Social media has brought about a paradigm shift in the way we live our lives. It is entirely due to the effects of social media that in today’s times many people lead more active social lives in the virtual world than probably even in the physical real world. We are becoming increasingly dependent on social media for almost every aspect of our life, personal and professional. There was a time when we had lost all touch with people who did not live within our geographical radius. But today, social media has made it possible to remain closely connected with friends and family even if they are living continents apart, so closely connected infact that we might even know what they have eaten for breakfast.
Social media has become ubiquitous with the way we live our lives and much of modern human behavior is influenced by social media trends and events. While there is virtually no part of our life which is not impacted by social media, the biggest impact of social media on our lives can be generally classified into the following categories:
Ease of Personal Connections- One of the biggest influences of social media has been the ease of connecting with friends and family, whether far and near. It is entirely due to the advent of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and the like that people have managed to connect with other people they know. Social media sites have facilitated interactions to such an extent that people do not find it odd to connect with the connections of their connections thus expanding their circle of connections.
Real Time updates- Social media is built on one of the most dynamic technologies that exist today making it possible to receive real time updates within a fraction of a second. Twitter spills out more than 150,000 tweets at during its peak time while Facebook has the capacity to upload more than 500,000 comments and 135,000 photos in a single minute. Social media makes it possible to chat with connections on a real time basis, something which was only possible by phone till some time back.
Facilitating learning- Social media has also made it possible to build professional connections and facilitated learning to a great degree by enabling forums for professional discussions. Learning videos on social media platforms enable viewers to learn new tools and technologies free of cost and at their own pace. In fact one of the biggest contributions of social media has been the way it has promoted and facilitated the dissemination of learning to all sections of society, anyone with access to the internet can learn. To that extent, social media has empowered the youth of the society with the ability to get information as and when they need it.
New Entertainment Genres- Another area which has been greatly influenced by social media, has been the way people entertain themselves, Gone are the days when people used to be glued to their television sets for lack of anything else to do at home. Now netizens happily spend hours going through photographs or videos posted by their connections on social media platforms, or following up with professionals on networks like LinkedIn or simply log on to Youtube to see what new videos are trending. Social media has moved us away from the static medium of television to a whole new dynamic world of social media networking
Marketing- Aligned to this is the way social media has changed the whole dynamics of marketing. The presence of a large section of user base on the net has made more and more organizations take the digital marketing route. Social media makes it possible to study consumer behavior more closely than ever before and to create more focused advertising tailored to specific group of users. Organizations are increasingly relying on online advertising rather than print or television advertising to generate sales. Word of mouth plays a big role in the social media world as people generally tend to follow the recommendations of their friends online, which is why a lot of marketing efforts these days are geared towards encouraging positive reviews from consumers.
The impact of social media is everywhere and the more we become socially linked the greater will be the impact on our daily lives. But like everything else in life, too much of anything can cause more harm than good which is why bringing about a balance in the use of social media is becoming important as today’s youth get more and more hooked on to the online world.