Hyper-Connected World and Social Media , Emdad Khan

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Social media (Face Book, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, YouTube, Texting, online blogs, online news media ) has impacted on all aspects of our day to day life. Social media has taken over our lives [1, 2, 3]. Like any other technology, it has positive and negative impacts. Over all the positive impacts are better then its negative impacts.
SNMC [http://www.snmc.ca/]  and CBET [http://www.cbet.ca/] two Ottawa based non-profit and charity organizations, use online newsletters,  you tube, Facebook, Twitter and magazine to communicate with its members as well as use online fund raising not only in Ottawa or Canada ,  rather across the glove.
Recently, CBET organized a large well attended Pita festival, the communication was via newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter. In the same vein,  recently, our daughter was hospitalized with serious illness, her friends communicated via Facebook, Texting and email, only her mom’s aged friends communicated via phone. Even SNMC snow contractor communicates via texting or email, not phone any more. Ottawa based South Asian immigrants communicate to back home  by Skype  or Facebook, no more by costly land phones.
During 2015 October federal election, a number of candidates  of all parties, had to withdraw because of what they posted in Facebook or Twitter in earlier years, which all regretted now.
Who does not know the unforgettable cyber bullying story of Amanda Toad [4]?  For that reason, we sometimes call Facebook , a jealousy book. In our SNMC school, one of the teachers asked one of the students, why he did not practice his lessons at home with his mom’s help, the boy replied his mom is busy Face booking.
 But social media has also made us closer to the  world. Let us look at the Syrian refugee crisis. All of us are aware about the young boy, Alan Kurdi, who drowned in a sea beach  off Turkey. This powerful still image  in media profoundly  impacted us  all, also impacted Canada’s federal election and  as result in contrast to Conservatives, the liberal party promised to bring 25,000 refugees in Canada . Also in the same vein, after  Paris attack, where it is alleged, one of the attacker was a Syrian asylum seeker, has a negative impact. In Canada, it created a back lash of bringing  the Syrian refugees, all via social media.
 
 However, when the new liberal federal govt.,  firmly took bold initiative of fulfilling the commitment  of bringing the Syrian refuges, the tide again turned in favour of the refugees, again social media have a great influence. Good things happened, many  communities in  Canadian cites, Canadians of all ethnic back ground, mobilised using social media to  raise fund, to get household items for refugees and connected together  the refugees  and communities. It evoked, as social media and online papers showed, refugees of earlier time, like 1960s, 1970s, such as Vietnam boat people, they shared their heart touching stories [5].
 
Positive impact:  We can  now contact anyone around the world, at any time, with just a few keystrokes. It is free, unlike calling across the ocean, and live. We can also share elements of our life, from what we enjoy to photos of ourselves and those in our lives. It is like being a part of that person’s world, even though distance keeps us apart [1].
Non-profits, such as SNMC, CBET and  UNICEFF,  are seeing the benefits of using social media for their awareness campaigns. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others are a cost effective means of spreading the word and getting support [1].
Impact on Politics: Every politician worth his salt needs to jump on the social media bandwagon. This is because social websites have played an important role in many elections around the world, including in the U.S., Iran, and India. They have also served to rally people for a cause, and have inspired mass movements and political unrests in many countries [3].
Business Impact : We also have the communication between people and businesses. Since they have paved a new way for interaction between the two, customers can now tell brands exactly what they want. Businesses can then use that information to tailor their products of more appeal. They used to have to spend a ton of cash for this kind of marketing data. Customers used to have to spend hours on phones getting more and more frustrated when they had a problem or complaint [1] .
 
Net savvy companies are using social media to advertise their products, build customer loyalty and many other functions. Interactions and feedback from customers help businesses to understand the market, and fine-tune their products and strategies. Many firms organize contests and give away prizes to enthuse consumers to visit their social website page more often. Compared to television advertisements and other expensive forms of marketing, social media presence is a cheap and effective means to enhance brand image and popularity [3].
Socialization Impact: Social media has made it possible for like minded individuals to discuss important topics, widen their personal knowledge and discover things they never knew before. For example, young people around the world are now more involved than ever in their country’s politics. The last presidential elections in 2012 in the US are proof of that. Social media has contributed to that increase in a big way [1].
Social media offer the opportunity for people to re-connect with their old friends and acquaintances, make new friends, trade ideas, share content and pictures, and many other activities. Users can stay abreast of the latest global and local developments, and participate in campaigns and activities of their choice. Professionals use social media sites like LinkedIn to enhance their career and business prospects. Students can collaborate with their peers to improve their academic proficiency and communication skills. We can learn about different cultures and societies by connecting with people in other countries [3].
Negative impact :  We get the feeling of being social without having to go out and socialize. In the same vein, it gives us the feeling of being a friend (or having friends) without having to put in any actual work to build the relationship. Just think of how many people we have on our Facebook friends list. How many of them do we see on a semi-regular basis? At all? [1] Many introverts and socially reclusive users place too much emphasis on virtual interaction, and ignore the real world outside [3].
 
