Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn…some of the most common names in our everyday life, but what leads to the success of the social networking sites that attracts hundreds of millions of users worldwide?
The answer is simple. People like to communicate with each other, so when somebody is allowed to follow Lady Gaga or search for high school friends, most people will fall for the trap and so Facebook alone has a billion users.
When we stumble upon a new picture or video of our favorite celebrity or cannot wait to upload the latest picture with the pet dog, it makes one thing clear, social networking sites have become a part of our everyday life, as we are becoming more dependent on technology, the importance of sites like Facebook is getting more obvious. Sometime, peer pressure can act in this case. The trend of being ‘cool’ if one has a latest gadget or use more technology compared to others will mean that the less technologically dependant person will gradually yield to the mental pressure and slowly, everyone will be using that gadget or technology in few days.
What are the good outcomes of this tech culture? How can we use this trend to the benefit of the society?
First advantage is education. With the global popularity of micro blogging and social media site Twitter, it can mean that the ‘Conversation’ feature can be used after class among students as well as teachers to instruct, guide, discuss and inform. The ‘hash tag’ feature can be quite useful as it can be used to discuss any important topic, submit homework by using special hash tags such as: computer homework about web design can be given hash tag #ICTCSSTWO that can only be understood by teachers and students. Students and teachers can discuss on upcoming issues anytime such as holiday tour planning etc.
Facebook can be used to create groups for a specific class such as grade XI Science group that will only allow students and teachers from only that class to participate. Important documents such as coursework planner, routine, homework, lessons etc. can be stored and shared with the class. A teacher can help a specific student by sending him/her message. Pages can be created about a specific event or anything. Event dates can be set early and shared with guardians, students and teachers.
Second most obvious but more complex advantage can be business. Creation of business pages on social media sites is of enormous importance nowadays to connect with clients and customers. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn allow advertising that can help businesses to reach potential customers. Keeping customers posted about latest news about products and more, a company can engage more with its customers and strengthen their relationship with customers.
The less obvious but most important advantage of social networking sites is that it makes spreading any news globally or locally extremely easy. A video can be uploaded on YouTube and shared on Facebook, twitter and other social networking sites and usually any funny, scandalous, breaking or shocking news does not take much time to go viral, usually any such news can get worldwide view in a day. There are countless examples of such news, it is known to everyone that the “Arab Spring” originated from simple Facebook events. Though there is much debate over such spreading of news, any good news such as groundbreaking invention or success story about an UNICEF project does also get popular among people worldwide.
There are several ways in which social networking sites can be exploited, local government and ruling bodies can use social networking sites to create awareness among citizens, inform about new venture or project and create a topic for discussion that will allow a better and more helpful project or venture as that the citizens already know it and gave feedback. It will also allow the ruling body to understand the public viewpoint about a particular topic and take informed and accurate decision, this also rules out any chance of sudden outrage against the decision.
A nonprofit organization can be immensely profited from social networking sites. The idea of doing good will certainly is welcomed by many people if not all if the intention is true. Using good communicating skills a nonprofit organization can succeed by drawing a huge number of well-wishers from the social media, for example a project that allows people in the underdeveloped countries to acquire information about health, life and environment and get specialist help for free, will be very successful if the objective is clear and simple so that people living in the underdeveloped countries can get free information from Facebook pages, twitter and Google plus pages as there is arising amount of popularity of social networking sites in the third world countries. Countries affected by war, natural catastrophes or diseases can reach out for help and inform the world about their conditions.
Social networking sites act as a medium for the world to become one during global events and incidents such as The Olympics, major events, catastrophes etc. Someone can post a video about an event or incident live on YouTube and soon the world will witness that event or incident. Using social networking sites, people get more connected, with the number of partners or friends being found through social networking sites is getting bigger every day. The fact that social networking sites can open up the world by connecting somebody with someone else from anywhere else is a huge step in the communication timeline which was never possible before. The idea of the human race being one is possible courtesy of social networking sites. We will only get more connected in the days to come.
The social networking sites are here for a reason and like everything, it has pros and cons. We should try to use it to our advantage because doing so will only help our purpose, no matter how simple that is.