Social Media Advanced Vocabulary in English
Social media is a new phenomenon and many new English words have evolved with it. There are big companies like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest etc. Social media has basically taken over almost everyday life for a lot of people.
This post will give you some advanced English words that you might need in order to be able to talk about social media or understand people who are speaking about social media. Let’s start:
Twitter and Tweeter
Twitter is a big company that you can send, you can post short messages and photos and videos, etc. And when you send out anything on Twitter, that is the company’s name. So, Twitter is the company, and a tweet is a message or the picture or video that you send out. And a person who uses Twitter is called a tweeter- someone who tweets. So, these two words have a very slight difference, but it’s important to understand them. If someone is talking about a tweeter they are talking about a person.
YouTube and Youtuber
Anyone who makes videos on YouTube is a YouTuber. Now, generally speaking, when we talk about YouTubers, we are talking about someone with a following, someone who has a lot of subscribers, or a lot of followers, a lot of people watching their videos. Right now, there are about millions of people making YouTube videos, you can’t call all of the YouTubers. The ones who are a bit more well known are YouTubers.
Social Media Platform
All the social media sites such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumbler etc where people can engage each other and express their views and news are called social media platforms.
Someone on YouTube or Instagram on Facebook or any social media platform who is very, very popular and many people following and have many subscribers, we call this person an influencer. Some people say “YouTube star”, star, okay, so maybe very popular, but the more important word is an influencer because this person has the power to influence a lot of people. That is why the advertisers and a lot of big companies try to get in touch with these influencers to help them promote their product or sell their product or an event or information, etc. So, they are aptly called influencers.
Trolls and Haters
We have trolls and haters. These two words are very similar but there is a subtle difference between the two. A hater is just like the word says, a person who hates. So, there are people who go online and they look through social media sites and look at posts and pictures and whatever, and they just put something negative. They put some sort of bad comment – “I hate you.”, “You look ugly.”, “You’re stupid.”, “You’re this and that”. These people have absolutely nothing else to do. They are sitting at home, they are bored and – “What should I do? Ah okay, let me write some bad things to this person”. Why? Because it’s anonymous. What does anonymous mean? It means nobody knows the identity of this person. So, a hater is basically somebody with nothing to do, who is bored, gets online, and writes bad things. The best thing to do with haters is to ignore them. If you are putting things on the internet, if you are posting things on your Facebook page, on your Instagram page, on your Twitter page, whatever, and somebody comes and says something negative, let it go. Just move on. It doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about what this person says. Even this person doesn’t care about what he or she is saying.
But then you have a troll. Now, a troll is generally similar to a hater, will usually come and write something negative. The difference is that the hater, once he or she has written something, they just forget about it. A troll is trying to get a reaction, which makes a troll a lot more dangerous. A troll will come and say something that he or she knows will annoy you or irritate you or make you angry or make you sad, but he or she is hoping that you write something back, because then they can write something bad again, and they want this exchange. Again, the best thing to do: ignore the trolls. And you’ll hear if you listen to the news or you read newspapers, you hear about “trolling”, this is the action of what a troll does, you’ll hear about people trolling each other, famous people trolling each other. They are acting like little children. Ignore them, ignore the trolls on your site, move on. Both of these people are considered cyberbullies.
Cyberbullying is a very, very serious social phenomenon. Very dangerous; it is making a lot of people angry. It is increasing the suicide rate in many cities and in many countries. It is very dangerous but also very difficult to fight because of the anonymity because these people are anonymous. So, in many cases, you don’t know who is doing it. You have a lot of, especially teenagers, who are doing bad things to themselves because of cyberbullying. If you see it, do something. Act against it, write against it, try to stop it, but ignore it. That’s the main thing if it happens to you, ignore it, move on.
Followers, fans, fanbase
If you are on social media and you have a lot of people who come and visit your page or your site or whatever, these are called followers. They are essentially your fans. And when we talk about all of your fans or all of a person’s fans, that is called the fanbase. These are all the people who are following you, who are fans of your content. And that is what social media is all about, it is about content. It is about articles, it is about vlogs and blogs, etc., about things that people put online to share with other people. I’ll talk more about that as well.
