Monday, December 11, 2023

Fetish for social media

By S.K.Nag

The way people of India are reacting to the ‘WhatsApp’ changed privacy policy as if they have many secrets to hide. A recent post on social media shows our old method of sending open letters (using POSTCARD of Indian post), questioning our privacy concern. People did not have much to hide as we have more personal touch then than now. The matter of ‘fake-emotions,’ which is predominantly manifested on social media, is not a true representation of the state of mind. The ‘Abilene Paradox’ is misleading the society at large. The much ado on privacy issue may be a point of concern for those who really have something to hide. The commoners of India hardly have something to hide.

Social media started its journey with Orkut & scrapbook and gradually trained the users with online communication in faster mode of communication, evolving a community called ‘netizen.’ These ‘netizens’ fall prey to the companies developing social media traction creating a market for them and yielding a fetish among the users for social media communication for everything. Now emotions are fast communicated with various emojis which we never used before.

Human behavior is repeatedly changing over the years. We are still an evolving animal due to many circumstantial changes around us, leading us to adapt to these environmental changes reactively. Some adopt the changes very fast, and some are slow. Likewise thinking fast and slow our migration on social media use changes. Because of such changes, we sometimes forget the right social media etiquette to be followed and end up crossing the decency line, and we get into trouble. So social media behavior is more important than privacy issues.

Yes, it is indeed a serious matter of concern if the Business accounts on ‘WhatsApp’ are affected due to this new policy implementation. Business account users are consequently migrating their accounts on some other platforms. Their data, if shared to Facebook, or they are infringed on some other means, it does not bother them; they can stay put.

Businesses will get two sides of the coin. One way, their data will be shared and result in a fundamental privacy issue. On the other hand, it might get them more penetrative market intelligence due to push sales by AI-driven search engines. These AI-driven market forces sometimes come in very handy in locating an out of box product or service.

Every threat has an opportunity window followed behind. Therefore converting threat to opportunity is the key to business success. Monetising the right way is the need of the current hour where disruption is seen as innovation and resulting opportunity in the end.

Transparency can be achieved by bold personalities or business houses that will welcome all odds and learn to accommodate them. Therefore, it will not matter to them who give a damn to this personal privacy, which is a myth due to digital data everywhere.

So enjoy the ongoing troll on social media.

(Author is Industrial Engineer, Fellow Valuer, Chartered Engineer, BEE approved Energy Expert and Industry Mentor. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at [email protected])

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