Yesterday, I was guest of Zoe on the Good Morning Nigeria Show on Cool TV. She wanted an authority who had also participated in the Social Media Week Lagos to come discuss Technology and Social Media. It was an interesting discourse and the Cool TV crew were great hosts.
I thought to share here on Mobility some of the thoughts I shared on TV, as well as some others that constraints of time kept me from touching:
- social media is a reference to the collective online platforms that allow users to share information in a community setting
- social media is like people having conversations at the village square: anyone can walk up and join in and have their say on any subject
- the immediacy of social media is what makes it different from other forms of media. Information can be pushed out immediately or on the spur of the moment, while other media require a production process. This immediacy is largely powered by mobile technology
- consumption of information on social media is often also immediate – again mainly because of mobile technology
- social media has created new job opportunities and roles that did not exist five to ten years ago. Social media is a significant platform for generating employment for people across all disciplines and ages
- social media is NOT a fad: it is here to stay and there is no point wishing that we go back to the “good old days of peace and quiet”
- social media has given the everyday person a voice and an opportunity to connect with and even influence whole swathes of people that they would otherwise never have met or interacted with in life
- as there were those who said books, TV, and later computers would distract children and lead to a fall in educational standards, there are those who now criticise social media same way. But social media is a tool like those others are. We must teach our children to use it effectively and productively.
- social media is often a headache to government because they are used to being in control via regulatory agencies. Think radio, TV, newspapers, etc. Government issues licences and exercises some control over what can be published or not published. Social media’s lack of regulation is a nightmare to people who are used to control.
- social media is driven by engagement: if you share content that others like or can relate to, they will engage you.
- of course, social media has its issues: where any two or more people interact, there will be issues, including, but not limited to: aggression, insensitivity, clashes of ideas and personalities, abuse of speech. none of these issues are peculiar to social media. They are general human behaviour and social issues known everywhere and in all ages
- smart brands, businesses and others know that the place to be is the village square where people gather, but the idea is to share and engage for the most part, with direct selling forming just a part of the interactions
The above thoughts are not exhaustive, of course, but hopefully give a good idea of what social media is, its benefits and challenges to individuals who may still not understand it. Bottomline: social media is not some fancy stuff that will go away. The earlier everyone understands it and gets on it, the better. Welcome to the future.
In the meantime, do share any thoughts and insights that you have on the subject of social media using the comment form below.