Social Media

Social media

Posted on

By Invitation. Author Abdul Kalam.

Social media is a phrase that we throw around a lot these days, often to describe what we post on sites and apps like FacebookTwitterInstagramSnapchat and others.
But if we use the term to describe a site like Facebook, and also a site like Digg, plus a site like Wikipedia, and even a site like I Can Has Cheezburger, then it starts to get more confusing. Just what is social media anyway?
The term is used so vague that it can basically be used to describe almost any website on the internet today.
Or maybe not. Some people have more of a restricted view of social media, often equating it to mean the same as social networking (a.k.a. Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Other people don’t consider blogs to fall under the social media category.
  1. So, What Is Social Media?

Rather than define the term using a bunch of boring jargon that would probably only complicate things further, perhaps the best way to get a clearer understanding of it is to break it down into simpler terms. To start, let’s look at each word individually.
  • The “social” part:

     refers to interacting with other people by sharing information with them and receiving information from them.
  • The “media” part:

     refers to an instrument of communication, like the internet (while TV, radio, and newspapers are examples of more traditional forms of media).
  • Okay, so from these two separate terms, we can pull a basic definition together:

    Social media are web-based communication tools that enable people to interact with each other by both sharing and consuming information.
Yes, it’s a broad definition – but keep in mind that social media is a very broad term. This is likely as specific as we can get without zeroing in too much on a more specific subcategory of social media.

2. Common Social Media Features

The following list of common features are dead giveaways of a social media site.
If you’re questioning whether a particular site could be classified as social or not, try looking for at least one of these features.
  • User accounts:

     If a site allows visitors to create their own accounts that they can log into, then that’s a good sign there’s going to be social interaction. You can’t really share information or interact with others online without doing it through a user account.
  • Profile pages:

     Since social media is all about communication, a profile page is often necessary to represent an individual. It often includes information about the individual user, like a profile photo, bio, website, feed of recent posts, recommendations, recent activity and more.
  • Friends, followers, groups, hashtags and so on:

     Individuals use their accounts to connect with other users. They can also use them to subscribe to certain forms of information.
  • News feeds:

     When users connect with other users on social media, they’re basically saying, “I want to get information from these people.” That information is updated for them in real-time via their news feed.
  • Personalization:

     Social media sites usually give users the flexibility to configure their user settings, customize their profiles to look a specific way, organize their friends or followers, manage the information they see in their news feeds and even give feedback on what they do or don’t want to see.
  • Notifications:

     Any site or app that notifies users about specific information is definitely playing the social media game. Users have total control over these notifications and can choose to receive the types of notifications that they want.
  • Information updating, saving or posting:

     If a site or an app allows you to post absolutely anything, with or without a user account, then it’s social! It could be a simple text-based message, a photo upload, a YouTube video, a link to an article or anything else.
  • Like buttons and comment sections:

     Two of the most common ways we interact on social media are via buttons that represent a “like” plus comment sections where we can share our thoughts.
  • Review, rating or voting systems:

     Besides liking and commenting, lots of social media sites and apps rely on the collective effort of the community to review, rate and vote on information that they know about or have used. Think of your favorite shopping sites or movie review sites that use this social media feature.

3.   What’s the Difference Between Social Media and Social Networking?

As mentioned earlier, a lot of people user the terms social media and social networking interchangeably as if they mean the exact same thing. Although the difference is subtle, they’re not the same. Social networking is really a subcategory of social media.
The easiest way to understand the difference between social media and social networking is by thinking about the terms “media” and “networking” separately. Media refers to the information you’re actually sharing–whether it’s a link to an article, a video, an animated GIF, a PDF document, a simple status update or anything else.
Networking, on the other hand, has to do with who your audience is and the relationships you have with them. Your network can include people like friends, relatives, colleagues, anyone from your past, current customers, mentors and even complete strangers.
They certainly overlap, which is why it gets confusing. For example, you can share media with your social network to gather likes and comments–a form of social networking. But you can also just upvote a link on Reddit, which is a social media platform, to help out the community and give your say in the matter without any intention of building relationships with other users.
Still confused? Try to think of social media like fruit. Apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, berries, melons and pineapples are all part of the broader fruit category the same way that social networking, social news, social bookmarking, wikis, blogs and private web messaging are part of the broader social media category.

4.   Are Traditional Media Also Social Media?

Traditional media was mentioned earlier on in this article just to demonstrate broader examples of media, but don’t be fooled into thinking that TV, radio, and newspapers are a part of social media. At least not quite yet entirely. The line drawn between the two is slowly thinning as each continues to evolve.
Social media doesn’t just give you information but interacts with you while giving you that information. This interaction can be as simple as asking for your comments or letting you vote on an article, or it can be as complex as Flixster recommending movies to you based on the ratings of other people with similar interests.
Think of regular media as a one-way street where you can read a newspaper or listen to a report on television, but you have very limited ability to give your thoughts on the matter. Social media, on the other hand, is a two-way street that gives you the ability to communicate too.

5.   What Are Some of the Known Issues With Social Media?

Social media isn’t all just fun and games with your friends, celebrities you admire, and brands you follow. There are lots of common problems that most major social media platforms haven’t totally solved, despite their effort to do so.
  • Spam: 

    Social media makes it easy for spammers – both real people and bots – to bombard other people with content. If you have a Twitter account, you’ve probably experienced a few spambot follows or interactions. Likewise, if you run a WordPress blog, you may have gotten a spam comment or two caught by your spam filter.
  • Cyberbullying/Cyberstalking:

    Children and teenagers are especially susceptible to cyberbullying because they take more risks when it comes to posting on social media. And now that we all interact on social media via our mobile devices, most major platforms make it possible to share our locations, opening up the doors for cyberstalkers to target us.

