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Social media is very popular nowadays. News reaches first on Social Media, before TV or Newspaper catches it. So what is this phenomenon ?

 

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Social media is about 2 things :

  • Creating fresh content
  • Sharing the content

With every single, post, comment, like etc. new content gets created. The need of the hour is always for new and newer content. Some people modify some content and reformulate a post. This can also be termed as fresh content, albeit with a little twist. Our romance with content goes all the way back to creation. When the Lord created this world, he also created a lot of content. He still keeps creating it. Special power was endowed upon us human beings who are good at transforming this content. For example, we created rings, necklaces, cuffs etc. from gold. The material is the same – gold. But the meaning we attribute to it has changed. No animal does this. Transposing a content from another one. The underlying content remains the same, but the form has changed. We are getting pretty good at it, but have a long way to go.

Content that is created but not shared is like a poet who wrote his poetry without letting the world around him not know about it. It’s an irony. Lot of people die on this planet with the music still in them. Hence the need to share. The more the number of audience, the more is the power of the network. This is called Metcalfe’s law. But we should also have the wisdom to know, what should be shared and what shouldn’t. The more people you are able to touch with your content, the more powerful the inherent value is, of that content. A writer doesn’t write to impress. He writes to express him/herself. When his/her creative expression rings with somebody else, an experience happens, which cannot be described. Can you tell how much a poem or an article affected you? It’s simply priceless.

Social Media began eons ago when people started writing and earlier through voice. But this was limited. The printed press enhanced the reach. The telephone made it 2 way communication. Fast forward to the year 1989. – the birth of the world wide web (Sir Tim Berners Lee) This phenomenon called the internet put the power of the content in every persons hand. But true 2 way communication happened about the year 2000. You could not only visit websites, but you could comment, like, leave your email address and do things where the communication is 2 way or push/pull. With the advent of mobile gadgets the power has precipitated to the hands of an individual. Now everyone on the internet is a potential game changer. He/She has a voice that can influence a movement.

There are many ways to go about it. There are many channels or tools available for participating in this social media phenomenon. You know the obvious ones – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp and so on. All these tools provide you the power to collaborate with people. However, the nature of their content is different. For example, you don’t post your family photos on LinkedIn or post a professional article on Facebook. Some people do that too, Note, that these tools are embracing more and more newer types of content. The distinction between a public/private post is slowly getting blurred. Language is no more a barrier as Google Translate does a pretty good job. From websites, the trend is towards apps. And in the future, the primary interface through which we will communicate will be thoughts. May take a decade or two to get there.

Thank God for all that content, the power of creation and for helping us to touch other people in ways that cannot be described, but just felt. Thank you all for creating / participating in this beautiful universe.

The power of Social Media
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