Waking up and reading twitter like it’s the morning newspaper, stuck in traffic and writing a facebook update about it : I’m sure most of us have done this. Our day is incomplete without social media! Can you remember your life before the ‘influx’ of all these social networking sites? Admit it, we are addicted to social media. Don’t deny. One of my friends admitted to tweeting only when he had time – morning time, work time, day time, night time, all the time. You get my drift, don’t you?
Since we are connected 24/7, have you ever wondered how exactly our lives have changed after the whole social media phenomenon? I found that it did affect us, in more ways than one. Here’s how:
- Recognition for brands/blogs/charities/ yourself
Twitter, Facebook, Google plus, StumbleUpon are greatly helpful in bringing traffic to my blog. People are always looking for new and great content to share on social media and if your blog has what it takes, it can come into the spotlight quickly. As I have mentioned in many of my earlier blog posts, these sites are a boon to newbie as well as experienced bloggers who want their articles to reach to a wider audience. Not just for blogs, but brands and businesses can manage their image through social networking sites. Twitter account and Facebook pages for brands are a great way to maintain a good relationship with their customers. It helps them receive quick feedback about their product and they can respond to consumers better. And if businesses do social media ‘right’, it also helps in building goodwill about their company. For me, if a brand’s twitter account replies to my query in a not-so-nice way, or doesn’t reply at all – I wouldn’t like to go for that product ever again. Also, charities are benefitting through the various social media campaigns, like the great initiative: ‘Clean Water Campaign‘.
- Virtual To Real friendships
I’m sure you might have met someone on twitter who is almost like your real life best friend. And some of us have actually met our twitter friends too! That explains how friendships on twitter aren’t just virtual but they can be totally real too. Plus it’s not wrong when you say, “I have friends ALL over the world!”
- Treasure chest of Information
With millions of tweets sent per day, excluding the noise tweets, one can only imagine how much info is being constantly generated and shared. It is impossible not to come across something new and interesting on social media.
- Connection with clients and old friends
Some of my friends have found potential business clients through Twitter, LinkedIn and sealed their deals because of their connections. Cool, right? Also, Facebook works as a great friend finder – middle school friends, high school friends, university friends – you can find ‘em all on FB.
- Quick and real time news updates
Social media works faster than earthquakes ( based on news article dated August 23, 2011). The power of sharing is seen through how news (sometimes, sadly, hoax news too) spreads like wild fire.
- Trust issues in relationships
I’ve seen my friends undergo break ups because of misunderstandings on social networking sites like Facebook. Recently I read a tweet: “Faithful in the public timeline and cheating in the DMs” – and sometimes I think, it is true.
- Less attention to your work/studies
Initially, when I had just gotten addicted to twitter, I couldn’t control my eagerness to tweet and hence, my studies were affected. Also, people try various ways to tweet from their workplace. If being on social media is a part of your job then it’s okay, but if your attention span at work reduces then it might be a problem. Balancing work and social media is key!
- No or less time for family
If you are on vacation with your family – completely BE there! Switch off your phone or remove all the Twitter/Facebook apps and just enjoy. Take lots of pics but upload them when you return home. Because if your mind keeps thinking of your next twitter update , you won’t be able to enjoy your holiday destination to the maximum.
- Cyber Bullying
We have witnessed many trending topics on Twitter which are either a) offensive or b) aimed at a particular person. Of course, there are positive people on twitter. But there’s negativity too. Celebrities constantly receive hateful tweets. Not just them, but even day-to-day users have encountered hateful tweets at least once. When it goes too far, that’s cyber bullying and it should not be tolerated.
So these were some ways how social media is impacting our lives. If you have more points to add regarding how social media is affecting us, feel free to comment!