Productivity Impact: How  many of us, check our profiles during work, or find  ourselves enjoying  YouTube  videos or  favorite blogs during work hours? Many companies have blocked social networks on their office Internet as addicted employees can distract themselves on such sites, instead of focusing on work. In fact, studies show that many companies have lost billions of dollars per year in productivity because of social media addiction among employees [2,3].
 
Relationship and Job impact : Think of the number of relationships that have been broken up over social media. Facebook has become a tool that has seemed to make it easier to cheat, or to do things that cross a boundary in our relationship. Like flirty PM’s with that high school sweetheart we haven’t seen since graduation. Or much more blatant infidelities that are sure to be caught the first time we forget to log out of the computer we share with our spouse. Then there are the sheer number of stupids, vain people on Facebook. But we may be thinking of at least one person who would fit into one (or both) of these categories [2].
If we are not careful, what we post on the social media can come back to haunt us, as did during 2015 Federal election. Revealing personal information on social sites can make users vulnerable to crimes like identity theft, stalking, etc. Many companies perform a background check on the Internet before hiring an employee. If a prospective employee has posted something embarrassing on social media, it can drastically affect their chances of getting the job. The same holds true for our relationships too, as our loved ones and friends may get to know if we post something undesirable on social media [3].
Cyber-bullying and Sexual Predators: The social media is available to predators as well as friends. Kids especially are vulnerable to the practice of cyber-bullying  and sexual exploitation in which the perpetrators, anonymously or even posing as people their victims trust, terrorize individuals in front of their peers. The devastation of these online attacks can leave deep mental scars. In several well-publicized cases, victims have even been driven to suicide [4]. The anonymity afforded online can bring out dark impulses that might otherwise be suppressed. Cyber-bullying has spread widely among youth, with 42% reporting that they have been victims, according to a 2010 CBS News report [2].
Unscrupulous people target us for cyber bullying and harassment on social sites. School children, young girls, and women can fall prey to online attacks which can create tension and distress. We all saw recent  news reports,  police raid in Toronto and Montreal, teens were lured, confined in hotel rooms and sexually  abused  via social media, primarily being Facebook Friends . If we  or out kids and youths are a victim of cyber bullying, do not take it lying down, but try to take appropriate legal action against the attacker [3] .
Privacy Impact: Social networking sites encourage people to be more public about their personal lives. Because intimate details of our lives can be posted so easily, users are prone to bypass the filters they might normally employ when talking about their private lives. What’s more, the things they post remain available indefinitely. While at one moment a photo of friends doing shots at a party may seem harmless, the image may appear less attractive in the context of an employer doing a background check. While most sites allow their users to control who sees the things they’ve posted, such limitations are often forgotten, can be difficult to control or don’t work as well as advertised [2].Poor social behaviour: Being out in public and seeing people on their phones. Seeing them on phones or texting or Facebooking or tweeting or whatever else that keeps people’s eyes glued to their phones. Whether it is grocery shopping, getting dinner with friends or waiting in line, it is just so impolite. It also shows a serious problem with distraction in today’s society [1].  
Conclusion: Social media has its positive impacts as well as negative one.  Over all positive ones are more compared to the negative ones. It is up to us  to use social media  intelligently and consciously to enhance our  professional and social life. Parents need to  guide and exercise caution to ensure that our kids, youths or ourselves  do not fall victim to online predators or cyber bullying or become addicted to social media at the cost of normal social, family and professional life.
1.       http://www.seochat.com/c/a/social/social-media-and-society-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/
2.      http://smallbusiness.chron.com/negative-effect-social-media-society-individuals-27617.html
3.      http://www.business2community.com/social-media/impact-social-media-truly-society-0974685#lyXxwWkZU4PyPetu.97
4.      http://nobullying.com/amanda-todd-story/
Social media (Face Book, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, YouTube, Texting, online blogs, online news media ) has impacted on all aspects of our day to day life. Social media has taken over our lives [1, 2, 3]. Like any other technology, it has positive and negative impacts. Over all the positive impacts are better then its negative impacts.
SNMC [http://www.snmc.ca/]  and CBET [http://www.cbet.ca/] two Ottawa based non-profit and charity organizations, use online newsletters,  you tube, Facebook, Twitter and magazine to communicate with its members as well as use online fund raising not only in Ottawa or Canada ,  rather across the glove.
Recently, CBET organized a large well attended Pita festival, the communication was via newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter. In the same vein,  recently, our daughter was hospitalized with serious illness, her friends communicated via Facebook, Texting and email, only her mom’s aged friends communicated via phone. Even SNMC snow contractor communicates via texting or email, not phone any more. Ottawa based South Asian immigrants communicate to back home  by Skype  or Facebook, no more by costly land phones.
During 2015 October federal election, a number of candidates  of all parties, had to withdraw because of what they posted in Facebook or Twitter in earlier years, which all regretted now.
Who does not know the unforgettable cyber bullying story of Amanda Toad [4]?  For that reason, we sometimes call Facebook , a jealousy book. In our SNMC school, one of the teachers asked one of the students, why he did not practice his lessons at home with his mom’s help, the boy replied his mom is busy Face booking.
 But social media has also made us closer to the  world. Let us look at the Syrian refugee crisis. All of us are aware about the young boy, Alan Kurdi, who drowned in a sea beach  off Turkey. This powerful still image  in media profoundly  impacted us  all, also impacted Canada’s federal election and  as result in contrast to Conservatives, the liberal party promised to bring 25,000 refugees in Canada . Also in the same vein, after  Paris attack, where it is alleged, one of the attacker was a Syrian asylum seeker, has a negative impact. In Canada, it created a back lash of bringing  the Syrian refugees, all via social media.
 
