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The Jewish Origins of Social Media

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In 2015, there are currently more than 7 billion in the world. 2 billion of them have an active social media account. Only 14 million of the world’s population is Jewish, with almost half of it living in Israel, a country known for being in the technological forefront. In recent years, Israel has gained the moniker “the startup nation”, and continues its success in the high tech field. For the past two decades, a few Jewish names were responsible for the internet and social media revolutions – Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Google, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Tumblr founder David Karp, to name a few. With all their success, how does social media influence Jewish life?

While Zuckerberg seems to be on a continuing quest to conquer the world, Facebook isn’t the only social platform where Jews express themselves. Twitter has its own Jewish section, but surprisingly hasn’t gained much of a following in Israel, as only 5 percent of the country’s population have a registered account. LinkedIn is considered a very popular platform in Israel, as it is second only to Facebook in social media ranking. But business networking aside, how does the younger Jewish generation connect socially?

Like their counterparts around the world, the millennial Jews mainly stick to their smartphones, using Facebook and various apps like Instagram and Keek, a social video network where users post 36 second videos on anything from self-glorifying rap, bar mitzvahs to holiday dinners with the family.

Yet, as they become less familiar with religion or not keeping their traditions, young Jews, especially outside of Israel, tend less to express their Jewish heritage on social media. It can be claimed that this generation doesn’t wish to show it out, or simply fears of modern day anti-Semitism, but it seems like Jewish social media isn’t a large phenomenon as one would expect, despite the fact that Jews run some of its biggest platforms.

In an ever changing world, the connection between Jews and social media will keep growing, but the actual presentation of Jewish culture on the various platforms is a question still to be answered.

 

 

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