Nowadays imaging a day without social media is nearly impossible. From Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to TikTok and YouTube, social media has become an important part of people’s lives, helping them connect with others online. Now, in an interesting finding, scientists have revealed that social media is not a new concept and that African people were using it from early days.
According to a team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germa, even people living around 40,000 to 50,000 ago were using social media. Though the medium was quite different, the idea was the same– to connect with friends and family.
According to the study published in the journal, Nature, the researchers found people were using beads to exchange messages around 50,000 years ago. Lead authors Jennifer Miller and Yiming Wang said the format was used by people to share symbolic messages and strengthen alliances. According to Miller, the tiny beads had “the power to reveal big stories about our past”. She said, “It’s like following a trail of breadcrumbs; the beads are clues, scattered across time and space, just waiting to be noticed”.
Have a look at the method of communication:
Social media from 40,000 years ago
“We know that genetically these groups had some sort of contact, but there so far has been no cultural evidence. It’s kind of mind-boggling that these people, who lived 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, would have had some kind of social network that spread over such a long-distance,” news agency Sputnik quoted the researchers as saying in a statement. The researchers noted that the result of the research is “surprising, but the pattern is clear”.
“Throughout the 50,000 years we examined, this is the only time period that the bead characteristics are the same,” the researchers added.