The good, the bad and the ugly of social media

Decrease in personal interaction and other risks associated with children using social media platforms were among the concerns expressed during a panel discussion on Saturday.

During the recent deluge in Chennai, residents shared photos and videos on social media sites. Sorav Jain, Thinker-in-Chief echoVME, said that through citizen journalism of this kind, people were able to draw the attention of a larger population living outside the State to the problem here.

The panel discussion – ‘Social Media- Not for me!’ was organised by Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Making a case for the benefits of social media, Mr. Jain said that apart from consumers of content becoming publishers, social media also enabled personal branding and provided other opportunities. “While recruiters are able to find potential employees through targeted advertising on social media sites, users get an opportunity to market and sell themselves better online as well. Instead of completely shunning it, we need to focus on how to be more responsible and safe online,” he said.

R. Vittal Raj, partner, Kumar and Raj, and member of ISACA which deals with information technology governance, argued that social media was not for everyone. Stating there was a Facebook de-addiction centre which was recently established, he further spoke about how there was a decrease in personal interaction ever since the “virtual presence” of many had begun to grow.

“With regard to the increasing number of children who are using social media platforms, there is a need for more safety and monitoring,” he said.

Subhasri Sriram, Executive Director and CFO of Shriram City Union Finance limited, said that while the internet and social media boom had brought in cheaper products due to a decrease in marketing costs, the fact that one’s information was out there for anybody to view and track raised concerns. “While we might have our reservations about it, social media is here to stay and it depends on how we use the platform,” she concluded.

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