Being Social or active in Social Media…..

Are you there in FB?

Ya I am there, but not active 😦 ..

Oh! you are missing the big picture there, come over, will talk….

and she cut the phone…

Disgusting…. was the obvious reaction from this side…

This was the conversation between two ladies in their 40s which I over-heard last week while I was in a shopping complex in Bangalore.

This incident reminded me of a similar story that happened with me some years back. At that time it was Orkut, and now it is FB or Facebook. The bottom line of story is the same, only the characters and the modalities are different. I am sure many of my readers and fellow aamjuntas must have faced something similar or the other.

Now a days most of us are active in social media sites like Facebook, Orkut, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Youtube and so many. Adding new albums, searching old and new friends, updating status, sending messages, sharing links, and chatting over Facebook is a common practice.

With affordable Internet over mobile phones and broadband connections, nearly 80-90% users visit the social media sites in general. It is observed that the average time we spend on the Internet in general, and social media in particular is much more than the time we spend with our family and some time even more than we work !!

Moreover, most of the time we are busy in investigating or searching about others’ activity and reactions to some comment, photo update, status update, etc.,  than really bothering about our own work. Interestingly, we hardly find time or zeal to meet a friend, to do our daily exercise and to even sleep…. Sometimes it makes us so busy that mothers forget feeding their babies, students lack in time to study, office-goers forget to respond to a job schedule and some even ended up with depression and hyper-tension.

Quite surprisingly, there is also a rise in thefts, murders, rapes, harassments, etc., in cities where actual social life is almost negligible due to various factors. We put all our informations including email-ids, photos, telephone numbers, address, and present whereabouts for our friends… and that also becomes available for the anti-social elements ! This definitely compromises our security and well-being resulting in murders, thefts, rapes, blackmailing, harassments and so on…. horrific regular news headings in national dailies and in TV.

By saying all these things, I am not asking the aamjunta to stop browsing or stop visiting social media sites. It is necessary to be social and one cannot discount the importance of social media in this age. However, we need to understand the difference between being Social and active in Social Media.

Definitely the social media has some positive and negative aspects, and as the so called sab-janta users, we should evaluate critically about this, such that we can make some thing positive out of it.

Coming to a general view of social media – it has the characteristics to potentially give “voice to all”, immediate outreach, literally “24X7 – Engagement” and offers a unique opportunity of connection among the users. It has the potential to reach new and old friends across the world and to make the world smaller and smaller; a feel-good factor for the social animal – to talk/chat, to share, to learn and to showcase. 🙂 …

Coming out from the individualistic mode, social media has the potential to provide an opportunity for the Government agencies to engage with all their stakeholders including the citizens in real time and to make policies citizen-centric. Like Government agencies, Private enterprise houses /business organizations also engage social media in marketing their products/services (e.g. using the number of “Likes” to know their target audience), and NGOs/Charitable organizations use social media to educate people about their schemes such that they can reach a wider audience. Many positive aspects though…

However, there is a growing concern by the Government agencies, business organization, ethnic groups and parents on the excess use of social media. Remember that it has “viral” ability for potentially exponential spread of information by word of mouth and interlinking of the various social media platforms. It has both positive and negative impact though – the rising awareness of anti-corruption movement in India and the recent revolutions in Gulf against the dictators /rulers are some of the positive examples. Along with these, one should not forget the horrors of August-2012 in India – Twitter and Facebook messages along with bulk SMS and MMS triggering a social division and hate between North-East vs. West and South of India – in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad…

Unless the use of social media is controlled i.e. either self-controlled or monitored by an Authority, I am sure, the evil force of social media will overpower the rest. There must be a sense of responsibility and maturity that we need to exhibit while publishing any information in any such social networking sites. Wake-up calls have been notified by Government agencies (recently Govt. of India has banned Maoisit literature on Facebook), business organizations and Judiciary; in India, in Gulf and in many other parts of the world.

These days, police is keeping an eye on anti-social elements and their day-to-day activities, companies regularly check the credentials of their employees and new joiners, parents check their ward’s activities, many who are nuptial -hopefuls check most of the details of the users concerned, and many more… As reported today, Facebook also plans to call up and verify in case it suspects a user profile.

Though this kind of monitoring approach will restrict our privacy and free speech to some extent, it is of course required for a greater cause, which is subject to debate and judicial review. When there is an absolute need to check the spread of any noxious “viral” information and to maintain or restore peace and normalcy, then I certainly see a merit behind this. It is evident in most of the cases.

Aamjunta… just think over it.

Are you just social or active in this kind of social media ?

You are the best judge to think, to act, to react and to answer this crucial concern…


19 Responses

  1. Good story! real, used to imaginative/reel life, but it is becoming more than real. The other sad/evil part of social “net”working is the live suicide demos, obituries etc.. making human life very miserable.
    The social networking sites bringing people to the evil/cruel web/net and start making money by sharing our private information to the different marketing people. Finally I can say, this world is a social networking created by GOD and making us to play the social life game which is ofcourse a zero sum game. But in this God’s soclal networking so called artificial virtual social networking sites making us fools and playing with our lifes with an intension of NON-ZERO SUM game and profit goes to the creators. What a pity it is.

