As the Internet became more popular in homes and offices, online communication also began to take off. Initially people were fascinated by electronic mail, which allowed users to send a virtual message to anyone, anywhere. This eliminated the need for handwritten correspondence, as well as drastically decreasing the amount of time it took to send and receive communication. It also was a free service, saving people thousands on postage, paper, and other supplies necessary to produce hard copies of correspondence.
Now, many people receive emails on their mobile phones, giving them access anywhere they may be located. Chat rooms and instant messaging was also a popular advancement in online communication, allowing friends and family members to communicate instantly and securely with just an internet connection. Individuals using chat rooms could meet people from all over the world with a shared interest in a specific topic, and communicate privately without having to reveal any personal information.
Social networking has taken the world by storm in the past years, with the creation of sites such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and more. These sites allowed users to create and maintain personal profiles, and keep in contact with hundreds of friends and family members in one place.
Initially Facebook was created for college students, but now has billions of users worldwide of all ages. Twitter has allowed people to see the thoughts and opinions of celebrities, stay in touch with current events, and share their own ideas to anyone who follows. Most businesses now advertise on social media sites, knowing this is where they can reach the largest number of people. The creation of online communication has made it so much easier to stay in touch with those who are far away, as well as view photos and videos, and stay on top of birthdays, anniversaries, and other meaningful events in the lives of others.