Social Media today is not just a trend but a very integral part of the fabric of modern civilization. The internet made the world flat however it is social media that had made it flatter and wider.
First thing to note is that the advent of social media also walks together with the use of mobile phones – where they go hand in hand to push communication and networking to newer landscapes. Today’s world of Social and Personal existence, Business, Politics, Journalism, Careers and Education are all getting edgier and more immediate.
By Oct 2017, out of the 7.6 billion individuals that walk this planet, 3.5 billion people had internet access and a whopping 3.03 billion were a part of the social media revolution. Each internet user has an average 7.6 social media accounts and every 15 seconds, another user logs in for the first time.
One aspect to see on a larger scale is the effect it has on journalism, news and politics. People are consuming more news and events every moment via the social network with more than 60% of news being pinging on it. Politics is entering a new era of engagement and rallying of viewpoints.
On the business end of its impact, companies are advertising in newly-curated ways, building better brand loyalty, getting effective insights, understanding the customer better and all that at a cost much lesser than the grand old man – Television! 91% of retail brands have towed the line to open their own social media outlets and their conversion rate is 13% higher from it. They are getting more web traffic that’s being redirected from the social network.
Next change is the professional network where 19% of the world’s recruiters are making decisions based on social media platforms. And a huge 60% conduct candidate searches through these platforms. Career insights, new skills development and education has had a massive leap on these platforms and more and more professionals are looking at better prospects through them.
Lastly but not the least are people, actual people – who have found a way to connect to their pasts, found ways to express themselves, found platforms that make them aspire and found something that keeps them talking. They chat, share life’s anectodes, share a laugh or a cry and become the source of content themselves. Distance has become a virtual and the virtual has become real life.
Even after we talk about all these positive aspects of the social media, there are some negatives to note as well. First to note is cyber-bullying and harassment where 23% teens are affected daily. Secondly, sharing one’s life and choices means privacy is out the door – it will only be known in the long term as to how big is this pandora’s box. And everything out there in the public domain means the past can come to haunt anytime as well. Also the existence of our lives on the social media has given actual relationships a back-seat where it has become artificial and void of intimacy. The workforce is busy fiddling with their social media accounts so much that it has hit productivity.
To conclude, social media has ofcourse changed the world for the good in the past decade. But, it still is in its infancy and too soon for us to understand its fallacies in the long term. We have to live it , embrace it – yet, watch our young steps!