Media! Tech! Parenting!

Timely Topics on Teaching & Parenting Digital Children

Just How Much Social Media Is There?

Posted by Marti Weston on October 22, 2012

Click on the image to visit Gary’s Social Media Counter.

Have you ever wondered about how much social media interaction occurs in the digital world at any given point in time? Recently I discovered an excellent social media teaching and learning tool that helps people gaze into always-changing world of social media content.

Over at PersonalizedMedia.com, blogger Gary P. Hayes offer a living widget with algorithms that track the approximate number of interactions in a range of social media categories — all in real time. He’s also turned his counter into an iPad app.

Visit Social Media Counts – a living statistical chart originally published in 2009 but upgraded in 2011 and 2012 — and start counting the moment you open the page. The site offers a progressive snapshot of what’s occurring in the social media universe as time moves along. It continues counting until a visitor closes the web page, and it starts counting again if the page is reloaded or if a user clicks the “now button.”

Leave the page up on your browser, come back a while later, and gaze in wonder at the growing statistics. Users can also click on the day, week, or month buttons to see different, and more massive social media statistics.

Anyone engaging in these SocialMediaCounts exercises quickly realizes the degree to which social media is a powerful force in the 21st Century learning world — one that’s not disappearing anytime soon. The site is a great tool for family conversations and can facilitate discussions on common sense and privacy concerns.

Several times a month I encounter people who fervently hope that social media is a fad that will eventually disappear from our lives. When possible I will use this “living statistics” chart to offer them a glimpse into the fast-changing social media world. It may help them understand that social media is now fused into our culture. While it may modify or change forms, social media is unlikely to disappear. I may not change any minds, but this is a powerful teaching tool for teachers and parents, nonetheless.

I can’t make the embed code work here on my Word Press blog page.  You can, however, click on the image above and visit Hayes’ Social Media Counts page. Also at the site is information explaining how and where he found his data.

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