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When the wind of globalisation blew across the globe, it brought with it a gust of changes and advancements that no one in the 20th century had thought of; social networking sites. Etymologically, they can be described as dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or to find people with similar interests. With the arrival of the 21st century, these websites and apps have found such essential spots in our lives that we don’t even realise how much and how often we reach out to them on a daily basis.
With around 3.2 billion active users across the globe, these sites have become abodes for like-minded people to connect, talk and grow.
The world of Art, photography, and literature have significantly benefited from these platforms. Best selling poets like Nikita gill and R.H. Sin shot to fame on Instagram, with their words doing the talking for them. Art is no longer confined to the four walls of galleries and museums. Instead, it is easily accessible across the globe through the power of Internet. With new dimensions opening up every single day, the creativity of individuals is outstretched and spreading like a pandemic. The rise of WordPress and Youtube saw the birth of careers like bloggers and vloggers, content creators, and social media influencers. You no longer have to be a trained director or singer to show the world your passion for music or film-making. Social media transforms talent to be an ageless commodity. For anyone, anywhere, can initiate anything. There is something for everyone out there.
Not only this, the world of advertising has witnessed an overhaul. Millions of people can be reached with just one click; effortlessly. Not only have huge business houses had their share of profits, small privately owned businesses’ have also experienced a tremendous boost. Whether you’re selling graphic art or promoting your book, there’s definitely a demand for what you have to offer. Social Media has enabled individuals to capture and monetize that demand and make money off of it, maybe even build a whole empire.
The internet in compliance with social networking sites has given birth to a never seen before phenomenon; international community formation and solidarity. From the #metoo movement to the dreamers protest, from ‘times up’ movement to solidarity for climate change; these sites breed communities that fight for issues that plague the world, in any corner. It strengthens peoples opinions, backs them up with support and often forces governments to take notice of what these groups demand. The LGBTQ+ community is one of the most active group online, asserting and demanding their equal rights.
Politicians and governments are under constant scrutiny for their policies and moves, at all times. The general public is now, much more aware and active; thanks to the easy and quick coverage that sites like twitter and facebook provide. From statements to laws to reforms, your opinion here (online) matters. These platforms are often used to call out wrong doings or actions of organizations and companies that would otherwise go unnoticed. In a way, all of this is making the world a more connected place.
Not only political leaders, but normal citizens too, often become overnight stars when random acts of kindness or gestures of humanity are caught on record, going viral. In a way encouraging the global community to not lose the element of ‘being human’ that lies within them.
All in all, social networking sites and social media have completely revolutionised how we see the world and highlighted how different individuals perceive things differently. It has created a space that has no boundaries, no limitations and no restraints. One platform that brings 196 nationalities and 7.6 billion people together like never before.