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Social Media

May 23rd, 2013 Comments off

Social media or ‘social networking’ has almost become part of our daily lives. Apps like Twitter and Facebook facilitate the exchange of ideas quicker than conventional media.

In a recent study conducted regarding the usage of social media – more than 90% of participants have knowledge of one social networking site and 72% are members of one. In the past, not many adults were able to make more than 500 ‘friends’ but with social media, even a child or teenager can get to know more than 500 people by just clicking a mouse. Social media has devalued the traditional definition of a ‘friend’ and although we get to know more people, we are not able to build strong personal relationships. Therefore, there are large groups of people with larger social circles, but weaker personal relationships.

In 2008, President-elected Obama won the election through the effective use of social media to reach millions of voters. The Obama campaign had generated and distributed a huge amount of contents and messages across email, SMS, social media platforms and their websites. They encouraged citizens to share their voices, hold discussions and run their own campaign meetings. It truly changed the way a political message can be delivered.

Social networking has also had a tremendous impact on communications during a disaster. In 2010, after the earthquake happened in Haiti, many of the official communication lines were down. It was difficult for others outside of the region to grasp the magnitude of the event. To help share information, social media played a pivotal role in reporting occurrences in affected areas and where assistance was needed. Tweets provided an overview of the events. Live blogs also reported on the situation.

Facebook is constantly revising their policies due to their privacy breaches, raising concern of social media usage. Even though users delete their personal information and deactivate their Facebook accounts, Facebook will still keep that information and will continue to use it for data mining.

In the corporate world, human resource managers can use social media to learn more about potential employees and use this information in hiring decisions. Research has found that almost half of employers have rejected a potential worker after finding incriminating material on their Facebook pages. Employers have also viewed candidates’ online details on Facebook to verify their qualifications. Current users of social media do not understand the impact on their privacy and the long-term negative impact it can have on them.

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