If you’re reading this, I bet you don’t remember a world without social media.
Social media has revolutionised our entire existence and our form of communication, to the point of becoming our one-stop medium of communicating. We’re the generation that never had to wait for our local newsstand to open to get our news updates from the previous day. Today, social media is updated to the minute with a world of information and news at your fingertips at any second of the day, making it possible to be assessed in real-time.
With the consistent use of social media, the way we did everyday things has massively shifted. For starters, we’ve changed the way we communicate, it would be completely bizarre to leave in the middle of a phone call, but it is entirely normal to respond to an ongoing conversation through text, the next day. With a change in communication styles also came differences in the process of socialisation. The internet is no longer merely just a platform to exchange information, it has slowly shifted to a multidisciplinary tool that allows individuals to create content, communicate with one another, and also have an escape from reality. Here are some ways social media has changed the world other than just in terms of communicating and socialising:
1. Social media has become an essential component of any business strategy
Social media skills are hardly a niche in this day and age, instead, most of our business is conducted online through various social media platforms. It has offered businesses the most cost-effective approach to reach an incredibly broad audience basically sparking a complete social media revolution. From boosting brand awareness to increasing search engine optimisation and increasing the leads to sales conversion rate through social influence.
Jumping on the social media bandwagon is no longer a choice if businesses want to succeed in the long run. An audience of any business expects it them to have an online presence because that is where they will be looking for you. It’s a plus that it is extremely low in cost to have a social media presence.
2. Social media — the future of banks
Imagine being able to use your social network of choice to make an investment or run crucial tasks like paying your rent. These might not be that far off in the future. Social media has already begun to make waves in transforming banking, from customer service to provide the ability to transfer money through online platforms.
With the emergence of Finance Technology (Fintech), social media is evolving the way the financial services industry operates; financial inclusion, lower costs and improved customer service are just a gist of what the future of banking on social media includes.
3. The way we govern and are governed has undergone significant changes
Social media has transformed the way the public engages and participates in matters concerning politics. Social media has provided citizens with a platform to share opinions, ideas, and initiatives.
The future holds the promise of more leaders embracing transparent governance, as it becomes increasingly easy for them to interact with the general public in contrast to when politicians would have to take tours in cities to hear public opinions. Online town halls have managed to build strong connections between them.
Furthermore, social media has managed to eliminate the gatekeeping of information by government officials. The world of international affairs and conflict has never been as transparent with information at your fingertips in real-time.
4. Tackling social issues like human rights violations to climate change
Social media has brought together communities of activists from all over the globe, holding human rights violators to account. Content on social media has immense power to be used as corroboration against violations of human rights and other atrocities
NGOs now have the ability to connect with like-minded individuals via social media and share opinions to fight the good fight for causes such as climate change. From go-green challenges to arranging beach cleanups, the public has the means to communicate and come together locally to combat environmental challenges that contribute to larger-scale narratives that will make a global difference
5. An important catalyst to education
While it can be argued that social media can be distracting to students, recent findings have shown that schools around the world are recognising the importance of social media being a means to informal learning and a primary source of learning in some circumstances.
Low-income families have benefitted immensely from social media education as they lack the means of formal education. In some developing countries, YouTube and other video platforms have become a primary learning source for many students.
Every era holds a world of changes be it cultural or economical and in recent years the shift has been centered around the large impact of social media. Social media is constantly evolving and updating every day and it’s rather exciting to see what the future holds in terms of the effect it will have on the world in the long run.
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