Can We Live Without Social Media?

TNI Bureau: To start with, let us talk a bit about the ComScore report on the Indian social media released on August 20th. The report by the digital media firm says that one in four online minutes is spent on social networking sites. Google sites have a reach close to 95% getting 57.8 million visitors in June this year. Facebook follows Google with 50.9 million visitors in June and 83.4% reach. In the backdrop of these facts, it becomes very easy to say that the social media in India has become an indispensable part of life.

Social media sites are addictive in the sense that users develop a compulsive obsession to browse connect and consume with short breaks. There was a time when our day schedule used to begin with a newspaper. But now, for most of us, it has been replaced with Google Plus and Facebook. The point is the urge to see what others are doing and saying is getting intense with every passing day.

People have become more open in their communications and sharing every aspect of their physical world in the virtual world. From the picture of a new dress one buys to the restaurant one visits, we are sharing everything online. Birthday calls have been replaced by cards and messages on one’s wall. We talk, we network, we play, we poke, we make fun and we express our opinions. Even protesting online and showing one’s anger and resentment with criticizing posts have become the trend. The recent Anna Hazare protest saw millions of users sharing their views and opinions through posts, updates and pictures. If some big news occurs, it spreads faster via Twitter and Facebook than TV channels.

With time, social media has become an integral part of our social and personal identity. Our activities on the social platform symbolize our persona. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus have given a chance to each one of us to create a brand out of ourselves. We can reach out to larger number of people. We can socialize with new friends and revisit memories with old ones.

With celebrities, politicians, cricketers and brands coming online to interact with people, the world has become shorter for us. It has given immense power to an individual, the biggest being the accessibility to information and knowledge. Recently, Amitabh Bachchan, who was quite active on Twitter, joined Facebook. Within 48 hours, he got more than 1 million likes. Sachin Tendulkar got over 4 lakh likes in a few hours of joining. This speaks a lot about the power of social media. Social media, in its truest sense, is a great leveler. You can criticize it, but you can’t ignore it.

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