Since the dawn of the Internet, communication has become faster, and made the world a little smaller. With 2.77 billion social media users worldwide , the sheer number of people we can connect with is immense. Technology has changed communication over the decades. The invention of the telephone opened the doors to worldwide communication. The Internet took that possibility and turned it on its head. Here are just some of the ways that social media has influenced modern communication: 1. By creating a sense of urgency Social media has made it so easy to connect instantly. We live in a world were tip-tapping on a screen is considered valuable communication. Liking a photo. Taking a minute to quickly respond to a comment. In the matter of seconds we can post a picture. Tell a story. Live stream daily life - and receive instant feedback. Each of these quick actions gives us a mini dopamine rush - the feelgood brain chemicals that provide a positive loop that encourages more usage. Snapchat revolutionized the FOMO game when it came to social media with stories that are only available for 24 hours - then disappear. Instagram and Facebook jumped on board with time-sensitive stories that encourage users to keep up with their friends quickly. 2. By putting thoughts and emotions into visual context The emoji. Love it or hate it, it is now a prevalent and valid form communication online. Memes? They say some generations “can’t meme” but whether or not you are creative and funny enough to create one yourself is besides the point. Memes are clever and relatable. There is one to convey nearly every aspect of the human experience. We share pictures and symbolic icons to express ourselves, and everyone just gets it. 3. By reintroducing fascination with the unedited NOW I’m a 1987 Millennial. I remember when texting your friends and IMMEDIATELY getting a response was so 2005. But since texting has developed, “leaving someone on seen” has become a thing. Now enter Facebook and Instagram Live. It’s so fascinating to actually watch people in real time. There’s a rawness to it that draws viewers. No filters, no editing a video to make sure you have all your best selfie angles down. Your friends can watch and interact with you if they choose, in real time. You get to watch someone in their current state, and even though it’s through a computer screen or on your smartphone, Live brings back some of the humanity and realness that was previously lacking on social media. 4. By connecting us to people around the world like never before Thanks to Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram being worldwide, we can now connect to friends and family all over the world in a much different way. You can now instantly share pictures, videos, and live chat with someone in Australia or Japan and see a slice of their culture. Most social media sites have a translator installed, so even if your loved ones post something in another language, you aren’t left out of the conversation. Many world cities have live Snapchat or Instagram stories that show you the hustle and bustle of their daily city life - in a way we would never see before. If you are lucky enough to travel the world, these are merely nostalgic features, but for the rest of us - it’s the only way we may get to experience a different place.