Social Media, a New Oxygen ?

Succinctly put, social media is the new oxygen for us. The social media platforms, most popular ones like Facebook & Twitter are now ingrained in our lifestyle. It is in our DNA.We are enamored by the power & charm of social media. Today, we live in the world of likes, share, tweets, instapics and comments.



Social media is setting the agenda not in just our personal lives but in news room debate and political discourses happening in the country. Facebook, one of the most popular social media platform, in demographic terms , is now the second largest country in the world, after China. The social media giant has over 1.3 billion active users globally as of June 2014. We are connected more than we could ever been in the recent past. It is likely that every conversation with a stranger or meeting a new person these ends up in this innocuously query "Are you on face book ? Let's connect there. "

For knowing a person, no more you have to spend hours over coffee, a simple scroll or stalk through their facebook or twitter timeline, and voila, you know them in matter of few minutes.Facebook pervades our life. It is our status of minds in those statuses, those check-ins, those breathtaking images in cover photo, and those profile pictures, our route to two minutes of celebrity hood.

Twitter, the micro blogging platforms has 288 million monthly active users sending 500 million tweets per day and 80 per cent of active users are on mobile.There is saying about twitter, "It is faster than earthquakes". And it is. A tweet spread like wildfire, it moves from one continent to other in matter of seconds. A tweet can take you to heights of stardom or to a "brutal nadir". There are victors & vanquished too in those 140 characters. We are tweeting personal & professional lives, our likes & dislikes, our political affiliations, our anger & frustrations, our happiness & despair and our intimate moments.In the era of social media, everything is on display for public consumption. The lines between public & private life is blurring. We want to be known, liked and commented upon in social media platforms.

There are innumerable happy stories of social media transforming lives, bringing families together, making dreams into reality and creating celebrities from nowhere. Social Media is toppling dictators, churning revolutions, torchbearers of a truth & rebellion. Social media is a power. It listens, it connects, sympathizes and empathizes. No doubt, social media is creating a connected world.

 Is it boon or bane ? Is it a chimera, where we feel more connected to a person sitting on distant shore than our next door neighbour ? Is it propelling a disconnected societies by digitalizing human interactions ? It would be too difficult to take a side but yes, social media has brought a paradigm shift in our lives.

 Let us absorb the sunnier side of social media and do not forget the real communication happens through eyes, the touch and through listening others in rapt attention.Connect online to communicate offline . Let's keep it SOCIAL.

 -Written by Kumar Manish, Vice Curator at Ahmedabad Global Shapers. He is passionate about social media and advocates for a sustainable & inclusive cities