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In recent years, platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter have become synonymous with the concept of social media, but do you know that the invention of social media can trace its roots back to ancient times? 


According to Tom Standage’s book, Writing on the Wall: Social Media—The First 2,000 Years, Roman statesman Cicero created a web of communication that helped him obtain the latest news on politics as well as his friends. In Cicero’s web, slaves and confidants acted as broadband internet connection, and papyrus papers and reed pens produced his personal newsfeed. It was this desire to initiate conversations and exchange information that gave birth to social media.


As time passed, social media has also changed and evolved with upgrades in technology. Nowadays, “social media” refers to online platforms where people can share their opinions, post pictures and videos, and discuss various topics. If we go by that definition, then SixDegrees.com, which was set up in 1997, could probably be considered the first social media website. Why, then, haven’t most people heard of this granddaddy of all social media sites?

【重點單字】

1. synonymous (adj.) 同義的

2. obtain (v.) 得到

3. newsfeed (n.) 消息來源

4. initiate (v.) 開始

5. give birth to (phr.) 滋生出⋯⋯

6. evolve (v.) 使逐步形成


近年來Facebook、YouTube、Instagram及Twitter等知名平台,幾乎已經等同於社群媒體的代名詞。但令人意外的是,社群媒體的發展在歷史長河中,早已有跡可循。在湯姆.斯丹迪奇的《社群媒體前兩千年》一書中,古羅馬政治家西塞羅就曾自創了一套訊息網,以快速取得最新的政治消息及朋友間的流行話題;在以他為中心的社群媒體內,密友及奴隸是他的寬頻網路,莎草紙及葦筆則構成他專屬的動態頁面。也就是這種想與人建立對話以及交換意見的渴望,促使了社群媒體的誕生。

歲月流逝,社群媒體的發展也隨著硬體及科技的進步持續演變。如今的社群媒體泛指人們用來分享意見、創作圖文影音,及討論各式主題的虛擬網路平台。若是按照這樣的定義,在1997年創立的 SixDegrees.com 可謂是首創的社群媒體網站,但為何大多數使用者都沒有聽說過這位創始元老呢?


本文摘自《DEAR》Vol.22 拔掉你的社群點滴——生活快遞

*月刊內的長篇英文文章是中文內容的摘要,不是中英的對照翻譯,希望讀者能試著先看看自己英文能理解多少,再透過完整的中文內容,搭配推薦影片學更多!

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Strandwin Kyle

well done

09/11
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