The advent of Social media platform has given us the opportunity to create the largest social experiment in modern human history, it is quite clearly, the biggest study of social behaviour of modern HUMANs. I believe, developing a better understanding of human psychology is key to everything we do as a human being, be it, creating a better and efficient financial markets, a sustainable business and economy, public policies, human relationships among other things.
Today we live in a world where social media has a very significant and visible presence, and a sizeable percentage of the world’s population is now actively using various types of social networking platforms. And this has created an opportunity for business as well as politics to evolve.
So a company is now able to collect a better and faster feedback from its consumers. For example, a marketing firm with access to social media can now follow a wide range of people spread across the world, and better profile their behaviours as consumers as well as individuals. The informations collected through social media are being widely used by companies. And companies that are able to keep an interactive and engaging presence on Social Networks are benefitting from it. The prime example is TESLA, by using social media, the company was able to quickly spot the problem with fire issues related to its Model S cars, and managed to quickly respond to its customer base by engaging in an interactive conversation enabling it to win back confidence of its customers.
And besides commercial companies, political parties across the world today are learning to better utilise the social media as a tool to put their message across and connect to their audience. There are also new types of social media celebrities with millions of followers enabling them to make money by promoting and endorsing various products.
Based on recent studies, it is estimated that in the year 2014, a social media platform like FACEBOOK managed to create $ 227 billion worth of economic impact globally. And Google’s own report suggests that it generated over $ 111 billion worth of economic activity in 2013 for 1.5 million U.S. based businesses alone . Although measuring the direct and indirect economic impact of social media is still a work in progress, there is little doubt about its overall impact on the society in general.
And besides the economic impact, here is what I believe this social experiment has helped us learn about ourselves so far.
- in general most of us like and enjoy connecting, and connectivity
– we like to be appreciated and liked by others
– we like to share and crave feedback
– we have opinion on almost anything and everything, and we do like to express our opinions if given an opportunity
– people tend to follow and respect those they like
– people have the ability to spot pretence and have a soft spot for people who we tend to think are more or less genuine
– we like creating communities, and we are in fact, a social being
– most of us like being useful
–in general people do tend to have interest in other people’s lives
- new revolutions and movements are now being created and spread through social media
- social media has created a new breed of celebrities
- people do tend to reveal themselves through their words and what they post and share on social media.
And there are many other aspects of human behaviour and personality that is getting manifested and reflected through social media including obviously the SELFIE phenomena.
Social media is no doubt the invisible force that is reshaping parts of our society, and like any HUMAN idea , it isn’t perfect. The increasing connectivity has made our world smaller by bringing people and society closer, but a person and the society in general can’t just exist and live in a virtual world. And whatever may become of social media going forward, I believe , it is evolving into one of the greatest social experiment of modern times, and if as a society we learn to better utilise it as a tool that not only has economic impact, but also allows people to connect, reach out, openly discuss wide ranging ideas, enables collaboration, helps to openly discuss and settle grievances, learn about each other and the world around us then we could all possibly work together to create a better society, and in the process build a better tomorrow. But it will all depend on the choices we make today and going forward !
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