The history of social networking on the World Wide Web is an important part of this investigation, as is the rapid speed of its growth. Currently, there is not an available comprehensive volume of emergent psychologically minded research on social networking sites. This journal will explore how rapidly expanding digital social communication effects the way one person connects to another.
Social networking sites (SNS) were created following development of the arpanet to later become known as the internet. Initially, SNS were defined as virtual communities that offered their members the ability to network and share media content. Unlike websites that connect people based on a specific interest, (i.e.forum on a health related concern, gambling, or restaurants) SNS focuses on establishing connections between people. SNS are currently considered a global consumer phenomenon.
SNS began in the 1980s with a website known as “The Well.” The Well offered e-mail, Internet forums, webpages, and shell accounts to its users. Users were able to start conversational threads about various topics, and decide if they wanted to make these topics public for forum discussion. In communities like The Well and more contemporary SNS like Facebook, people create individual public profiles, interact with established friends, and are able to connect and meet people – either based on shared interest or arbitrarily. Facebook was established in 2004 and is currently the most successful SNS.