Social Media: Friend or Foe

October 26th, 2012 | by onlineincomejobs.com


Social Media has enabled the masses to communicate across the globe and making it as a true global village by using modern technologies that include audio, videos, podcasts, images, and other multimedia communication devices.

Media by itself is referred to mediums people use to communicate and by stepping into the 21st century and the boom of the internet has opened new ways to the people to communicate with each other. Since, internet has provided the new platform and opened the barriers to the general public; the new Social Media has taken a leap forward and has given a rise to freedom of speech, which has now put the traditional mass media on its toes.

Social Media is a new universe which has many of its subsets which includes social networks i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and many others. In which different tools are provided for managing, creating and organizing connections with people and also publicize user created content between the group members.

The Social Media universe also includes blogs created with Blogger and WordPress; micro blogging and instant messengers like twitter. Social Media also serves to be the source of file sharing by using Bit-Torrent, video sharing through YouTube and picture sharing using Flicker.

Social Media is often referred to consumer generated media. They are comparatively easily accessible to any person somewhat inexpensive than the traditional media. The characteristics differentiating Social Media from the traditional are as follows

  • Reach- Social Media and Traditional media however uses the medium which can be targeted to millions of masses at a given time. But the main difference arises from the structure of both, traditional media serves to be more on the centralized framework, highly hierarchical whereas Social Media tends to be on decentralized and less hierarchical and can also serve as multiple point of creation of contents.
  • Accessibility- traditional media tends to be owned by government or private and usually comes with a recurring fee; Social Media tends to be on available to the general public at no or little cost.
  • Usability- Social Media can easily be used by individuals without acquiring specialized skill or training; however traditional media requires a certain set of specialization and skills to operate.
  • Immediacy- the time lag between the responses and of certain information communicated by traditional media can take days, whereas the response from Social Media can be instant.
  • Permanence- an article once printed and distributed by traditional media cannot be changed where as the same article written in Social Media can be edited, removed instantaneously.

However the content generated on Social Media has always been the point in question, because the contents are generated by public and hosted by the companies, which in future may breed anti-social Media.

Social Media is a two-way street that also gives the foundation of communicating, instead of just walking down the traditional media. Any website that provides the ground for communicating with other users can safely be listed under the category of Social Media.