Initially, Facebook, and any other social media platform for that matter, was created with the core purpose of socially connecting people – from locating family members to sharing photos, videos, messages and updates with friends. For example, world-leading search engine, Google’s primary purpose is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
The Social Dilemma
The recent docudrama film, The Social Dilemma, has made its way to everyone’s Netflix recently-watched list, where former employees sound alarm on the dangerous impact social networking has on society. But, let’s be honest, even if you’re not fully submerged into the digital sphere, you somehow knew about the impact it already has.
We see it daily, where face-to-face communication is becoming an unfamiliar concept with everyone’s faces embedded into their smartphone screens, waiting for the next update to appear. Children barely play outside – sitting around and anticipating their next ‘screen time’. Everyone is hooked!
Is this such a bad thing? Honestly, we believe it’s what you make of it.
Technology and Customer Needs are Evolving
Technology is evolving, and we’re in the 4th Industrial Revolution, and whether you know it or not, you’re already a part of it. Let’s talk about Netflix in a nutshell; it charges you a monthly subscription fee to harvest the type of person you are by what you watch. Using analytics, they predict your demographic and psychographic information which leads to programme suggestions according to that very information they were able to gather. Utilizing data to make things easier and more convenient, for you.
Customer needs are changing continuously, and organisations need to stay ahead. Using data, where the customers have already opted-in, provides organisations (aligned with the POPI Act) insights into who their target market is, what their interests are, and how to efficiently and conveniently offer them what they want, in an ethical, professional manner (or so we hope).
Social Media is more than just a tool, it has become a lifestyle. How many hours a day do you spend scrolling through your feed? Quite a lot and who wouldn’t? With the benefit of taking a breather from the harsh realities of life, and escaping to the virtual world of happy faces and hilarious memes.
It’s our way of keeping up to date with what’s happening all around us, and yes we encounter fake news, which is, unfortunately, a part of it too. But it’s everyone’s responsibility to question the credibility of a source before taking action by liking or sharing it – contributing to havoc.
The fact stands that social media is here to stay; it’s not a case of deleting everything by hitting a button. Now more than ever – businesses depend on it, it’s some people’s livelihoods, and for others, it’s a way of finding exactly what they want and need – quickly and conveniently.
The just of it all is that social media is here to stay, but you have the ultimate choice on how you plan to utilise it. Like everything else in life, the choice is yours.
Read Facebook’s official response to claims made in the documentary here.