Social media is something that has become an essential part of all of our lives. We all have a facebook account, or a Google plus one or at the very least may be on twitter, even if only to follow our favourite celebrities. Social media emerged as a platform for sharing one’s thoughts, ideas and pictures. There are numerous forums available now but the most popular ones remain facebook, google plus, instagram, Linkedin and twitter. It has become very fashionable to be online on these forums and nearly everyone knows what social media is all about. Some still shun these sites as they consider it too public and do not wish to invite public opinion on everything they do.


It remains a great channel for discussing thoughts, ideas and lifestyle choices through writing, and sharing pictures. Often enough though social media is a double edged sword that not everyone can handle in the same spirit. Having people in one’s network disclose personal details, events or images that are less than satisfactory can lead to severe consequences for many. People have lost jobs, friends, and even spouses on account of mishandling of social media. Relationship updates, job updates, life events, personal pictures etc must be handled with care and posted with the right privacy settings.

Among youngsters a lot of different habits and practices are prevalent which have added to the confusion and issues surrounding social media. The concept of face book shaming is a particularly sensitive one, where people put up pictures of others doing something they do not condone and then invite mass criticism for the perpetrator. Sometimes this serves a purpose, triggering asocial change, creating awareness and also making people think twice about committing wrongful acts, but it can also be cruel when done to merely target or defame someone. Morphed pornographic content and cases of defamation about famous personalities and their lives is often just the tip of the iceberg.

Social media can be used for a variety of good purposes as well. It creates and molds greater awareness about social issues, problems and stirs people to action. Many individual groups and networks working for greater good are present such as those that have connected families lost during war, or reconnecting with birth mothers of adopted kids etc. It also allows family and friends living in far away locations to share personal moments and pictures with one another. Social media as a forum for change and for advocating better practices is also a good thing.

Many activists have found better momentum and funding through awareness campaigns on face book and other social media. The ALS ice bucket challenge was one such movement, protests against animal cruelty, seeking justice through campaigns and awareness via social media are also gaining momentum. It has become more than a forum for sharing thoughts and ideas and is also great for creating change in society. It is a powerful platform for businesses and start ups looking to get in touch and engage with customers. Social media when used right is a great tool in today’s world.