How Social Is Social Media?

People join a social media network to socialize they say. But to what extent do they?

The other day when I accessed my FB account, I realized that there were a number of pending friend requests and then I couldn’t help thinking- What is holding me back from accepting those requests? Yes, I am not familiar with those people, but isn’t that a major part of socializing?

Perhaps, the reason behind you customizing the number of viewers for your posts is because you feel uncomfortable in sharing it with people, even in your friend list. There have been cases wherein a third party has been able to view your photos/videos/posts, which were not meant to be viewed by them. The question that remains is- Is your account on the social media websites only meant for socializing with friends and known people or others as well? Of’course, for the people you are familiar with.

Social media is a type of online media that facilitates conversation unlike traditional media. Traditional media delivers content but doesn’t allow readers/viewers to participate in the creation or development of the content. Agreed that your activities on social media  are influenced by/influences those who are aware of your presence. People join a social media network to socialize they say. But to what extent do they?

While you search for a tip to protect your privacy on  social media website, over the internet, you get a number of results; most of them telling you how to change your privacy settings. Apart from the privacy settings, there also are results that advice you on whom to include in your network. If your list includes only family, relatives and friends, why not share your photos, videos or opinion over mails or hangouts?

It’s quite intriguing. There are a number of people out there who use social networking as a means of career networking. You’re into media and want the world to know about your skills/talent. So, you make a video of a song sung by you, music being given by a friend of yours and make it visible to the public. Wait! There’s more to this. To choose posts that show up on your profile, you change the privacy setting to “review posts before they appear on their profile.” Hah! And I thought there were websites specifically designed for updates regarding your career.

An editor with a leading media website on being asked whether he would allow strangers to be a part of his friend list says, “Simple. Why would I put my life in jeopardy in accepting a friend request from somebody I do not know. Even if it were a case of a pretty girl sending that request, I would neglect it and report it to Facebook.” A marketing executive with the same organisation had something more to say- “I don’t want updates from unknown people. Moreover, I am very particular about account security.”

As for myself, I believe that sharing my posts/pictures/videos with anyone and everyone out there is something I am not comfortable with. For me, social media is that platform where I can share things only with a confined set of people whom I know or am familiar with.


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