The term social media is giving way to the more inclusive term social networking. The change in terminology adds the very modern, 21st century concept of networking. It is not surprising that social networking is most commonly done through mobile devices. This means that communication through a network is also most often done away from home.
Mobile Comes of Age
The history of the mobile device owes a great deal to the technology that spawned it and has continually improved it. The massive mobile devices that were still in use a mere twenty five years ago have long been replaced by sleek and slender devices that have exponentially more power than the dinosaur mobile devices had back in the day.
Not Just for Phone Calls
After people got used making and receiving telephone calls on their “cellular phones”, they began looking for other things to do on the phones. Sending print messages began as a craze until texting became an integral part of everyday life. Playing slots of Vegas on a casino online became popular even though the graphics for mobile games was still in its infancy. As graphics improved—and they have improved so much especially in the last ten years or so— mobile casino gaming took off and has become more popular than desktop casino gaming.
The Great Determiner of Social Graces
It’s become almost a modern cliché, primarily regarding millennials, that a group of people may go out to eat at a nice restaurant but they each spend a great deal of their time on their mobile phones. We once thought that they were all just referencing their Facebook page. Now we know that in addition to looking at Facebook, if they still do, Facebook being so last century, they are actually communicating with their network in numerous ways, all available easily on their mobile.
Benefits of Networks
Networking has two primary purposes. First, it is used as a professional media tool. Professional people often find that they have fallen behind in their mastery of the information they need to properly perform their professional tasks if they fail to check into what their network has posted in the past 24 hours! That is probably one of the reasons the millennial professionals, what were long ago referred to as Yuppies, can be seen in small groups communicating with a hand held device.
The second major development in networking is the advent of mobile social gaming. An amazing development of the rise of the mobile device as a medium of social gaming and the explosive growth of such gaming is that the social games of college careers past, such as Dungeons and Dragons, have been replaced by mobile games with a long anachronym: MMORPG Games which stands for Massively Multi-player Online Role-playing Games.
A Revolution in Gaming
The multi-player games of the last generation of college students had room for perhaps ten players at one time. MMORPG Games can have hundreds, thousands, or even more players from all over the world. By combining cultures, the games are far richer than any games ever were. The inclusiveness of these games makes them incredibly more imaginative, inventive, and challenging for players.
Mobile Shines when Compared to Past Communication Devices
The flexibility of mobile devices means that you can play two-person games like chess and checkers from your mobile device. These games lend themselves to what was called correspondence games. The first generation of correspondence games was played via the postal services. They naturally took months to play. The modern era of correspondence chess or GO came about with the nearly universal existence of home telephones. For those who have never seen one, these were telephones that were attached to a wall in your house way back in grandma’s day.
The telephone allowed each player to call in his or her moves. The games speeded up dramatically; what had previously taken several months to play could be completed in just a few days!
Desktop or laptop computers meant that a correspondence game could be played in real time by two players relaxing over their screens thousands of miles apart from each other.
Mobile gaming is so fast that in one’s lunch hour, one can play several games of speed chess!
Capitalism Cashes In
Social gaming is being used in advertising to raise brand awareness (another term that grandpa never heard of). Commercialization of popular brands is already well-established means of promoting the brand and the original vehicle for the brand. Games can be used to make entire demographics more aware of the brand and the specific product or service the manufacturer of service provider is trying to reach.
Brand awareness has become a big part of Super Bowl ads. These ads are the signature ads for a company and a brand for a year or longer. A large company’s Chief Marketing Officer or CMO puts his or her career on the line every January when Super Bowl weekend comes around.
One hamburger chain spent its advertising millions on a branding mission, telling viewers that it was the only hamburger fast food chain to use fresh home-grown beef that was raised and slaughtered close to the restaurant wherever the restaurant might be located in contrast to their competitors that use frozen beef. The implication was that company A, the one with fresh beef, serves a better quality hamburger than all of the rest of the hamburger fast food chains.
Future of Social Networking
We can assume that social networking will grow and develop in unimaginable directions. Just as Facebook was a great improvement on its predecessors, so Facebook has given way among the youngest users for a salad of social media sites. The networking that can come about from improved intermingling of this salad’s ingredients will determine the future of social networking.