Social Media : “Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.” — David Alston, author
Using social media is one of the most popular online activities. Billions of us use social media every day, and the number just keeps growing.
Currently, over 3.6 billion people are connected on social media networks, up from 970,000 in 2010.
In the next five years, the total number of users will grow to a mind-boggling 4.41 billion.
We use it for various reasons – like personal relationships, for work, entertainment, and for seeking information.
To put it into the right context, we are collectively sending more than 30 million messages on Facebook and almost 350,000 tweets every minute.
Social media has not only changed the way we communicate and get connected – it’s also changing the way we do business, the way we interact with people, and the way we are governed.
Social media is changing our world at jet speed.
Let’s discuss how social media is changing our world.
Social media is now a quintessential component of business
Just look at digital Journalism and electronic media. In just a few years, newsrooms all over the world have been completely disrupted by social media.
Now, social media skills are no longer considered a specialized segment and the preserve of a small team in the newsroom.
Instead, it affects how the whole organization runs. This trend is already spreading beyond the newsroom, whether we are talking of digital marketing or new customer service communication channels.
Banking has Changed
To the courtesy of popular communication media channels, how easy it has become for us to pay our rent or make an investment through our favorite social network.
Social media has transformed banking in very significant ways, from improving customer service to allowing users to send money to others through online platforms.
Tech-savvy companies are now using social media to help people open a bank account, and even to disburse a loan.”
It’s a game-changer in healthcare
We are already witnessing how the health industry is using social communication platform to change how it works.
It’s a huge help for patients suffering from the same condition to stay connected.
social communication medium has made changes in both personal and community health, especially in the instant sharing of information among a large number of people.
You might like to read: Right Time to Know: How Powerful Social Media is for Small Business
The participation of citizen and engagement with the government has been transformed with social network.
It allows citizens to think of ideas, plans, and initiatives that were unthinkable earlier.
Our leaders are embracing such transparent governance because it is now easier for them to interact with their people.
Previously, politicians and government officials had to travel long distances to interact with people; now online conferencing has given them a platform for direct input on government initiatives.
Better Disaster Management
Features like Safety Check on the platform Facebook allows users in disaster zones to mark themselves as safe.
In recent times, we’ve seen how digital communications have helped respond to disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
In the future, we will be frequently using social network channel to contribute to disaster relief from wherever we are.
Tackling climate changes and human rights violations
One of the best-known examples of how social media can change the world was Arab Spring.
It’s not only about just bringing activists together; it’s also about taking care of human rights violators and creating a public opinion.
The pictures and video contents that are shared on mass communication platform can be effectively used as evidence of wartime atrocities and human rights violations.
After proper verification and forensic reconstruction by the prosecutors and human rights advocates, such evidence have the potential to be brought before an international court.
Interactive multimedia have a huge capacity to bring together disparate but like-minded people, and that is also helping fight another enormous challenge: climate change.
Interactive multimedia is no more a casual platform for staying connected; it has become an important tool for providing a space and means for the public to participate in influencing or changing environmental decisions made by governments and corporations that affect us all.
It has created a very powerful platform for people to get connected with local environmental challenges and find solutions, and create narratives that will affect us as a global community.
Established platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are widely used for spreading environmental awareness.
Besides, there are new exciting channels like Chingari, Houseparty, Helo, or CoNnEcTd that youth prefer to post or share their concerns.