Omg! Is Facebook taking over the world?

It's obvious that social media sites like Facebook are popular.

Facebook, now boasting more than 800 million users, continues to change the way we live. Instead of actually having an in-person chat with someone, many of us are simply logging on to social media sites to have those conversations.

"I think for the first time in a long time, everyone gets an equal voice and gets to speak without being seen," said Dr. Leigh Browning, Associate Professor of Mass Communication at West Texas A&M University. "It allows them to have private conversations in public places and public conversations in public places."

Pornography previously claimed the spot for the number one web activity. That recently changed as Facebook continues to dominate.

"The notion that social media has overtaken that very popular activity online indicates its impact and speaks to the notion that this is really what we've been craving," said Browning.

People are using social media sites to connect to old friends and family members they wouldn't otherwise communicate with.

"It's a big part of my life," said Facebook user Anita Ferrell. "It's a big part of how I keep in communication with people I care about."

What about those who don't use Facebook?

"It's kind of a medium that I think takes the people part out of it," said Amarillo resident Kaki Johnson.

Other social media sites are also growing. YouTube is constantly growing and has even become the number two search engine on the web.

As for the future, social media sites will only continue to grow. Browning said people must embrace it and use it to their benefit.

"We will always be connected, engaging, talking," she said. "It's important that we harness it, that we teach our young generation how to manage that and how to participate in a fundamentally cultural way that benefits us as a nation instead of holds us back."

Tune into Pronews 7 at 10 on Thursday for Part 2 of this special series about the impacts of social media. We'll expose some of dangers of Facebook. Do you really know who your friends are?