 However, when the new liberal federal govt.,  firmly took bold initiative of fulfilling the commitment  of bringing the Syrian refuges, the tide again turned in favour of the refugees, again social media have a great influence. Good things happened, many  communities in  Canadian cites, Canadians of all ethnic back ground, mobilised using social media to  raise fund, to get household items for refugees and connected together  the refugees  and communities. It evoked, as social media and online papers showed, refugees of earlier time, like 1960s, 1970s, such as Vietnam boat people, they shared their heart touching stories [5].
 
Positive impact:  We can  now contact anyone around the world, at any time, with just a few keystrokes. It is free, unlike calling across the ocean, and live. We can also share elements of our life, from what we enjoy to photos of ourselves and those in our lives. It is like being a part of that person’s world, even though distance keeps us apart [1].
Non-profits, such as SNMC, CBET and  UNICEFF,  are seeing the benefits of using social media for their awareness campaigns. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others are a cost effective means of spreading the word and getting support [1].
Impact on Politics: Every politician worth his salt needs to jump on the social media bandwagon. This is because social websites have played an important role in many elections around the world, including in the U.S., Iran, and India. They have also served to rally people for a cause, and have inspired mass movements and political unrests in many countries [3].
Business Impact : We also have the communication between people and businesses. Since they have paved a new way for interaction between the two, customers can now tell brands exactly what they want. Businesses can then use that information to tailor their products of more appeal. They used to have to spend a ton of cash for this kind of marketing data. Customers used to have to spend hours on phones getting more and more frustrated when they had a problem or complaint [1] .
 
Net savvy companies are using social media to advertise their products, build customer loyalty and many other functions. Interactions and feedback from customers help businesses to understand the market, and fine-tune their products and strategies. Many firms organize contests and give away prizes to enthuse consumers to visit their social website page more often. Compared to television advertisements and other expensive forms of marketing, social media presence is a cheap and effective means to enhance brand image and popularity [3].
Socialization Impact: Social media has made it possible for like minded individuals to discuss important topics, widen their personal knowledge and discover things they never knew before. For example, young people around the world are now more involved than ever in their country’s politics. The last presidential elections in 2012 in the US are proof of that. Social media has contributed to that increase in a big way [1].
Social media offer the opportunity for people to re-connect with their old friends and acquaintances, make new friends, trade ideas, share content and pictures, and many other activities. Users can stay abreast of the latest global and local developments, and participate in campaigns and activities of their choice. Professionals use social media sites like LinkedIn to enhance their career and business prospects. Students can collaborate with their peers to improve their academic proficiency and communication skills. We can learn about different cultures and societies by connecting with people in other countries [3].
Negative impact :  We get the feeling of being social without having to go out and socialize. In the same vein, it gives us the feeling of being a friend (or having friends) without having to put in any actual work to build the relationship. Just think of how many people we have on our Facebook friends list. How many of them do we see on a semi-regular basis? At all? [1] Many introverts and socially reclusive users place too much emphasis on virtual interaction, and ignore the real world outside [3].
 
