In the middle of the 20th century, in the age of the 1st generation computers which occupied huge spaces and operations like the ENIAC, UNIVAC-1, EDVAC and so on, people could only think about wireless mobile phones in their imagination, little did we know in that era that the Virtual Reality would occupy our personal and private spheres within a span of seven decades. The development in the technology sector from the period of first generation computers to the fifth generation computers such as Desktop, Laptop, Notebook, Ultrabook, AI, VR and so on until now has transformed the world economy, social interactions, international relations, political communications, governance systems, administration, bureaucracy, media, research, development, innovation, classroom pedagogy etc.
TECHNOLOGY AND THE EVOLUTION OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Technology has transformed both the public and private spheres of our lives. With the advent of technology, the media has also grown its wings and has taken flights far and wide. Technological development has provided tools to establish media as a social, transparent, accessible and accountable interface which is used by people everywhere to interact, share information, and participate proactively in the knowledge economy. With the increasing reach and accessibility of digital technology and devices, the popularity of social media applications has also increased significantly in the last two decades. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat, LinkedIn have gained popularity among the global audience.
SIGNIFICANCE OF CELEBRATING WORLD SOCIAL MEDIA DAY ON JUNE 30
As these platforms have enabled faster communication and data sharing through a variety of features like the one-to-one or group video call, voice call, message chats, group chats, status or story updates, post updates etc. the use of social media has gained popularity and has touched the lives of people with a significant impact in various capacities. Every year, on June 30, people around the world come together to globally observe World Social Media Day. This special day is dedicated to celebrating the immense power and influence of social media in connecting individuals. Social media has become an essential tool for communication, deeply integrated into our lives. It enables us to share ideas, build communities, and drive social change. Furthermore, it continuously shapes the way we interact and engage with others on a global scale.
Every year, on June 30, people around the world come together to globally observe World Social Media Day. This special day is dedicated to celebrating the immense power and influence of social media in connecting individuals. Social media has become an essential tool for communication, deeply integrated into our lives. It enables us to share ideas, build communities, and drive social change. Furthermore, it continuously shapes the way we interact and engage with others on a global scale. The inaugural Social Media Day took place in 2010 and was initiated by Mashable, a prominent news website. Mashable aimed to highlight the profound impact of social media on individuals and its pivotal role in facilitating global communication.
BEST PRACTICES TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT FOR INDIVIDUALS, ORGANISATIONS AND NATIONS
1. Build Your Network:
All of us have access to different types of content, information and insights with diverse perspectives as each one of us belongs to a different work profile or studies different subjects, lives in different geographical locations, belongs to diverse socio-economic backgrounds, meets and knows different people. With social media platforms, people can take advantage of this available information by building their own network. Students can connect with experts or professionals or fellow students on LinkedIn to discuss the opportunities, challenges, seek guidance, or share ideas. Many times the information about the scholarships or fellowships for various programs are posted by academicians on Twitter also. Thus, it is significant to follow the academicians or organisations on their professional social media handles to be updated about the opportunities. Students can also share their ideas in the form of newsletters or articles through these platforms. Reading the insights of others also keeps the students motivated in the journey of their pursuit of different careers.
2. Be technologically informed:
During the pandemic due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the 2020, the world has witnessed the importance of various technological tools and media platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Meet etc. as these interfaces enabled the reach of schools to teachers and students, offices to professionals, family members living at different locations to relatives and friends and we acknowledged the importance of these tools in making it possible to be informed about the health and wellbeing of our near and dear ones during the difficult times. Although virtually, it remained our reality for a long time during the pandemic. The various collaboration features of these social media platforms enabled the transaction of information globally and every individual with access to the internet tried to be a part of it. However, there have been many who did not get the opportunity to use these platforms due to the inaccessibility of devices, internet or the knowledge of using these technologically advanced tools or platforms. Thus, the lesson has been learnt and different nations are putting in efforts to make digital knowledge available and accessible to all and leave no one behind in this technological revolution as the future is uncertain and technology supports preparedness for the future.
3. Know the How and Why of your presence on the Social Media Platforms:
Our presence matters! The impact that we make with the information that we share and our reactions to the information shared is far and wide. We do not know who could be benefited or impacted with our views and perspectives. Thus, it is very important to be mindful of the content that we are consuming, the posts we are interacting with and make mindful decisions on the basis of the information that is received from a variety of sources. It is not necessary to have a social media handle on every popular platform. Thus, one should also not make social media handles on these platforms because of the gaining popularity, all of us need to be wise in every decision we make.
4. Use the network for self branding:
The social media network can also be used to promote businesses, do self branding, and advertising. The online presence of businesses makes it easier to reach the consumers from different regions and gain their feedback on the products or services. Various students or professionals have also started freelancing nowadays to explore their interests in various professions or provide their services in the areas of their expertise and establish their online presence and start-ups.
5. Utilise privacy settings and safeguard private information:
Limit who can access your posts, photos, and personal information. Restrict access to close family and friends. Don’t provide private information that could be used to identify you, such as your complete name, address, phone number, or school. A stranger or someone with malevolent intent may utilise this information.
6. Be courteous, respectful and encourage the ideas of others:
Respect and kindness should be shown to people in both public and private communications. Avoid spreading rumours or indulging in cyberbullying. It is also observed that people incline their motivation of information sharing to the detriment of likes or comments that they get on their posts. Sometimes they feel demotivated when many of their friends or relatives do not acknowledge their posts. Thus it is reiterated that one must have clarity about their social media presence and associated goals and aspirations to avoid preventable anxiety, stress and FOMO (fear of missing out).
7. Avoid engaging in conversations or accepting friend requests from strangers:
Be cautious about who you connect with online, as not everyone may have good intentions.
8. Don’t neglect your offline life:
Remember that social media should complement your real-life experiences, not replace them. Balance your time spent online with offline activities, such as hobbies, sports, and spending time with friends and family.