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It was a social network

Preethi Ravi, Dec 31, 2014, DHNS: 21:24 IST

Powerful impact

Popular: Social media played an important role in the lives of youngsters this year. DH Photo
A popular line goes — ‘Once you put it on the internet, it is there forever’. 2014 was the year of apps, hashtags and of course selfies.

In short, it was a digitally driven year that saw social media take control, in a never-before-seen way. ‘I tweet therefore I am’ was the motto that was ‘trending’.

There were apps for health, education, safety, agriculture, public services and even dating! The power of a tweet, with a mere 140 characters, was clearly proven last year. So was the usage of hashtags extremely popular the world over.

The #IceBucketChallenge, a task undertaken for a good cause, became a rage across the world. #Kissoflove was another controversial movement that attracted a lot of attention.

According to Jayadevan, a media professional, “Twitter is an urban phenomenon yet it has a limited reach. There has to be a lot of grassroot level work in order to reach out to all those who don’t have an access to the internet. The reach of Facebook, Twitter and social media can be all the more thanks to newspapers and television.”

Even during the election campaign, the social media played an important role. Thanks to the various political figures taking to Twitter in 2014, the year also saw a lot of youngsters participating in politics.

For many youngsters, social media became a major source of information. Amera Sailani, a student of St Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, says, “If there is breaking news, social media is the first thing that I would turn to. I get most of my news from there. When people post something, there are others who comment and we get to see different points of view, which really helps.

But one should also know how to separate the relevant information from the rest.”

So what could be the upcoming trends of 2015? Jayadevan says, “One can see more government officials using social media to reach out to the public. False information spreads like wildfire and social media can make it worse.”

Derek Francis, a professional, says, “Social media is a platform where people can freely express their views. If the views lead to a discussion, others will surely join in. But any form of discussion is always good.”

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