Almost everyone is active in some sort of social media these days; whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Flicker, Pinterest or any of the many other sites.
We use social media as a way to stay in touch with family and friends; share photographs; keep up with news; look for jobs; announce engagements, births, marriages, deaths and other life events; and virtually anything else that is part of our collective lives.
Today’s social media role, other than the instant nature of it, is no different than the roles community newspapers have played for hundreds of years.
In smaller communities, prior to the days of the Internet, the local newspaper was often the only form of communication other than word of mouth.
The local newspaper was the go-to source for political news, sports scores, obituaries, school lunch menus, church news, items for sale at the local markets, and even, as was the case in my hometown, hyper-local community news.
Our community newspaper featured contributing writers from the various communities who would report on such things as who visited whom, who hosted a party and possibly even what a family or group would have for Sunday dinner (dinner was the term used to described the midday meal, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays).
Sunday dinner was usually the biggest meal of the week and family and friends would often drop by after church to socialize. It was often an all-afternoon event with foods left out for hours so that whoever visited needed only to fill their plates, and this was newsworthy.
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