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The Social Media Paradox

Article by Suresh Dinakaran

Its like an uncontrolled rash. Its omnipresent, all pervasive and seem to soak in a sea of people both voluntarily and involuntarily. There is almost a feeling of guilt if you are not on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or any such ilk- have I uploaded enough? Am I getting enough likes? Is the wall well populated? Have I mastered the sweet part of the Tweet? An unabashed freedom movement, reborn, rejuvenated, reignited, redressed in a different era and eco system of course.

Amidst the ever increasing din and punch of wanting to connect, express and impress over SM networks, have we lost the true art of being social? The more prolific a person is on the Social Media networks, the less proficient (or so it seems) they seem to be in the real social world. Good old person to person meets or calls seem to be a thing of the past why do enthusiastic, articulate, energetic flag bearers in the SM world retract, renege, resist when it comes to real world interfaces does the cyber world provide a more secure, comforting, facilitating, non intimidating enviornment that allows lesser mortals like me and you be wanted, witnessed, welcomed the jury is still out on that.

There already seems to be an element of fatigue setting in and the efficacy of the SM sites are being questioned.Lets face it- looking at it objectively, for every soothsayer there are several naysayers- that has been the rule of thumb- While there is no denying the profound impact that social media has had on the universe as a whole, has it helped us human beings evolve to be better social animals in real life, still begs the question.

When you see two people sitting in the same room within a few metres of each other engaged in a vitriloic animated thumb talking exercise on their respective BBMs, you really begin to wonder whether the simple pleasures of direct human engagement has seen better days.Or,the increasing general reluctance of people to pick up the phone and talk one one one leaves you bewlidered. ‘Let me text you’- we really are in some texting I mean testing times. Condolence messages on Facebook walls is really the obituary. As they say real life is stranger than reel life, social media life is alien from real life.

Is there a pressure to conform or perform in the Social Media space? Is there a danger of getting left behind? Is it insecurity of not being accepted? Are we so blogged down errr bogged down in our every day quest to be linked in(pardon the pun), we seem to be asking ourself a question- what came first- Social Life or Social Media Life?

Marketing and branding experts are already giving neuroscience a serious revisit virtual errands can make or break brands.For the stray brand success stories, there are many that have not left a mark- is it technique, tenacity, timing or treatment that works? Are we questioning the cognitive? Has the right & left sides of the brain swapped places? Here’s one more for the experts to decipher! Am sure the findings would be interesting. Till then, will have our backs to the wall! Oopss!

Suresh Dinakaran, Group CEO, Ideas Strategy Design Global (ISD Global), a Dubai based new age Advertising Agency in London in Dubai & Brand Strategy Consultancy with operations in UK, USA, India, Vietnam & Mauritius. He is also the Editor of Brand Knew magazine that provides a holistic perspective on the world of brands & branding agency in London. He lives in Dubai with his wife Reshma and daughter Anushka and can be reached at suresh@groupisd.com










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