The world is rejoicing over the death of one of the most wanted terrorists in history, Osama Bin Laden. How did you hear about the breaking news? Chances are most of you found out when you logged onto Twitter or Facebook like CNN anchor Piers Morgan. Twitter users reportedly sent more than 4,000 tweets a second discussing Osama’s death! A decade ago when the search for Osama began the most immediate source of news was television. I remember when 9/11 happened I was a senior in high-school and we were glued to the TV all day. Today, all you have to do is log onto twitter wherever you are and you get news in real-time, it’s not just about following your favorite celebrity or stalking your ex-best friend’s FB profile. Having said that remember to follow @MissMalini for your daily dish on Bollywood and beyond :)
Recently, Facebook was a key tool in spreading awareness of the Egyptian Revolution and most claim the reason it began was thanks to the Facebook page “We are all Khaled Said” started by internet activist and Google employee Wael Ghonim. To think that a government was overthrown thanks to a medium like Facebook shows that it’s valuation at $1 billion is pretty legit!
Twitter is only 5 years but everyone from celebrities, to politicians and business honchos have joined the Twitter bandwagon. Celebrities are forced to join Twitter to promote themselves and forthcoming projects while normal people are becoming celebs overnight because of their illustrious Twitter accounts. Justin Halpern started the account @shitmydadsays while he was a semi-employed comedy writer. With the gaining popularity of the account Justin’s account was turned into a best-selling book and CBS adapted it into a prime-time sitcom. On a more serious note a Pakistani IT employee, Sohaib Athar (@reallyvirtual) living in Abbottabad ended up tweeting about the attack on Osama Bin Laden without knowing what was really going on!
Twitter was a God-send for family and friends all world-over while trying to get in touch with people in Japan when the horrifying Tsunami struck – while phonelines and electricity went off internet availability was intact. Even though Facebook and Twitter have benefitted millions for various reasons, with the good also comes the bad. Jobseekers and college applicants have to be extremely careful about what they say in their Facebook status and what pictures they put up since there is a large possibility that their future employer or college admissions officer will go through their profile. It would be a pity if you lost out on your dream job-because of your wild weekend in Goa. It’s hard to keep track of the number of celebrities who have been falsely declared dead on Twitter like Shashi Kapoor and Jackie Chan. Social media has no longer remained a frivolous forum where you can stalk your favorite celebrities or play animal farm, it’s changing the entire media spectrum.
Psst! And as Punit Sarda pointed out on MissMalini’s Facebook Wall. The Anna Hazare Campaign in India worked so well because of social media. With more than 1 million people supporting the campaign online on different social media platforms, the Indian Govt had no option!