There are some people in the U.S. who refrain from using social media sites entirely. People who don’t interrupt conversation by browsing their Facebook feed on their I-Phone 5’s do exist. But many of those people are still tweeting via SMS text message, or hopping on their computers the minute they get home to discover how many likes their previous status accrued. There is a minority population in this nation that is either quite old or quite young, and these are the only people who are able to feel true isolation from a world overwrought with the travel of information through the passages of the internet. There are some who may claim they have stayed resolute in their embargo on social media, but even they are influenced by it.
The power of social media is the degree to which it permeates society. Everyone is not using social media, but there are enough people that it is almost impossible to escape. If you don’t use social media, at least one of your friends will probably be using it. They will share it with you in some way, be it in information they glean from a rock band’s website or by showing you a picture on their Tumblr page. The United States has the number one spot in total Facebook users, with 167,554,700 active users. This penetrates 54 percent of the population, and 70 percent of the online population in the country. The U.S. also dwarfs its competitors in the race for “most Twitter accounts” with over 140 million. This is 100 million more than the second place nation (Brazil), and is thanks to a growth of almost 35 million new twitter accounts between January 2012 and July 2012. With such numbers, most urban areas have become virtual hives of information streaming between millions of social media accounts. I can certainly attest to the amount that I am exposed to social media (outside my own use of it).
The world has been growing smaller every year as we have improved our ability to communicate electronically. We are reaching heights in communication that once seemed like science fiction. The extent to which it has permeated into our society already is a testament to the staying power and growth potential of this social media trend, although admittedly at the cost of isolation from the powerful flow of information from the internet.