Of Social Media

I came across this cartoon joke once regarding the various social media forums (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+). It puts all these different social media forums in the sort of light where the entire domain of online networking through one of these is non-serious and non-sensible activity. I for one am a big fan of social media. Of these different channels or forums of staying on the grid, staying connected and having the ability to share happy,significant or generally the kind of moments or things that you would want to with family and friends. Or in the case of linked in your professional profile with as many people you can because you never know who might see it and where the next opportunity might pop up from. Facebook is such a great way to stay in touch with family and friends with whom you might not be able to otherwise. At least not in this day and age where as it is life has become fast paced and lost in the world of concrete and corporate slavery. In the old days I think people may have taken the pains to write someone a letter. That advanced to emails. And now facebook has made it even more easier. Share and stay up to date. Twitter has made it possible to just stay in touch with the latest happenings whether it is the breaking news or the latest talk of the twitterati. Instagram is a wonderful app for people with an appetite for taking pictures and sharing them with the public at large (I for one think it should be limited to pictures which aren’t really personal but more towards the shokia photography element). Foursquare to be honest I can’t really vouch for .. at least not in Pakistan. I have twice started using foursquare and lost interest and stopped using it. The thing is I don’t really feel the need to check in to every place and just doing so for points and becoming the mayor without any of the benefits or discounts or offers to be availed in doing so loses its charm after a little while. I mean what’s the point. I know it is a growing app especially in the more tech savvy markets where there are actual discounts and offers up for grabs but not the case here.. as yet. Google+ is just a failed copy of facebook. You have one and chances are 90% of the people who read this blog would have a facebook account- then you don’t really need the other. There is no difference except maybe in the way it is presented. And to be honest I am so used to facebook now that Google+ is a little annoying to try and sit down and understand.

LinkedIn is a fantastic website for professional networking and the best part is that the fine people at LinkedIn are doing their best to keep it that and not let it stray into becoming another socializing forum. It has still not caught on in Pakistan to its full potential quite yet but fingers crossed that it will soon enough.

I know people who have there misgivings over social media being well not private enough or fears that it can get hacked and anybody can get your information. My view is that if you fully understand how to maintain your privacy settings then you are good to go. As far as the hacking bit goes.. well then you might as well become a hermit and go completely off line because the same people can also have the capability of hacking your email! And if facebook or LinkedIn is using my data for making various products being marketed to me better or more appealing then so be it. I am perfectly ok with that (yes I am a marketer by profession myself and that’s probably also a reason I am saying I am ok with it). As long as it is not being used for any negative purposes I don’t have an issue. And no I don’t think there is any point in buying into conspiracy or hermit like theories that Facebook or Google or the fine people at LinkedIn will be using the data for negative purposes.

There is also this other argument that people have become so engrossed with staying connected online especially with the advent of smart phones that the social interactions in person have gone down. Or that people have become prone to constantly be glued to their smartphones and not really develop a human connect. Well to be honest this argument I can’t deny. There is definitely a case of people being too engrossed in the smart phones. Facebook, Whatsapp, BB Messenger etc all being available on your phones also means that regardless of whether you are sitting with people in person you are bound to be constantly fiddling and checking your phone. That is definitely a negative and well should be curbed by the individuals themselves. There is nothing more important then making human contact with people and not just online contact.

Anyways .. kudos to social media for its positives. Cheers and enjoy what seems to be a soggy night in Karachi (yep .. its raining like cats and dogs at the time of this blog being posted).


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