In 2008, John Maritotti, author of The Chinese Conspiracy and cyber-attack expert, claimed social media was an invitation to "at best, uncontrolled and permanent over-exposure and at worst, identity theft or misuse". We've come a long way since 2008. In fact, we've come a long way since the late 1990s when fears of identity theft, identity confusion and deception shaped our engagements with online communication technologies - or CMC, computer mediated communication, as it was known at the time.
Now, instead of fear and suspicion, we occupy digital spaces as a matter of everyday routine. Social media - Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Weblogs, and Myspace - has become mundane. And it has become a tool of revolutionaries.
To talk about digital history is to bring up old debates about cyberspace, real democracy, anarchism, William Gibson, cyber-warfare. So we won't go there - or will we? As civil war, protests and uprisings shape our present, these debates have regained currency.
As these events unfold we might ask 'What is social media really capable of?' But I think this is only part of the question. The other part involves the individuals using social media to fulfill their needs - whether they be chatting with a friend or planning a protest.
Today, we watch as protests occur online and in the streets of places like Syria, Egypt, Iraq, America and many other countries - including Australia, where Occupy Melbourne and Sydney caught the media's attention last year.
These different movements have been linked to the idea that social media is somehow revolutionary.
With books like Revolution 2.0 - by Wael Ghonim, a key figure of the Egyptian uprising - and phrases like the "Twitter revolution" you might find yourself asking - well, isn't it?
Social media sites have been interpreted by many as a space to speak out, mobilise and contest political processes, a place of relative freedom - the history, goals and aims of these uprisings their differences.
Yet they unite in their use of social media technology to rise against regimes, economic structures, dictatorships and political leaders that do not meet the needs of the many. (We are the 99 per cent!)
Are these uprisings part of a broader social movement? Malcolm Gladwell, writer for The New Yorker asks: "Are people who log on to their Facebook page really the best hope for us all?"
For American social commentator Henry Giroux, one thing is for certain, young people around the world are gathering online to demand the end of corporate control of the "institutions of politics and culture, poverty, the suppression of dissent and the permanent war state".
These young people have enabled changes to be made in places where change seemed impossible.
Are they the best hope? For some, they are the only hope.
Is this daunting? Well, Virginia Heffman tells us it might be, but it's now reality - so get used to it. "Today, nerds, students, creeps, outlaws, rebels, moms, fans, church mice, good-time Charlies, middle managers, senior citizens, starlets, presidents and corporate predators all make their home on the web.
"In spite of consensus about the dangers of web vertigo and the importance of curation, walled gardens online - like the one Facebook purports to represent - are few. The web is minimally controlled pandemonium."
The pandemonium of the internet has given young men and women around the world a place to gather and hope for a better future. A place to imagine alternatives to regimes of oppression.
"This was the Revolution 2.0 model: no one was the hero because everyone was a hero" (Ghonim, 2012: 294).