The generation of 21st century stand at a point where we are fortunate enough to witness some of the most amazing technological advancements ever in history. Every now and then some innovation is built or an amazing idea is built which creates a craze equally all over the globe.
Social media is the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Furthermore, social media depend on web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms.
Social media has gained worldwide momentum because of its better quality, reach, frequency, usability, immediacy, and permanence. It has grabbed so much popularity and usage today as it has moved from laptops/computers to mobile phones. The access is thus easily available and at reach.
Some important tools of social media are social networks, blogs, social wikis, reviews and travels, videos, music social, social gambling, photo sites, conferences, B2B social, podcast, social couponing and life casting. While social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and videos like YouTube have reached mass adoption, with the help of B2B social and reviews and travel, one can also shop in interesting and easy way by discussing things that other people or your friends are buying. Sites like Blippy and Groupon offer collective buying offers to give consumers a fun-filled shopping experience.
Today, every second person is addicted to social media and that too at a glaring speed. Sites and blogs like Orkut, Facebook, Twitter, Ibibo, Myspace, LinkedIn, ConnectIn, BigAdda, Fropper and many more are erasing differences of age and class. Social networking sites are not only catching the attention, but are hooking young and old alike. These days most of the celebrities have their blog or communicate through social media.
Latest being Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking on an issue through his blog. Moreover, the country kept track of Anna Hazare’s hunger strike even during wee hours, at 3 am when team Anna tweeted about the latest developments. Even Barack Obama, the President of US, begun the re-election campaign for 2012 elections through popular online mediums such as Facebook and Twitter.
Social Media is also a big hit among many companies who use these sites as a networking tool to promote their product or services. Social media enables companies to generate awareness about their product, promote their brand, win over customers and thereby increase their sales.
It saves their cost of marketing and advertising. Consumers can directly communicate with sellers and are offered better services. Together all this has given rise to a different term called E-commerce. E-commerce business refer in social media as consumer-generated media.
Social media is beyond and above the barrier of distance, colour, creed, age, culture or income level. Indulgence in social media is highly addictive. As Bryan Adams has put “Social media is a giant distraction to the ultimate aim ……… the time is better spent on a clever lyric than a clever tweet.”
As a matter of fact, these days popularity or fame of a person is determined by the number of associations one has with one of these social media sites. However, the use of social media increases the risk of people falling prey to online scams that seem genuine, resulting in data identity theft. It opens up a possibility for hackers to commit frauds and launch virus attacks. With the wide usage, employees even at work are in a habit of indulging in social media sites. It hampers their productivity. Also negative comments from employees about company hampers its image tremendously.
In fact, students too are highly active on social media sites so much so that sometimes school has to intervene to resolve the disputes. The sites like Facebook, Twitter are also used to express personal anger/dispute around which a lot of chaos is created.
Social media targets a wide audience, making it useful and effective tool for the society. It reaches to people even in the remote areas and the information is spread like a jungle fire. The benefits of participating in social media have gone beyond simply social sharing to building reputation and bringing in career opportunities by being content contributor. The emergence of social media has led to the democratisation of media.
It enables to form communities and foster relationships and conversations through interactive sharing. Social networking sites have facilitated the creative re-mixing of cultures across the world. Although at times information and social networking overload creates problems in finding the best content and annoys the user, but there is no denying in the fact that social media has changed the definition and culture of media, where common man is no more a passive recipient, but has become an active responder.