Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our fifth topic is focused on «Communication.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!
Social media has impacted various facets of modern life and it has a profound influence in interpersonal communication. The present day is characterized by acute lack of time for individuals and families due to the need for husband and wife to be employed for meeting the needs of a satisfactory lifestyle. Time has become the most precious resource, and people are finding means of saving time because of their fast paced lifestyle. People need interaction for fulfilling their social needs and social media has become a preferred medium for communication with the proliferation of digital and mobile technologies. Digitalization has reduced the face to face interaction of human beings whether it is for marketing or promoting a product or a personal communication. The mobile phone has created a social situation whereby people are getting used to avoidance of person to person communication by switching over to mobile. The present day lifestyles and lack of time have made the usage of mobiles and other communication aids more useful for social contact.
It is hard to contain or restrict youngsters from using social media platforms, which offer a variety of conveniences. Social media has changed the way in which people communicate – the face to face interactions have reduced. The reasons may be many, but the reality is the same! In a society which is on the run and is hard pressed for time, short and easy communications will replace the long drawn written communications. This is a natural development. What we need to understand is whether this has created positive or negative consequences. Basically because of the need for people to be socially associated and social interactions are needed; but due to paucity of time in the current environment social media has taken the center stage.
A review of Literature has shown that social media has shown significant growth as the preferred medium of communication. Facebook and What’s App have captured the fancy of youngsters and together they have conquered 80-90% of the social media usage. The benefits offered by this media is instant contact anywhere in the world and easy accessibility as communications become faster and faster the world seems to shrink. This medium offers the advantage of contacting several people at the same time through groups and if needed messages can be dispersed to a large number of people, as is done by Advertisement and Promotion of various products and services. One of the great advantages is that smaller size companies can reach out to a large number of customers at a reasonable budget for promoting their wares. The impact of the new social media is tremendous. More and more companies are finding newer means of reaching out to people through this medium.
There are positive and negative impacts due to the proliferation of this medium. While social media has definitely helped marketing and marketers, it has brought along with it a new perspective about how things get done and has impressed the youngsters in the impressionable age group. While appreciating the speed of disseminating information, the consequences of such actions to making the youngsters more lackadaisical and lazy has to be considered. Youngsters seem to prefer isolation and they seem to be in their own imaginary world rather than the real life friends and interaction with neighbors and elders in the family. Lack of respect towards elders in the family and friends circle is a development which needs to be taken with caution! But progress cannot be stopped. It has to stand the test of times!
Information overload and lack of privacy are two major issues in social media. There is no control over the information that you will get through social media for example through WhatsApp. Getting more information before people are ready to receive and process the same for useful consumption makes them confused. The continuous bombarding of messages through hand held devices leaves no time for reflection and analysis and leads to some kind of addiction and resignation to the situation. This leads progressively to avoidance of face to face communication. There is difficulty in separating virtual reality from reality and loss of privacy. Since massive information is spread through social media, there is no room for privacy – everybody knows everything about the other person. This is a dangerous situation leading to herd mentality and the individual loses his discretion. Humans are progressively made into robots processing commands. And these commands can originate from anti-social elements including terrorists!
We must remember that social media is really only a decade old. That’s very young in the history of communication technology, it has been influential, but it hasn’t really settled into a routine yet. As social media becomes more normalized, we’ll stop seeing it as changing things and start seeing it as the way things are. As a society we’ll be OK—we’ve always adjusted to new technology. So whether it’s wearable communication media, such as Google glasses, or more cloud computing, we’ll change and adapt. Communication is constantly evolving. Some people are as used to seeing their friends’ online avatar as they are their face. People increasingly prefer quick and frequent engagement with instant updates on news rather than a prolonged chat and are also finding new ways to catch up with friends from the comfort of their sofa ( can we call them couch potatoes!)
At the end of the day, nothing can replace face-to-face conversation and interactions. Despite the explosion of online endorsements and social media dialogue between individuals and brands, researchers have found word-of- mouth exchanges and in-depth conversation are still most influential.