Nowadays, a very cool part of social media is something called a flash mob. It used to be very, very popular for a few years but it still happens every now and again. A flash mob happens when somebody puts on their social media feed, their social media page, that they want people to come to a specific location at a specific time and wait for a signal. And when that signal happens, everybody who got this message will get together and start doing a dance. They have practised this, it was all shared through social media, they know the song, they know the steps, they know where everybody should be, and these are all strangers who got together to have fun and it’s actually a very interesting and very cool sight. So – there is good and bad to the social media thing, but we’ll get more about that. Now, you can often hear about social media campaigns. Now, what is a campaign?
Campaign, crowdfunding, Kickstarter
A campaign is an effort to do something, to achieve something. So, you’ll have a lot of campaigns like educational campaigns, ad campaigns, where they’re pushing a certain piece of information to get people to buy something, to act on something, to go somewhere, take some action, etc. But a very interesting and becoming more and more popular campaign is called crowdfunding. So, there’s a site or there’re applications called Kickstarter or GoFundMe, where people have a very good idea and they need money to make this idea come alive, so they create a crowdfunding page, they create a crowdfunding campaign, and people from all over the world send them a little bit of money, and they collect all this money, sometimes it can be very huge quantities, and they take this money and they can pursue their product. Now, some people start companies, some people invent a new machine, new technology, etc., so it’s a very positive use of social media because there are also a lot of scams.
A scam is like a trick to try to get something from you, so a lot of people will get on these sites and say, oh, you know, “My wife, she’s pregnant, but she has cancer and I need a surgery for her but I don’t have money, will people please help me?” And people are nice, they’re generous and friendly, they’re helpful, they send money to this person, but this person is not married, is young, has nothing going on but, you know, just taking the money and going on vacation. So, you have to be very careful about the places you send your money to. Be very, very careful where you’re sending your money.
Now, crowdsourcing is very similar to funding, but it has nothing to do with money. Let’s say I want to start a new website and I have a very, very good idea for a service to provide people. The problem is that I have all the content, but I don’t actually know how to build a site. I don’t know how to make functions on the site. So, I can go to crowdsourcing sites, especially social media sites, and I can ask people to help write the code or look for people to do the coding to help me build this site and create my vision of the website. So, crowdsourcing is getting people to help you with actual work, with tasks, with their knowledge, with their skills, which is actually a very interesting thing. A very good thing.
There’s also something called Creative Commons. So, what social media has done is it connected the world. It made everybody be able to reach basically everybody and work together. So, Creative Commons, a lot of people are sharing photos and videos and articles for free, and they say you can use this information, you don’t have to pay me anything, there’s no license, if you want to use this picture in your website, go ahead, it’s free. So, you get a Creative Commons license. I’m going to go to black because I lost my red [marker]. So, you get a Creative (Commons license. You can go to some website where they have some kind of really beautiful pictures and, of course, there are websites where you have to buy the picture and they’re a little bit expensive. There are Creative Commons sites where you can take the picture and use it and you have a Creative Commons license, it means it’s not copyrighted. It’s free for everybody to use and share, so it’s a very nice thing.
Now, a very common, very popular thing to do on social media is a blog, which is a weblog, and that is basically people – you know, it started off as just for writing their ideas and thoughts and whatever. Now many things happen on it. It is a platform where a writer or even a group of writers share their views on an individual subject in an organised manner. It is like a journal and the people publish it on the world wide web.
Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog and the person who writes ods content to a blog is called a blogger.
Now, more common is vlog – video log, which is essentially YouTube and other streaming services where people can share videos about anything and everything. Now let’s say about clickbait.
