By Shraddha Sankhe:
It is not about my mom who loves Skype because that’s the only way we ‘meet’. It isn’t about Google chat where I discuss what’s for lunch with my roommate on a relatively lucky day. In fact, I should not have been surprised at all. I was expecting my weekly assignment grades in an email from a professor. He preferred to tweet me instead. That summer internship application for 2012 was sent via LinkedIn Jobs (resume too).
Remember how an email would contain a salutation, an introduction, a little message and a conclusion. Boring? Yes, vintage too.
Blogs redefined the limits of human opinion and creativity. Noticed how Facebook Timeline made us sit up and notice the power of a human ‘story of a lifetime’? It’s raining innovation-all in communication! Yes, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity still holds some meaning even after CERN’s newest finding. But nobody cared more than they did for Google Plus’ worldwide release. Then Facebook launched the Timeline, first with a video discreetly giving out details to TechCrunch, Mashable and other tech blogs on ‘how to activate Timeline’. Amazon has websitized (a cousin of “humanized”) the concept of Content Is King by launching the Kindle Fire. Wait a minute, iPhone 5 will be on your newspaper’s front page 3 days from now. Phew!
Remember those slam books? I would run behind my favorite teachers in school and ask them to fill in those crafty books. Then I would read them and gossip about the ‘favorite movie’ jotted down by ‘that girl’. My best calligraphic skills came out when I made greeting cards for the best friend. Every year was a newer task, a better gift to collect and hey, I actually bought red ribbons for my pals on Friendship Day! I don’t do that anymore. I save money, paper and time. I use Facebook. Last, I wished a friend living two apartments away (on the same floor) without even visiting his Facebook wall. Thank you for the newest settings, Zuckerburg. And thanks for inspiring Zuckerburg, Google Plus! Yet emails are still boring.
If you’re aspiring to be somebody, the best way is to broadcast your ambitions and face your inhibitions. I wanted to be a journalist after messing with Chartered Accountancy. I tweeted. And heck, I loved what journalists tweeted. I believed broadcasting views (and rants) was the way to go. But just as I garnered over a thousand followers, I stopped ranting. No. I only stopped tweeting rants. Now I have a secret blog. Has the world crashed for the broadcast mindcasters? Now I tweet news and write a million emails. We are a lot more private because of the bigger networking avenues. Hence the ephemeral use of “settings” as a noun!
In Journalism, I am taught that Objectivity is a norm; a Biblical virtue. Social networks teach us that transparency is the new objectivity. In fact, social interaction has been the most underrated virtue of social networks. My dentist room mate is hooked on to Dr. Atul Gawande’s tweets and my engineer friend gets free educational posters from NASA’s web blog. Surprise birthday parties are morphed (badly) by Facebook events and Google is the new grandmother–all created and answered by real humans. Recently, Kodak, the photo-film company, filed for insolvency because of prevalence of digital photography. Will an (another) innovation kill social networks which is primarily us, the products? Wait a minute! Are WE the products of the social networks? Do they use us to sell advertisements and concert tickets? Should we be okay with it? I think so. Because content is the king. Try following nobody on Twitter. Perhaps zero friends on Facebook send a better message. October is here. iPhone 5 is releasing. And my current phone just conked off. Coincidence?
About the author:Â A J-student, obsessive tweeter, passionate writer, podcaster and a blogger, Shraddha is a new media addict and the Mumbai Editor at YouthKiAwaaz.com.
Shraddha is doing her bit to help create enough ‘chatter’ in the matters of Rural Development, Health & Sanitation, Social Awareness coupled with solid Economic Reforms. ShraddhaÂ will shortly be pursuing her MA Journalism at Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, USA from 2011-2013. She is also aÂ Fellow at Health Communication Research Centre, Missouri state, USA.Â Shraddha will bring her global experience in health and science journalism to the Missouri School of Journalism as she begins her Smith/Patterson Fellowship for the 2011-2012 year. She is the first international student to receive this honor. More about the fellowship atÂ http://journalism.missouri.edu/news/2011/05-17-smith-patterson.html