A 2014 survey found that nearly three-quarters of every person with an Internet connection is on a social network of some kind, with Facebook being the overwhelming favorite.
With the hundreds of millions of users spending several hours each day sharing posts, pictures and videos online, it's only natural that there could be some confusion about what's actually going on with them.
In order to clear up some of the myths surrounding it, Mental Floss host Elliott Morgan presents the top 10 misconceptions about social media:
Misconception 1: 'Social media' and 'social network' mean the same thing.
Social networks are the sites themselves, like Instagram and Snapchat, while social media is the content posted on it.
Misconception 2: Mark Zuckerberg was as shady and stealy building Facebook as portrayed in the movie 'The Social Network'
As with many movies, The Social Network exaggerated details of Mark Zuckerberg's rise to make the film more interesting and build up the drama.
Misconception 3: More hashtags increases the amount of retweets.
When it comes to hashtags, less is more. Using one or two to accentuate a tweet does accentuate a message and increase engagement, going overboard with it has the opposite effect. #StopWhileYoureAhead
Misconception 4: Facebook sells users' personal pictures to advertisers.
Nope, it won't. It will, however, use your name and profile picture to tell your friends which business pages you like.
Misconception 5: Instagram owns all pictures on the network.
Not true at all. It's just not.
Misconception 6: Foursquare was extremely popular.
While Foursquare users would be hopelessly addicted to checking in all over the place, the actual number of people who used the app was much smaller than it may have appeared.
Misconception 7: LinkedIn is rapidly growing.
While it seems like nearly everyone has a LinkedIn profile, the majority of accounts are inactive. However, this could be impacted by people who enjoy long-term employment and don't have a reason to go to the site and update their résumé.
Misconception 8: Shorter tweets create more engagement.
While fewer hashtags increase engagement, tweets that barely make the cut of being less than 140 characters have higher share rates.
Misconception 9: Social media is free advertising for company.
While it's free for companies to post onto a social network, it takes a great deal of money and effort to create the content before it is posted.
Misconception 10: A glitch made private Facebook messages public.
That claim went around a couple years ago, but the "private" messages were just overlooked wall posts.
Learn more about these misconceptions here:
[H/T: Mental Floss]
[Header image: iStockphoto]