  • Self-image manipulation:

     What a user posts about themselves on social media only represents a small portion of their life. While followers may see someone who’s happy and living it up via their posts on social media in such a way that makes them feel boring or inadequate by comparison, the truth is that users have the power to completely control what parts they do and don’t want to broadcast on social media to manipulate their own self-image.
  • Information overload:

     It’s not unusual to have over 200 Facebook friends or follow over 1,000 Twitter accounts. With so many accounts to follow and so many people posting new content, it’s almost impossible to keep up.
  • Fake news:

     Fakes new websites promote links to their own totally false news stories on social media in order to drive traffic to them. Many users have no idea that they’re fake in the first place.
  • Privacy/Security:

     Many social media platforms still get hacked from time to time despite having good security measures in place. Some also don’t offer all the privacy options that users need to keep their information as private as they want them to be.

6.   What Does the Future Hold for Social Media?

It’s difficult to predict anything exactly, but if one thing can be said about the future of social media, it will probably be more personalized and less noisy. Over-sharing will be less of a problem and filtering out irrelevant information will become a stronger trend.
Snapchat is a social media platform that’s really at the forefront of social media evolution. Rather than blasting out updates for all our friends and followers to see, we use Snapchat more like we communicate in real life – with specific people only at specific times.
If anything, social media is probably about to move more toward ephemeral sharing for quicker, more intimate sharing without the stress of having to blast something out to hundreds or thousands of followers that stays up there unless it’s manually deleted. Instagram has already made the move toward ephemeral content sharing with its Snapchat-like stories feature, so maybe more platforms will be soon to follow.

Thank for reading,

 

Advertisements

Personality- Physical Aspects

Posted on

When you meet an individual, the first few things you observe are:

How does he/she look? How is the posture? The facial expression? The clothes? How the clothes are carried by the person? Is he/she overdressed? Or underdressed? Befitting the occasion? Or not?

All the above attributes are important to create the first impression. Though this is not the last impression as some people may believe. Yet it’s very important. So be discrete in choice of fit, colors, fall, finish and all these characteristics which contribute to make you look good.

More important than these is, your posture. Posture is indicative of your health as well as your confidence. How you sit is as important as how you stand and vice versa.

The facial expression on your face need to match your posture. This expression tells a lot on what is going on in your mind. On an average an individual receives fifty thousand thoughts in one day. It is necessary for the individual to control their number and keep the number as low as possible. The lesser the number the more focused a person becomes. And this shows on your facial expression. A smile is the best companion which will not allow the turbulence of your mind to show on your face. Besides, smile helps reduce the worries.

And then it is your body language! What is body language? How you walk? How you hold your head over your shoulders? How do you place your lips? These are all important features of body language? The art and science of image management concerns more on dress, choice of colors, how the dress is fashioned etc.

It’s an art to be mastered: the strategic use of body language for best results.

Adopt a relaxed, upright posture. This will speak of your genial confidence. If you have sagging and slumping shoulders, these will suggest that you are tired and bored of life. In public life such a posture is suicidal.

Further, where you find your place to sit is also important. Do you select a place where you avoid the eyes of others? Or do you prefer a prominent place where you are sure to be noticed?

In this age of social media and networking, developing and maintain a positive body language is critical. What you say is important but how you say it often more important. A recent survey revealed that 65% of communication depends on your gestures, expression and body language. This is an area where not only attention is needed but also a consistent desire to hone the skills. It should be matched with adequate real time practice. That alone will help you to bring in the required change in the body language that you portray.

Good health is needed to enable you to be in control. Physical health will make your good posture easy to maintain. Good mental health will take care of your facial expression. Mature effective voice requires both physical and mental health should be in good shape. This then, is another reason that you must be health conscious and consistently maintain good health.

Thanks for reading.

Rise of Social Media

Posted on

Befooling people in the age of social media is losing one’s own credibility. Social media is a platform where an ordinary man can express himself/herself without spending any money or without using any influence. One doesn’t have to depend on anyone in power to use the media. Because, no power is controlling it. Should the owners of any popular site decide to exercise any control or should they try to create some kind of influence on any issue, this is bound to be construed as personal agenda. Personal Agenda is against the spirit of Social Media.

images  2

Social media is fast growing only because it is free and fair. Regarding freedom, I reiterate that if there were no freedom of expression, Social Media would never have achieved the popularity it has gained in such a short time. Another very important factor in its favour is that it is participative. Anyone can start a discussion, contribute to the existing one; start a group or join one already there. Besides, it is not just confined to exchange of views or ideas. We can share pictures, movies, audio/video files etc. Undoubtedly, Social Media encourages to be social, to be creative and effective. It is a boon in this Brave New World.

 

Earlier, Television gained its popularity because of the ease of entertainment without the arduous task of going out to the theatre one can watch a programme news or even a movie: all sitting in the comfort of your home. But it took quite some time. Where television swayed the mind of people, lots of program producer emerged. Training institutes for training programme producers also came into being. The channel owners provided the infrastructure and producers created such programmes as would engage the audience. Producers who applied their mind and understood the audience likes and dislikes could make such serials which continued for years. But there is a rub. Some people did find that these serials offer no value and were a ploy to engage them. The TV was termed an idiot for which I consider it is. More on this some other time.

 

But so far as Social Media is concerned, it is also engagement, but it is of a different kind. Here each person becomes a participant if he/she desires to be one. There are always group of people who share their views. There are people who have comments to offer. And as said above, it is not limited to discussions. Sharing of pictures, videos, knowledge on different subjects are both engaging and entertaining. It is for each one of us to make full use of this unique Free Gift.

Thanks for reading.