Friday, 6 September 2013

Is Social Media making us Less Social?

More than a decade now, Google came and it changed the way we access any sort of information. It made life a lot easier. Then came the platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Blogs and many others) we know them as Social Media. Why Social Media? Simply because they aim to connect people with each other – far or near, family or friends or colleagues. It came up as a relief for people to stay in touch. Apart from that it had lot of other features which awed the public as well as brands. But how this all is actually affecting ‘social-connect’ – Let us look at the advantages and the disadvantages of the same:-


  1. People connect with old friends from School, colleagues from current organizations or previous organization and are able to get regular information about them
  2. Brands are able to lay their messaging easily to masses and even get their feedback -positive or negative, that depends on how the customer looks at it
  3. Brands are able to advertise with relatively low budgets
  4. People are able to wish birthdays and anniversaries of friends or acquaintances (even to those they may never have thought to remember)
  5. People are able to engage with brands, play contests win exciting prizes and even interact directly with the brand which was not possible with a TV /Newspaper /Outdoor ad
  6. News circulation has become easy and spreads faster , and even has potential to draw customers feedback then & there
  7. It has opened up lot of new opportunities in job market and thus employment as a whole. It is also a revenue stream for many agencies. Work from home options and flexible working for women has also risen from Social media
  8. People connect from far places and not even knowing each other apart from the interests which is common between them


  1. There is a drop in people calling up to talk, wish birthdays and even simply converse. The conversations have become FB messages, wishing is also on FB and sometimes is considered more than sufficient.
  2. Kids are becoming addicted to the playing virtually than playing with friends. Japan schools have started to adopt ‘Social Media Fasting’ for kids who are obsessive with FB.
  3. Teenagers have shown a different behavior altogether. In a birthday party, the birthday girl is more conscious about getting the right picture clicked for her profile than to attend and enjoy. While studying they have taken up hobbies like blogging and they do not just keep it as hobby but let that occupy a lot of their time.
  4. Oh Mom, stop asking me to attend this function or that party or this wedding, I have thousands of fans, followers and my blog is being read another thousands of people. Well the first dialogue from 3 Idiots by Boman Irani was ‘Life is a race..’ If you actually come to see of it Kids, teens and even adults are in a race of how can I get more likes, more views and more followers than meeting people and converting them to be one of your followers
  5. Updating everything on web from eating, visiting a place, meeting or reading is killing privacy. The person may just say that I am becoming more social but at the end it is the others with the person who end up paying the time
  6. News from the journalists is on twitter before the actual news link is given by the same people to support the facts. It seems like ‘insights’ for the world while people wait for more to appear. The newspaper seems old since most of the news is already read and that one has to hunt something to read. And while web is not something monitored too closely, many journos & bloggers gamble on the inappropriate headlines for SEO and more visits.

Everything has its own pros and cons. However to summarize it is the kids and teens who have been swayed away by these platforms since they are not able to handle it maturely unlike the more experienced or adults. Demographic (Read here) shows that age 18-29 is the most present across all social mediums.  Facebook has maximum active users between 14-25 years. Is this stat not a disturbing? Shouldn't this age be more in playground, college and even hanging out with friends than here? Even more disturbing fact is that across all ages people who consume more than seven hours of Social media are more likely to get under depression because of the ‘likes’, ‘fan’, ‘follow’, ‘views’ world. (Read here)

To end it with the pro side of it people who are handling it more maturely, prioritize their real v/s virtual world are playing smart and enjoying their both the sides attention, sharing knowledge and are engaging confidently.

Happy Socializing!