are up to date. Every time your device or apps update, their security is improved. You may not like the new interface, but it’s a small price to pay for extra safety.
  • ❗ Learn to spot spam. Check for spelling errors in domain names, excessive ad links, vague and badly written copy, and alerts from your firewall, client, VPN, or app.
  • ❗ If it feels wrong, it probably is. Did your best friend send you a link to something gross, inappropriate, or illegal? Have you received a payment demand from something you never signed up for? These fall into phishing scams. Do not click the links!
  • ❗ Make use of multi-factor authentication. It’s a pain and has a few drawbacks, but it’s a sure-fire way to maintain control of your accounts, even if they’re hijacked. 
  • ❗ Report suspicious profiles. Do a good deed and let social media sites know when there’s trouble. You could save someone else from falling victim to fraud, bullying, phishing, and data breaches.
  • ❗ Don’t connect to unsecured networks. Public networks generally don’t have security or authentication measures in place, so when you connect, you’re at risk of exposing your information. CyberGhost VPN keeps you anonymous and safe, no matter what network you connect to.
  • ❗ Encrypt your data. CyberGhost VPN makes your data unreadable to prying eyes. We use military-grade 256-bit AES encryption to hide your information and activity. Even if cyberthugs got their hands on it, they wouldn’t know what to do with it.

5. Think Before You Post

Never, ever share your credit card, login, or physical information online. Remember, everything you post is a direct link to you, and it can’t truly be deleted. Anyone could use what you say against you, years after you shared it online. 

6. Get a VPN

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which precautions you practice, you’re still at risk. Double down on security with a VPN for good measure. 

CyberGhost VPN hides your IP address – your connection’s ID number – so your identity and location stay private. Here’s what you get when you sign up with us:

  • ✅ Access to any content, anywhere. We have 8000+ servers to get you around network restrictions, regional lockouts, and all the annoying “content not available in your country” messages.
  • ✅ Wi-Fi Protection. We hide your IP and encrypt all your data, so cybercriminals can’t get to you. CyberGhost VPN will warn you about unsafe networks before you connect, and launch automatically whenever an unsafe network is detected.
  • ✅ Uncapped bandwidth. If YouTube and TikTok are more your style, you’ll love this. We give you unlimited bandwidth on all plans, so we’ll never be the reason you have to look at buffering wheels.

Your apps can still track your activity or store your details when you log in – even with a VPN running. Though logging in affects your online privacy, CyberGhost VPN stops sites from knowing your location and IP address.

Ways to Celebrate Social Media Day

Social Media Day 2022 is all about honoring how handy, cool, and important social networks are. If you’re pressed for ideas, try the following to celebrate:

Use the Hashtag #SMDay

First thing’s first, you want people to know you’re celebrating, so use #SMDay to boost your post’s relevance. If you want to shake things up, use your city or state to let people know where you’re celebrating from.

Livestream

It’s daunting if you’ve never done it before, but what better way to celebrate Social Media Day than to show people exactly what you’re up to? Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, or TikTok (if you have the sub count) to broadcast your thoughts.

Not sure what to talk about? Here are a few prompts:

  • • How has social media improved your life?
  • • Do online friends count as real friends?
  • • Which apps can’t you live without?
  • • How has social media improved your career?
  • • Cancel culture: good or bad? Discuss!
  • • Is online dating healthy?

You could also discuss your social media journey or history, or fundraise for a cause you believe in! Speaking of which…

Fundraise

We all love a good cause. This social media day, consider doing a good deed by promoting, or donating to, important causes. There are tons of social media platforms that you can go through to accomplish this including GoFundMe, Facebook, and Twitch.

Meet Your Online Friends

Few things are as exciting as meeting someone for the first time. That friend you made online 10 years ago? The Tinder match you’re super interested in? Invite them for a coffee, why don’t you! Social Media Day emphasizes how we’re closer thanks to the internet. Just remember to stay safe and only meet people you trust.

Try a New Platform

A great way to celebrate Social Media Day is to join new social networks. Nothing’s stopping you from tweeting your random thoughts, posting your first selfie on Instagram, or sharing your secrets anonymously on Reddit. Heck, why don’t you try making your first TikTok? It’s a great platform, I promise!

Promote Your Favorites

Your entrepreneur friend with an online business, your friend’s merch store, and that cute guitarist you like could all use a boost. Use Social Media Day to plug your favorite people on social media. Share your favorite pages, channels, groups, and services. They’re bound to appreciate it!

Make All The Memes

Memes require little effort to put together, and you can make one out of almost anything. Social media fans love memes, so make – and share – all the cats, fails, puns and laughs you can think of. Here’s one I made:

A Vince McMahon meme used to promote CyberGhost VPN's features

 

Be Trendy

Now’s the time to take a leap and do something silly online. Live a little and participate in the hype. Do a trendy TikTok dance, Instagram challenge, or content creation trend. Don’t forget to tag your friends and use #SMDay!

Become a Ghostie for Social Media Day

Social media is a marvel, but we’d much prefer it if no one got hurt. CyberGhost VPN helps you access all your favorite social media sites safely, any time, from anywhere. 

Install CyberGhost VPN to get unlimited bandwidth, thousands of IP addresses, uncrackable encryption, and automatic Wi-Fi protection. It’s fast, easy, and affordable. Take advantage of our 45-day money-back guarantee and try CyberGhost VPN for yourself.

Have you checked out the rest of our Privacy Hub? We have dozens of articles to help you stay safe online, and we cover everything from cyber news to handy how-tos.

Will you join in on the fun this Social Media Day? Show us how you celebrate on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

Happy posting!

FAQ

What is social media day? 

Mashable created Social Media Day in 2010 to celebrate the rise of social networks and how they improve our lives. The aim is to take time to appreciate the friends you’ve made online, and hype your favorite community apps.

Before you post, get CyberGhost VPN. We’ll give you a smoother, faster, and safer connection to your favorite social networks, streaming services, and content worldwide

How do you celebrate social media day?

You can celebrate however you want, so long as you take some time to post to social media and use the hashtag #SMDay to show your participation. You can be as extravagant or as simple as you like. Share a meme, or stream your first meeting with an online friend – anything goes.

CyberGhost VPN gives you unlimited bandwidth on all plans, so you can post, surf, and download all you like without disruption.

What is the most popular social media platform?

Facebook takes the lead with 2.9 billion active users in 2022. By comparison, Instagram has 1.4 billion users, TikTok counts 1 billion users, and Twitter trails behind with only 436 million active users.

CyberGhost VPN works with all social networks and will protect you on any device. Try our mobile apps for iOS and Android free for 7 days!

How do you stay safe on social media?

It’s simpler than you think, and you can follow a few rules of thumb to double down on your safety. 

Don’t click suspicious links or engage spam. Update your privacy settings, passwords, and permissions frequently. Don’t post or share anything that could compromise your safety like your address or location, and if you see suspicious activity, report it!

Get CyberGhost VPN and we’ll take care of the rest. CyberGhost VPN has a variety of premium security features including 256-bit AES encryption, a private browser, a Kill Switch, and automatic Wi-Fi protection.

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