  2. Loooong time… your fans got to read an article again.. 🙂 Well-written !
    In my opinion, for a healthy society..for a welfare state..& for a peaceful globe, the following should happen- (1) As much as possible,people must spend time with their families & friends…actually meet them, talk to them for a heart-to-heart conversation as in good old days (2) When people are separated by miles,only then they should have the need to communicate using such networking sites but still be restraint in sharing information /emotions (3) As mentioned by you,these sites must be heavily used for policy-making, sale/marketing events, awareness or charity programs (4) An authoritative check or monitoring system is a must to detect noxious ideas and arrest/punish anti-social elements

  3. Thanks for sharing this. Great story! Social media has definitely changed the way we perceive our lives today…and it is the aam junta that has been affected the most. What say? There are several sites that are wanting to invade the social media market and the latest one is better than the previous one. I came across this new site Cafe4tune where they have new features like 3D chatting, live karaoke etc…something that we have never seen, right?

  4. Being an abominator of social networking sites, I like this article. So, obviously I enjoyed in reading of negative effects of using/overusing these sites. Its quite an eye opener for those who follow the social networking sites blindly, and who post silly things in these sites without any relevance and without knowing the consequences. These sites are the sources of synthetic happiness rather than real ones. I do agree that work efficiency get affected if one is much clung in these sites.

  5. Take the example of Shashi Tharoor, he lost his ministry because of social media. People should know the other side of social media..

    GOOD one, but after a long long gap…

  6. Interesting post aamjunta !! 🙂

  7. Thanks aamjunta for the informative one. The social media has fired again in Libya, and killed the US ambassador. It has happened again and again. That does not mean stop social media. Stopping that will never solve the problem. You cannot stop technology, but yes, you can control and educate our mass… Only the attitude has to be changed. Thats all!!! Is not it? What do you say aamjunta?

  8. Thanks to you all for your comments.
    @anonymous — yes, it is net-working now 🙂 … and of course it is a non-zero sum game…

    @Ryka — good point, authoritative check points are definitely desired in the society. Apart from this, self check is also required.

    @Aruna — in this society, the rich become rich till we have a revolution. Time will say how the new sites are catching up in terms of users and business. They need be monitored also, else in the name of sensational news, they will create disaster in the society.

    @Shaik — Thanks. Posting silly things is not a big problem, rather posting things in “silly” is the key problem now. No sense at all..

    @Bhushan — Thanks, Good Example cited..

    @Naren — Thank you Sir.

    @Soni — You are right, this time is you tube and facebook. Very sensitive, but are organised to instigate the mass. Pathetic mentality of the people, to create and post such movies, photos, comments, etc…

  9. Awesome issues here. I’m very happy to peer your post. Thank you a lot and I’m having a look forward to contact you.

  10. Pretty great post and I am hoping you write once more soon!

  11. […] Beyond social media marketing, Part 1Communicating Innovative Social media marketing GuidelinesUnsure Where To Begin With Social Media Marketing2013 Social Media Marketing Planning Checklist – The last post for the 2012 Rothman Guide – Social Media Marketing4 Myths of Social Media MarketingExploring The Benefits Of Social Media MarketingBeing Social or active in Social Media….. […]

  12. Good one, so what do you say??? FB or some thing else? or nothing?

  13. Responsible people in responsible social media or crazy people in irresponsible social media??? Though some apologised, neither Sagarika from CNN-IBN, nor Barkha from NDTV apologised!!

  14. Celebrity hunt is that irrecoverable diseases that all most all of we are inflicted with. The promoters of such media rightly identfiy such strange sickness and quench to become big, to be known, to be flattered as great. There lies the root. And it is deepening further. Horrible.

    You skecthed it well. Thanks for the write.

  15. I really appreciate. It is indeed a classic post and you have rightly pointed out the non-social aspect of the social media.

    My wife who works as Psychiatric consultant in Bangalore has been sharing many such stories which you have generalized here. Many marital disputes in Bangalore start with Facebook. As per the statistics she shared with me – (i) Irrespective of Men or Women, if a spouse is very regular in Facebook and changes his/her photos very often, updates the status message very often and gets irritated even with a small comment. They can be instigated easily. (ii) Another point is the likes and comments. People who are crazy about likes and comments become intolerant in general.

    I am not asking you to stop using facebook. One should use, but thats not the life only. Just think of a day/evening without facebook. Thats all.

  16. I agree, social media is certainly playing the protagonist in most cases and it is astonishing to realize how much of a big deal it is! And to know that it has spread to the previous generation as well is probably just the proof of how strong it is going. I guess it’s only in those priorities we get to make a difference to our lives..

    PS: One small request though, it would really be nice if the size of the font is a little bigger, it may just be my eye, but thought I would let you know :)..


  17. Thanks Vinay.

    Agree, that life has changed a lot with social media.

    PS: Thanks for your observation on font size. I have increased the font size now. Shall keep that in mind for my new posts as well.

  18. Thank you :).. I was beginning to think age was getting to my eyes as well ;).. Hope I wasnt too much out of line..


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