An Asian Guy’s Affinity to Social Media

For me, social media is quite a novel thing through my life. As a Chinese, I was born in 1994, in which the Internet has been utilized in China for the first time. Back in the days, we had no cell phone and no PC. At the age of four, my dad bought a PC for business use. I had no idea what it is, and he just sited in front of it at his room, performing some seemingly difficult task, which later I knew he was just writing some documents. At that time, even though we had access to the Internet, we rarely used it. Most of the time we were just doing our own job, staying separate with each other.

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Later on, during the years of my elementary school studies, one application named “QQ” from a company called Tencent, has changed the situation. As long as you registered a QQ number, you could use it to chat with anyone else has a QQ number. You could also set up a group, adding people to a group and chatting with the whole crew as well. QQ also had a feature: the QZone. QZone is just like the blog, you can share pictures, journals, QQ offers Emoji, which was quite a new method of expressing our emotions. All of sudden, everyone had a QQ number. We exchanged our numbers and communicated with each other. At the same time, the cell phone has been popularized among Chinese civilians. The same communication could be achieved through text message. I could still remember I had my friends chat in a group all night through QQ. All the young kids had a really great time.

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Later on, during my high school, a simpler, more efficient communication platform, WeChat, had been created. A WeChat account could be registered with the existing QQ number or cell phone number. So pretty much if you had your friend’s number or QQ number it would be very easy to find him or her on WeChat. WeChat allowed the users to implement multi media messaging: send video, image, text, and most innovatively, voice messages. Any users could leave a short message up to one minute. And there were so many Emoji with diversified styles that WeChat published every day. It was a really great feature since people could chat by using a more efficient way without even tapping words. In China, the carriers offering the telecom service were all national companies, which charged a lot for calls and texts. However, if you used the voice messages on WeChat, you did not need to make calls anymore besides emergencies. That is also why there are so many Chinese choose to use WeChat immediately. I am still using WeChat to communicate with my friends and my mom every day. It takes almost 90% of the time that I am using social platform.

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After I graduated from high school, I went to Los Angeles for my undergrad study. In UCLA, I met a lot of new friends with various cultural backgrounds. At the same time, I had been infused in many quite new social media like FaceBook and Twitter, even though I rarely used them. Now, as a PR and Corporate communication student in NYU, it is the time to explore the new media world.

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