Productivity Impact: How  many of us, check our profiles during work, or find  ourselves enjoying  YouTube  videos or  favorite blogs during work hours? Many companies have blocked social networks on their office Internet as addicted employees can distract themselves on such sites, instead of focusing on work. In fact, studies show that many companies have lost billions of dollars per year in productivity because of social media addiction among employees [2,3].
 
Relationship and Job impact : Think of the number of relationships that have been broken up over social media. Facebook has become a tool that has seemed to make it easier to cheat, or to do things that cross a boundary in our relationship. Like flirty PM’s with that high school sweetheart we haven’t seen since graduation. Or much more blatant infidelities that are sure to be caught the first time we forget to log out of the computer we share with our spouse. Then there are the sheer number of stupids, vain people on Facebook. But we may be thinking of at least one person who would fit into one (or both) of these categories [2].
If we are not careful, what we post on the social media can come back to haunt us, as did during 2015 Federal election. Revealing personal information on social sites can make users vulnerable to crimes like identity theft, stalking, etc. Many companies perform a background check on the Internet before hiring an employee. If a prospective employee has posted something embarrassing on social media, it can drastically affect their chances of getting the job. The same holds true for our relationships too, as our loved ones and friends may get to know if we post something undesirable on social media [3].
Cyber-bullying and Sexual Predators: The social media is available to predators as well as friends. Kids especially are vulnerable to the practice of cyber-bullying  and sexual exploitation in which the perpetrators, anonymously or even posing as people their victims trust, terrorize individuals in front of their peers. The devastation of these online attacks can leave deep mental scars. In several well-publicized cases, victims have even been driven to suicide [4]. The anonymity afforded online can bring out dark impulses that might otherwise be suppressed. Cyber-bullying has spread widely among youth, with 42% reporting that they have been victims, according to a 2010 CBS News report [2].
Unscrupulous people target us for cyber bullying and harassment on social sites. School children, young girls, and women can fall prey to online attacks which can create tension and distress. We all saw recent  news reports,  police raid in Toronto and Montreal, teens were lured, confined in hotel rooms and sexually  abused  via social media, primarily being Facebook Friends . If we  or out kids and youths are a victim of cyber bullying, do not take it lying down, but try to take appropriate legal action against the attacker [3] .
Privacy Impact: Social networking sites encourage people to be more public about their personal lives. Because intimate details of our lives can be posted so easily, users are prone to bypass the filters they might normally employ when talking about their private lives. What’s more, the things they post remain available indefinitely. While at one moment a photo of friends doing shots at a party may seem harmless, the image may appear less attractive in the context of an employer doing a background check. While most sites allow their users to control who sees the things they’ve posted, such limitations are often forgotten, can be difficult to control or don’t work as well as advertised [2].Poor social behaviour: Being out in public and seeing people on their phones. Seeing them on phones or texting or Facebooking or tweeting or whatever else that keeps people’s eyes glued to their phones. Whether it is grocery shopping, getting dinner with friends or waiting in line, it is just so impolite. It also shows a serious problem with distraction in today’s society [1].  
Conclusion: Social media has its positive impacts as well as negative one.  Over all positive ones are more compared to the negative ones. It is up to us  to use social media  intelligently and consciously to enhance our  professional and social life. Parents need to  guide and exercise caution to ensure that our kids, youths or ourselves  do not fall victim to online predators or cyber bullying or become addicted to social media at the cost of normal social, family and professional life.
1.       http://www.seochat.com/c/a/social/social-media-and-society-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/
2.      http://smallbusiness.chron.com/negative-effect-social-media-society-individuals-27617.html
3.      http://www.business2community.com/social-media/impact-social-media-truly-society-0974685#lyXxwWkZU4PyPetu.97
4.      http://nobullying.com/amanda-todd-story/

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