Every day, social media is changing our lives. If you stop for a minute and consider how different your world is from 10 or even five years ago, you'll probably find that more than anything else, social networks have impacted your daily life. Tools like Facebook and Twitter have redefined how we interact with one another, and the world around us. Here are the top ways in which social media has changed us, courtesy of the researchers at Mashable.com - who are internet and technology experts.

  • It's changed where we get our news. Each morning before checking Google News, USA Today.com or CNN online, a lot of people first look at the stories their friends are sharing on Twitter or Facebook. Our social media "friends" are increasingly becoming our trusted sources of information, even more than search engines. Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is also a hardcore tech blogger. He says that for the first time, more people are finding his blog from Twitter and Facebook referrals than by searching Google. News has become more social than ever.
  • It's changing the way we do business. It's easier than ever to start and launch a business thanks to social media. Not only can we locate potential collaborators and employees through Facebook groups and Twitter searches, but social media gives people who have little money for advertising the chance to connect with others and promote their business. According to the New York Times, Twitter has actually become the sole means of marketing for many mom-and-pop shops with no budget.
  • Social media has changed the way we meet and stay in touch with people. It's now easy to locate people who share our interests because of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other networking sites. Even if you have obscure interests - like riding a unicycle, or 15th century poetry - there's probably a Facebook group about it. A Twitter search will likely turn up other people talking about the same subject. Once introductions are made through social networks, it's easier for people to develop real-life relationships using phone calls and in-person meetings.