Social Media – changing habits, changing relevance

Social Media – changing habits, changing relevance

Sirish Rao

Assistant Cinematographer & Short Film Maker

@sirishrao

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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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

  1. Sticking to our phones is becoming an addiction. We are so comfortable conversing through the media that physical activity has reduced.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

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Indira Rao

Great write-up, Sirish! I would also add that it isn’t ncreasingly becoming difficult to discern what’s real vs not! Anyone can start rumors that spread like wild fire! You are right that the social media companies should collaborate and set up norms and standards that they all agree to.

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Sirish Rao

Thanks, Athu, yes I completely agree with your point.

Swapnil Tripathi
Swapnil Tripathi

Dear Sirish, Your article is insightful and relevant in current state of things and I hope that social media does not become an addiction and remain a platform to connect with people.
Regards
Swapnil

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Sirish Rao

Thanks Swapnil I am glad you liked it. cheers

J.Krishnan
J.Krishnan

Very well written, Sirish…

Ganesh R
Ganesh R

Excellent article by Sirish.

Ricardo Ramos
Ricardo Ramos

Users and companies have been changing their behavior/strategies towards mobile apps and social media, in prejudice of websites. Social media is becoming increasingly important (some companies are not even bothering to build a website). Today, nearly 80% of business have a dedicated team, social media is now a standard operating procedure. Sports stars, like Lionel Messi, Kobe Bryant and Cristiano Ronaldo, have left websites almost completely and are engaging with their fans via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The website they own is not devoted to the player itself or to sell products, but as a place to promote their social… Read more »

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Sridhar Rao

If I may attempt to answer this, there are a few angles from which to see this. 1. The website vs Apps movement- this is only a change in the way to access content. The website’s relevance is in hosting a large amount of content; the App is just enabling access more conveniently. Both will therefore work as a team to deliver content to consumers. 2. Social Media – this is an aggregation point for consumers through which you can reach them more easily. The website therefore is not at threat. It is like saying – the website is the… Read more »

Ricardo Ramos
Ricardo Ramos

I partially agree with you. Websites are not a competitor of social media or apps. I have the opinion that they will never end. I imagine that they will have a different function in the future. probably to provide content to other platforms. But, as you mention in your article, users’ behavior is changing. Imagine the following scenario: On my Facebook news feed, I find an article about Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and while reading the comments I feel compelled to participate. Through the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Mobile Application I can make the online registration. Since… Read more »

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Sridhar Rao

Certainly. But right now for instance, my article wouldn’t have been accessible to everyone if it was only thru the app. The web brings unknown audience. Yes, eventually, they may take the app, but the intro may be thru open access thru web.
Thank you for your interesting comments. Do check out our other articles too. You can write to me at sridhar@infinumgrowth.com in case you wish to correspond on anything apart from this article.

Ricardo Ramos
Ricardo Ramos

Your article could be seen through apps like Flipboard.

To get to the unknown audience, social media is perfect. (I reached to your article through LinkedIn).

But, as I mentioned earlier, website is fundamental to provide the content to these other platforms. The intro might be done by your website but if users arent using websites, why lead them to the website?

Strategically thinking, does it makes sense to lead users to our website when it seams that they are not in to it?

Shivakumar TC
Shivakumar TC

Good one

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Anindita Lakhani

Yes the article aptly portrays today’s dilemma on social media

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Sirish Rao

Thanks, Anindita…

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