Click, you know, on the mouse, you click. Bait, this word, bait, if any of you have ever gone fishing, okay, you have your rod and you have your line and at the end of your line, you have your hook. If you throw this into the water, the fish won’t come. They won’t care, you know, it’s just a piece of metal. But if you put a worm on the hook, or a piece of bread, or another little fish, then other bigger fish will come and bite it. So, that’s the bait. The stuff you put on the hook to attract the fish is called the bait. So, clickbait headlines, very powerful headlines or pictures that really, all these people want is for you to click on them. The more you click, the more money they get. The more visitors to their site they get, the more advertising money they get, so be careful about clickbait. It’s very, very tempting. Now, I personally have clicked many things that were just clickbait because you can’t help it, they’re so attractive, you go to them, you click, and then ah, clickbait! And then you’ve wasted your time.
Everything you put on your social media site or social media platform is called a feed or post. On Twitter, you put a post, on Facebook you put a feed, and it goes up and down, and up and down, and it keeps moving. So, your feed is basically the collection of posts, and they keep moving up and down. The more posts people put on, the more crowded the feed gets until nothing really matters anymore. And then, of course, unless something goes viral, alright.
If something goes viral, it spreads very quickly to a lot of people and it becomes very popular until people forget about it and something else becomes viral. And then you have something that’s trending.
Now, something that goes viral is one thing, spreads very quickly. Something that’s trending is more of like a topic and more and more people start talking about it. So, it’s not one thing, it’s one category, and more people start adding things to it to get the conversation going. Trends last longer than viral posts or things.
Livestreaming is basically you’re taking a video and instead of recording it and then posting it later, you’re doing it live. So, whatever the person is doing on the camera, other people can see at the exact same time, and then you can even communicate with people who are live-streaming. This is becoming more and more popular. And that’s why we have something, it’s more and more streaming media. More and more live video broadcasting.
Now, something that happens on a mass scale, this is a very important phrase. Mass means a lot or big. Scale means size, so a big size. So, anything that happens on a mass scale means it affects a lot of people; travels to a lot of places. It’s a very, very big audience, I guess you could call it.
An app is short for application, so anything you don’t do on your desktop computer, you do it on your mobile computer, it is specifically set just for that platform. For example, Twitter, you can do on your desktop computer. If you want to do it on your phone, you download the Twitter application, and that application is only for Twitter and it doesn’t interact with other things.
Hashtags used to be very popular. They’re still popular, but a hashtag basically looks like this: # and then whatever words come after it. A hashtag just connects this word to other posts that have the same hashtag. So, if you put something with a hashtag, it will connect with all the other posts with the same hashtag. So it’s easier to find information about a particular thing.
A meme is basically a picture or an expression or a video, a short video, that is taken out of its context, out of its original context and lots of different things are added to it and it gets sent back out onto the internet. So, for example, somebody posts a picture of a smiling baby. And then somebody else takes that picture of the smiling baby and puts that smiling baby surrounded by lions and then they say, “Who’s happier?”, right? And then someone takes the baby and puts it in a different situation; someone takes the baby like it’s speaking something. They take one picture or one thing and put it in many different contexts because they think it’s funny.
Lastly, we have something called phishing. So, as I mentioned before, it’s similar to clickbait but it’s a lot more dangerous and a lot more negative. So, first of all, notice that I have phishing with a “ph”, so “ph” can sound like “f”, so it’s phishing with a “ph” not fishing with an “f” like the fish. So, what is phishing? One of the problems with social media is that people can interact with people directly and they can sort of establish relationships. So, what people do with phishing is they try to connect with people who are — maybe they need a friend, maybe they’re lonely, they try to become friends with them. They try to attract them and gain their trust and then they will run a scam on them. They will try to steal something from them. Steal their identity, steal money, steal anything they can, and that’s the whole purpose of phishing. So, if you meet strangers online, especially on social media, always have a little bit of questioning. Like, don’t 100 per cent trust any stranger, just like you wouldn’t trust a stranger on the street that you just meet for the first time, don’t trust somebody you just meet on the internet. And again, some of these people will spend months or years trying to gain your trust until they can finally work out their scam. So, be careful. Always use common sense on the internet.
Thus social media has good uses as well as bad uses. Use your common sense to know which is which. Enjoy the social media; be a little bit wary, be a little bit careful and always keep your eyes open. Be sure you know what you’re doing. I hope this was a little bit helpful.