Social Media is broad, wide, deep, and mostly free.
You don't need friends to be a part of social media, you can make them here in this virtual world.
You don't need ID Proof, SSN, Credit Card, or any other means of verification to be a part of Social Media, Networks.
All you need is TIME, Login Username, Password, and a Valid E-Mail ID.
Being a teenager, I started browsing the Net with Yahoo! The only way to go online was through the Internet Explorer. The only place to log in or use the Net was the Internet Cafe (Cyber Cafe).
A Mobile Phone would just send SMS, make calls, and charge me for Incoming calls too. The best thing I could do with a Mobile Phone was Play Snake!
An e-mail ID like Gmail was available only through an Invite.
Today, I can have 5 e-mail IDs. Yahoo!, Gmail, Rediff, MSN, and more. Each has a different purpose. One would be for making Personal Profiles, one for professional use, one is for fake profiles, one is for subscribing to various online publications, and one for liesure. I can get as many social profiles as possible, with each having a unique username, e-mail ID, and a Strong Password.
Just when I think that I am into the Early Adoption stage, I can see so many kids, pets, bots, and non-existent entities having many more profiles, e-mail IDs, and have a stronger network than I do. They access Social Media through many more mediums than I could ever think of!
A Pet Dog has a GPS enabled chip linked to his Foursquare account that checks him into places that he goes to: "Lucy Checked into Mandy's", "Tiger Checked in Mumbai International Airport with (Owner) Varun". Whereas, I have just activated my Location Based Services, and these non-humans have already checked into Places!
Social Media is surely for all. It is evolving to be a more powerful connector than the real world. Gone are the days when Telegram used to be the most important means of cross country communication, or e-mail changed them game for communication. Today, an extrovert has lesses friends than an Introvert. An Introvert with a good sense of content can have more friends, niche, like minded, concentrated, and non-spam. An extrovert would make a hundred friends, non-related, with a wide varuety of interests, and spem his/her mailboxes with unrelated content.
A sharp kid, probably in the teens, can share his experiences, pics, talent, and make more friends, interact on his/her specialized subject and emerge as a winner. Social Media can work wonders if you have the right approach, time to share, and the patience to wait for people to get in touch with you.
A recent post on Mashable stated that in UK, 1 out of 10 pets have a Social Media Profile. Facebook audience shows that 13-28 is the most active group. Twitter is filled with Auto-bots, machines, and auto-followers.
I don't know how important Google+ would be, or how it can change the pattern of sharing private information, pictures, videos, stories, and friend lists.
I cannot trust any platform as a safe, secure, trustworthy place that will keep all my data secure, and never share with anyone. If that was the matter, how is Yahoo! remarketing tracking my IP, how does Google Contextual Ads work, and why does Facebook let advertisers target me as per relevancy of my content?
Mobiles, Smartphone, and tablets is something more frightening if we think of privacy, data integrity, and the under 18 age group. One post will not be suffucient to cover it all.
If we think of engagement, interaction, and conversations with the people, specialists, experts, and humans, what are the options available to us?
Age is a criteria for most of these social networks, but, there is not mechanism to validate the age of the user. Umpteen social media monitoring tools are available across the Web for finding out the insights of Media usage, but very few (or none) can actually tell the person's existence, age, and species.
Twitter has been a disappointment with respect to Bots. they claim to have 200 million users, and 140 million active users, but, any active human on Twitter would agree that the Real Active users will be much lesser than stated in these reports.
Klout claims to measure the influence of social reach, but, it gives superb ratings to Bots who auto-follow, auto-post, and auto-retweet material, and influence other bots, just to increase traffic on twitter, making it Over Capacity most of times.
My questions for this post:
Where are the like-minded individuals, if there are 4 major social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter,LinkedIn, Google+) ?
Where is the adult age group of humans, if most of the active Internet Users are 13+, pets, and auto-bots?
How do I keep in touch with like-minded people across the globe with real human presence?
If you have an answer, or a question, please find me at:
I work at Madison Communications, as a Media Planner - Digital, in Bangalore.