While it is a commonly known fact that the number of people accessing internet is growing, some key facts worth noting are :
- More than one third of the world’s total population have internet access.
- The number of cell phones is expected to surpass the global population of 7 billion in 2014.
- Nearly 73% of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind.
To think about it, with the penetration of internet and global mobile outreach growing by the day, sites such as Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn and other networking websites are becoming an integral part of our daily lives. So much so, that we check our Facebook, Twitter accounts right in the morning even before we start our work, during the day we post to these accounts and we also log in before we retire for the day to keep ourselves updated on what’s happening around.
In fact, social media has become a phenomenon that has changed the way in which we which we seek & share information and interact with our friends, colleagues and other people across the world.
Organizations maintain their online presence on Facebook , Twitter, Flickr , Google+, Pinterest , MySpace , Digg and other social sites. Many organisations use social media for their customer service function and also for their sales and marketing functions. Some organizations are turning to social media even for recruiting. Communities are using social media to support their cause and for crowdfunding. Political parties run social media campaigns. Business owners use social media to promote their brand. Researchers use social media for getting peer reviews of their work. And some companies even conduct recruitment drives on Twitter.
However many critics warn that though social media offer freedom and flexibility, it can be misused for settling personal scores. Constant use of social media can also be quite draining and cause addiction, anxiety & increased peer pressure particularly among young people
Whether the use of social media will keep increasing on a continual basis or it is a bubble waiting to burst, the fact is that you simply cannot ignore social media. Rather, one needs to learn how to use social media optimally. We also need to remember that though social media is a powerful platform for communication, yet certain things are best communicated in private. A school in the US, has adopted Social Media Policy recognizing the importance of incorporating the latest technology as a tool to enhance learning while providing guidelines to ensure responsible and safe usage by system employees.
Based on my observation of how different people use Twitter, I have illustrated below some typical types of users. Can you identify which user group you belong to? What are the other types of users that you can think of?
Welcome your comments.