What was “Social Media” before 1900?

I have always been interested how people communicated before the social media era. I did some research this past week and thought I’d share.

The earliest methods of communicating across great distances used written correspondence delivered by hand from one person to another. In other words, letters. The earliest form of postal service dates back to 550 B.C., and this primitive delivery system would become more widespread and streamlined in future centuries.
In 1792, the telegraph was invented. This allowed messages to be delivered over a long distance far faster than a horse and rider could carry them. Although telegraph messages were short, they were a revolutionary way to convey news and information
Although no longer popular outside of drive-through banking, the pneumatic post, developed in 1865, created another way for letters to be delivered quickly between recipients. A pneumatic post utilizes underground pressurized air tubes to carry capsules from one area to another.
Two important discoveries happened in the last decade of the 1800s: The telephone in 1890 and the radio in 1891.
Both technologies are still in use today, although the modern versions are much more sophisticated than their predecessors. Telephone lines and radio signals enabled people to communicate across great distances instantaneously, something that mankind had never experienced before.

It’s amazing to see how our world has evolved since then. Today, there is a tremendous variety of social networking sites, and many of them can be linked to allow cross-posting. This creates an environment where users can reach the maximum number of people without sacrificing the intimacy of person-to-person communication. We can only speculate about what the future of social networking may look in the next decade or even 100 years from now, but it seems clear that it will exist in some form for as long as humans are alive.


The History of Social Media



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One Response to What was “Social Media” before 1900?

  1. sydhavely says:

    You have hit on a major issue in social media and technology and that is, what has been the impact of social media compared with other technological developments throughout history. Some will say it has changed the way we live, think, and behave. Others will tell you that by comparison with the jet plane, the telephone, and electricity, it pales by comparison. Question is: what do you think? Great post, Hyder.

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