Social Media: An academic perspective

The purpose of each of these elements of communication appears to be larger than life.

Social media has come a long way as far as making socialisation a virtual reality. What Imageused to be shared and discussed at addas has now become replaced in the form of wall posts and group chat. It has only taken six to seven years or even less to change people’s lifestyle. The power of globalisation and its progress through technology is immense as is reflected in the social construction of our reality.

Blogs, facebook and twitter identities are modes of communication, which many professionals nowadays include in their visiting cards, hence, showing a change in the pattern of communication and their significance. What amaze me are the vastness and the fastness of the modes of communication.

Once, the postal address and a land phone number were all that used to be mentioned on a visiting card. Then there came the mobile phones for a more direct form of communication between two persons. Now there is twitter to follow someone, facebook to keep posts and updates of a person and blogs to know and share information.

The purpose of each of these elements of communication appears to be larger than life or so is their diversity. It is not limited to only interpersonal communication but each of them has the capacity to contribute to a community in the form of sharing information and knowledge.

Twitter by its nature of limited word space and specificity tends to connect more professional people, who would share their views of particular issues. The mainstream news media have found twitter, a useful source of citing and quoting celebrities and other professionals.

Facebook on the other hand has a vast use of its social network, from connecting with friends to posting personal notes, photos and information that people want to share with friends, discussing important issues, maintaining event calendars, having professional and academic groups for relevant purposes and there are so many more. Over time, facebook has developed segments of people and allowed users to set privacy for sharing their contents to different group of people like colleagues, family and friends.

Blogs have multiple genres and purposes. There are travelogues, personal blogs, community blogs, professional blogs, academic blogs and a host of others on the internet. Blogs have made life easy for the whole world. The other day I was looking for some information about folk music on the internet and I was surprised to find a personal blog of a folk musician, having discussed each of the genres of folk music in the most organised manner or just as I was looking for.

Had these blogs and social media not been there, perhaps I would have been walking the streets of Aziz Super Market or visiting Chhayanaut to learn about the different genres of folk music and its history.


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