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We need to thanks to the new digital platforms like social media where technology is reinforcing people to create, participate, and share content on the Web, we can have meaningful conversations around events, places, people, news, brands, and products through blogs, micro-blogging sites like Twitter, Social bookmarking, and sharing sites like Digg, social networking sites such as Facebook, social forums and review sites. Virtual worlds like YouTube, Second Life, and podcasts are a few new age tools to name.

Social media influences People Behavior -
It is really interesting to see that the growth of social Web is influencing people behavior and it is inducing them to become digital activists. Now many consumers have shifted from being passive consumers of products and services to the active participation age to get their feedback, be part of product related discussions, and look for brands or products they currently use or need in future. While technology is evolving with new tools to simplify our online social interaction, at the same pace social media benefits are also increasing for individuals, businesses, and collectively for our society.

Social Media impacting the business and society-
There is not any entry barrier for the Digital media. Thus any individual can become an initiator, news creator, subject expert, journalist, and digital activist using blogs, micro-blogs, social sharing, and networking sites. This media provide an equal opportunity for anybody to voice their thoughts, opinions, and share information at their disposal. The popularity of social networks has also developed a new trend of social shopping where individual can recommend to his group or friends products and services that he or she brought or used. So, the factor which really drives people to engage online is the peer-influence factor and an instant re-colonization for their individual digital activities in the form of comments, video clips, re-tweets.

Social Media for the Betterment of the Society -
People is the heart of any social media, it empowers us to spread social causes and change perspectives, participate in digital activisms. The past year Anna Hazare’s “Fast unto death” movement was very successful, and social media helped this movement to very much extent in fighting for the corruption.More than 116,000 people on Facebook joined hands to support the movement. It is a good example of the smart use of social media for the betterment of the society. We can also take an example of recent Delhi gang rape case, which showed a fruitful use of the social media technology called Flash Mob to create awareness among people.

So here is a question arising in our mind that what's the USP of the social media?? The answer for this could be that on this platform, free speech is unhindered. It's a kind of virtual megaphone with a global reach, as the numbers show. Whether it's Twitter or Facebook, India has a huge presence. Facebook has more than 65 million active users here, which put the country among the top five worldwide in terms of users. Twitter, which has 200 million active users globally, doesn't provide country-specific numbers. A lot of this social media boom happened in 2012. Research firm Social Bakers estimated in November that the number of Indian Facebook users swelled by 14 million in the past six months. Most of these users are urban and young. A report says 75% of web users here are under-35. When we talk about the Indians, unlike youngsters in other countries, Indians are basically active on the web for the political reasons. A Research study says that nearly around 45% of Indian web users, most of them from urban areas, connect on social media to discuss politics. But recent cases show that in the future apart from politics there must be users who will use social media for the business awareness purposes also.

Do the new digital media kill the traditional one??
The quiet common question here is that does the rise of new digital media means the death of the traditional news and print media? Nobody knows precisely what will happen in the recent future. However, radio didn’t die after TV came and it only went through significant change cycles.

If we look at the blogs or micro-blogging sites most of the conversations are still derived by the content from traditional news or media channels, with the difference that people don’t want to pay for usual content delivered by traditional media as now they can get it for free on the Web.

This is a significant shift in terms of how the changing digital technology can influence the way people consume content from traditional news and media channels. According to recent Indian Readership Survey, there is a decline in news and magazine readers across the country. This is not to criticize the traditional media, rather this is the fact that there have been a huge users of the social media these days so it’s effect cannot be drained off, as the trend shows, it will continue to grow in the future also.

Shanta Mishra




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