In todayâ€™s world on-screen interaction outweighs off-screen interaction. The vague internet world has transformed into a global village. In social media there are lots of opportunities on one hand with the extreme anxiety of being isolated on the other.
All the things that exist, living or non-living carry some signals. A smile, tears, a shout or hand signals, all these are means of communication.
Today we spend most of our time on social media. On the brighter side, we can be updated with the current news and happenings around the world. We are connected no matter how distant our family members, friends or business partners are.
The virtual world has a win over the disparity of the physical world. Almost everyone has a cell phone in their hands. They are becoming victims of social media with their addiction to it. How we can make proper use of the technology should be of a great concern for us.
My point here is how to get maximum benefit from the emerging technology. For this, there is no shortcut, only hard work with continuous dedication pays us. In our career part we have choices, either hire or be hired. Unlike in the past, there is no glory with just the scores in the certificates until we can prove it.
Therefore, the effective communication is the single most skill of the twenty-first century. Conversational competence will offer competitive advantages over other skills. We spend a lot of time in social media. Have we been able to differentiate between the waste and the effective part while investing our time and effort in social media?
My point here is: have social media helped us to excel our interpersonal skills? There are many videos, cases, talks that can aid in our communication process, but are we really applying them to improving our virtual identity?
Users are adopting a wide range of digital technologies into their communication repertoire (Quan-Haase & L. Young, 2010). Why they adopt multiple forms of communication instead of substituting one medium for another? What type of need does each of these media fulfill? They have compared the gratifications obtained from Facebook with those from instant messaging. The conclusion from the study of 77 surveys and 21 interviews is that people involved in Facebook for its six usages: as a pastime, for intimacy, for keeping up with the latest trend, problem sharing, socialization and gathering social information.
Comparative analysis showed that Facebook is about having fun and knowing about the social activities occurring in oneâ€™s socio-virtual circle, whereas instant messaging is geared more toward relationship maintenance and development.
We have engaged much of our time in socialization and information exchange, but have we spared out time in social media for our personal growth?
I believe we just need the skills to filter the topics and the contents that will benefit us. We are living in an age where we can integrate numerous sources in our communication process. The wise decision will be to give some time for self-enrichment and self-growth. In fact, it is never too late to start something new and that for sure adds value in us and our career.
Quan-Haase, A., & L. Young, A. (2010). Uses and Gratifications of Social Media: A Comparison of Facebook and Instant Messaging. Bulletin of Science Technology Society , 350-361.
By Mamata Pathak
The writer is currently an undergraduate student of Business Administration at King’s College.