Is the sight of rapid movement of fingers or blink of the eyes common? Mostly, in old time movies or fantasy comics. Purpose? To convey something. Or communicate as it is today known as. In the real-world, such means to communicate is now passé. From sign language using hands, facial expression, and whistling using the tongue to use of birds and messengers to telegram, postal services and now digital devices, communication has come a very long way. At every stage of human evolution, communication evolved – so did means of communication. In fact, the ability to communicate is seen as one of the greatest strengths how we have evolved.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp that were unheard two decades ago are the face of communication today. All one needs is a smart handheld device equipped with mobile Internet. That’s all! Time zone, location, cross country, or even cross continent – there are no barriers for communication using these platforms. Yes, of course, high configuration desktop and laptop computers work too, but are not needed. These means of communication is a wonder for the generation who used operated-connected telephone or telegram for long-distance communication. And, that too the communication would be brief due to jerky quality and the cost factor. How are these platform different from each other?
Strangely, these platforms are used by all age groups with some distinction from the use of one more by a certain age group than the other. Developed for social relationship, social media as these platforms are called do much more today. Facebook – one of the first of these created history. It was the first ever freely available platform for people to remotely connect with their dear ones, and lost ones too. It was a rage among Internet users worldwide. Men, women, young, and old created a profile, with former references for their old pals, lost family members to find them. Men, women put alma mater photos, women put their maiden names to be found by their school time, college time buddies.
“And, the use of Facebook is not limited to the tech-savvy young urban individuals, or the educated who are willing to keep up with advancements. Practically anyone with a smartphone and data plan is aware of Facebook. “Facebook par ho kya?, Maine Facebook par dekha hain” it goes like this in India. People use Facebook to share photos, birthdays, announcements, events, memories, or simply to stay connected. It’s a great way to stay connected, know what’s happening in the lives of friends, family, distant relationships, or even acquaintances who are far away but very much in the heart.
Instagram today is one of the most favorite communication platforms of the young. Teenagers, young adults create personal profiles to showcase their choice of music, entertainment, personal style, books and more on the platform. Individuals create a following and follow individuals who share common interests. The people, groups they follow may be known to them or may not be known. Individuals write on each other’s posts to share views, express interest, or simply like it. What a cool way of communication? Isn’t it.
And, it is a great platform for small businesses, entrepreneurs to reach out new consumers. Today, for the tech-savvy, it is important to obtain views, feedback of new products, merchandise. Instagram users use the platform to know details of new products directly from manufactures; they also discuss pros and cons of new products, express opinion which product manufacturers use as feedback.
From WhatsApp to Whatsup – the twist in name in India
Another platform that has created storm for communication is WhatsApp. Each and every smartphone user on the planet spends a couple of hours on WhatsApp each day. For communication between two persons, three persons, or n number of persons. Family groups, friends groups, work-related groups, alma mater groups, teach groups, business groups, school groups, and many more – the popularity of the platform is unparalleled. Young, old, middle-aged, senior citizens, and sometimes young children too .
It has become the de facto means of communication, to exchange messages. And, it is so easy too. Almost every individual who has a role in our everyday functioning is using Whatsapp; unwittingly, in India, because of vernacular barriers, among the less educated, or the ones who use English sparsely, the platform got a twist in its name to be called ‘Whatsup’. The long stretch in the last part of the word shortened unknowingly, and that’s how it got picked up from one to the other. “Whatsup kar do”, as it goes commonly, in a large part of the population.
WhatsApp has been a boon for working professionals. Individuals can chat, voice call, and even video call with their co-workers in any part of the world just by a simple few taps on their smartphones. And, with high-speed communication networks, the connection happens in a jiffy. Voice quality and video quality is superb to believe if the call is between two continents.
Ain’t we reached far for communication? But it does not end here. There are more to the list Zoom, Snapchat, Twitter, and WeChat. And, there will be more on the list over a period.
Now, the question is if the new-age communication platforms are keeping to the principles of true relationships, honesty, grace, and respect. So much is the popularity of these communication channels, they have become popular medium of political discussions, social views, matters of education, relationships, and what not. Certainly, the use of these platforms is free, to express views, to voice opinions, because it’s public. But not to the extent to disgrace or be disrespectful to someone. Individual judgment matters!!