Ten years back, social media wasn’t a phenomenon. People were just about getting used to their smartphones. In came Facebook and the others; with them came a change in lifestyle for most people around the globe.
I sat back to think what this means to us today. How has life changed after the advent of social media? And how’s it going to be a few years from now?
There is a lot of positive change that has come after we started using social media.
- To begin with the way we interact with each other has changed. Interactions with a wide range of friends have increased manifold.People we had almost forgotten are suddenly back in our lives.
- Quick small chats have become a lot easier and less time consuming with Whatsapp and messenger like services available. Doing a voice call or a video call through social media is now become a new trend. Due to this, people are able to do many more conversations in a short time.
- Thanks to smartphone cameras, a selfie at the drop of a hat is the norm. With this, people have become so much more image conscious. The way we present ourselves is becoming important and there is a personality change happening in all of us.
- Most important, our thought processes have changed. We are seeing so much more of information that it is impacting our thinking and knowledge levels.
However, there are some downsides to this whole change happening.
- Sticking to our phones is becoming an addiction. We are so comfortable conversing through the media that physical activity has reduced.
- This in turn has reduced physical human interaction and capacity to converse. We meet relatives at a common family gathering and realise that there isn’t anything to speak. So out comes the phone and we are back into the social media.
- But a more serious effect of this change is misuse of freedom of speech on social media. We have a right to speak about issues on public domain, but to what extent do we go and forget the boundaries. Every small issue is a debate with everyone having an opinion and an argument about why it should be one way or the other. People are becoming over sensitive and over critical and forget that they are on a public platform.
- Lastly, personal information is no more private. Education or Job applicants are screened by studying their social profiles. At the other end, some people are using social media to target people and harass them including ransom messages and calls.
So while easy communication with a large number of people is now enabled, it has also made us less civil and less sensitive about others and exposed us to higher personal risks.
The reverse trend is slowly starting with some people now pulling out of regular interactions on social media due to either an overdose or negative experiences.
Whatsapp is getting preferred over Facebook since it is less public and restricted to select groups.
At the same time there are newer batches of enthusiasts arriving on the scene from sections of society who were earlier not on smartphones.
It is probably time for a fresh look at the design of social media platforms if they want to be relevant a few years from now.
Please do leave your comments at the bottom and do share with others if you like this article.