I recently listened to some enlightened folks debate about social media.
Having seen myself what happens when work and life merge on a popular network I identified with the dilemma of the ideas this new sort of media presents.
This chance was made possible by the organizers at the Nilgiri library.
It was refreshing to realize that they were school students.
The penetration of such a network into a school life was a show of the jarring reality and the consequences of a viral pastime.
These serious speakers took us through the state of things as seen through the eyes of kids.
When we as software people see the social media as just another system to poke with a stick and prod with your mind; these students presented a wide gamut of the effects these networks have on the collective intelligence and the social order.
When misinformation is the name of the game in these networks, it was sobering to realize there are folks seriously concerned about the ramifications these have on the reality.
When people project their alter ego in places such as these; the age old principles of sound judgment and prudence were rightly brought to light.
I initially questioned the limited scope of the topic of the debate- Focusing only on a particular social network. For there are other aspects of the networks in the wide web that were not brought to light. (yea)
To categorize a particular network as a boon or a bane is very restrictive in view.
IMO the number of likes, the comments and building of an online following is but a mere side effect of the system in question. For the system is primarily composed of two important aspects of communication: reading and writing. We read images and media too if you think about it.
To simply question the network and assign merits to its existence or otherwise by simply looking at the way people use them is to question the very activity of communication.
Here is a new form of convergence between the old (though not obsolete): print and others and the wide online world.
I imagine a day will come when the sum total of life experiences of a person is digitized. They will attain digital immortality.
(imagine second life, I stayed away from it for the fear of losing reality and our consciousness)
Then came the realization that these students are using these networks in an academic setting during their formative years and the conclusions they drew were spot on in all respects. Applause!
The penetration of these networks into the lives of people is astounding and rightfully deserves inspection and moderation.
My take on the twitter in particular is here: https://krisk.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/twitter-and-the-potential-for-change/
A friend Mohd. Mubeen aptly shares on facebook: