It is International Women's Day 2017, but have we answered the question on social media - boon or bane? Are we detached enough to pass a verdict on it?
As you scroll through this article on your smartphone or laptop, it is very likely that you have your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts open in multiple tabs. Social media has become an all-pervasive part of our personal and professional lives. College get-togethers and birthday bashes seem incomplete without the photos being splashed on Facebook. What’s the charm of enjoying a gourmet burger without Instagramming a lip-smacking shot of it? Social media is also a huge support in our work lives — from marketing products to networking. However, there is a downside too, and it has been closely dissected — from the addictive nature to the privacy issues, especially in relation to women and children, or the trolls who actively seek out women to harass.
Whatever the verdict, it goes without saying that today's women are tech-savvy and have embraced social media platforms as much as men have.
So, this International Women's Day, what do a bunch of very successful women have to say about social media?
Social media is the biggest perception and brand building tool available to startups today, so I would definitely say it’s a boon, especially for startups like ours. Gone are the days when companies could put up a website that sat on the screen like an electronic business card. Social media is about maintaining a dynamic conversation between us and our customers. Done right, it can help promote the brand, reach a much larger audience, and increase market size, all in a cost-efficient way.
The whole idea of communicating on social media is fun and the sharing of experiences with others. The very fact that it’s called 'social media' makes it evident that this channel is all about having an open mind and letting the creativity flow.
Being an entrepreneur, I consider social media a boon. Smartphones have made our lives so easy and convenient that we get things in the comfort of our homes. In my professional life as well, it is working as an advantage in opening the doors to better business opportunities. The internet and mobiles have extended our reach to our potential clients without geography being a factor.
Social media has immense benefits in professional and personal lives — the very fact that one can be empowered with so much knowledge by simply browsing the internet or be connected with so many avenues truly reflects its strength. In fact, the saying, 'it's a small world' has literally become true.
But like any good thing, overdose, abuse, mindless usage, and undue advantage of knowledge, make social media and the internet debatable subjects. I hate it when I come across any exploitation of women through social media or technology.
But in my own personal experience, I find the positives in social media to outnumber the negatives.
The essence of social media is not the exploitation of technology but service to the community. The good part is that the transparency and accessibility have seen a spike. People, and not recommendations, influence people and reaching out to the right set of people has been made possible by social media.
However, anything in excess definitely has an adverse effect which can’t be ignored.
It is essential to keep oneself well informed of what is happening around the world. The only thing I have loved in my life is to learn every day. Social media is somewhere helping businesses like ours to connect and be well informed of what is happening to the industry globally. This helps us in knowing the disruptions happening in education across the globe and be ahead in adapting to the change.
Before getting into a discussion with academicians or international delegates, I do like to read a lot about what is happening nationally and internationally in the sector and go ahead and pick the brains of my conversationalists. This equips me to talk about any innovation happening in education across the globe and have an opinion on the same. In the whole process, I tend to learn a lot and get inspired to have ideas for our business.
But the flip side of social media and the internet is that I feel that the attention span for all of us has gone down, let’s not just blame our kids. Further, our listening skills, in my view, have dropped too since we are used to “two-minute” packaging of everything.
As with most things, moderation is key. Social media is definitely a useful, necessary part of our lives now, and has enabled easy, fast access to information and networks. But it is important to guard against misuse and oversharing, especially in this era of #Fakenews.
In this digitised world, people of my age and above are all using social media in the most effective manner. I try to learn something new every single day and learn from the younger generation around me. With the help of my colleagues and children, I keep a tab on the new things happening on social media platforms be it Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
In today’s world when everything is changing at a fast pace, it is essential to be updated with the latest trends and technology. I believe that social media is truly a boon to our society as it is the quickest means of making connections. Moreover, in the world of business, it is necessary to reach out to your target customers and this medium provides you with the perfect platform to do so.