An Insight on Social Media in S&T

To begin with, it is correspondingly important to interpret inherent strength of WORD. The word is constitutionally important in the composition of any sentence and ultimately the language, be it any. If the word is shown its way out of a language the residual will be the language of mutes and the deft.  The word, therefore, is the foundation stone on which every structure of a language is built on. The word is precisely the cumulative power of vowels and constants from which the languages are spurted. When word immerses the world dissolves and when the world is created the word is also created. The word therefore is verb as well as a noun. In the age long uninterrupted and all round evolution of human progress, the presence of the word has always been identifiably significant. In fact, in the complete scenario of human voyage the man himself has been trying time and again to make himself significantly identifiable amongst all other creations of this wonderful universe through the inbuilt energy of the word. In the process of all his efforts he ultimately became prelude actor of every moment narrating imprints of human revolution, creation and desertion of civilisation. Some magic like thing  will be absent if I do not quote Shri Madhav Pundlik Pandit who expresses –(Wagave Vishva Bhuvnani Jagye) means in case of expression Brahm is converted into sound Brahm and the power of which as the time goes on becomes the root of cause of manifestation  universe. The organised group of words composes a sentence without which communication is not thinkable.

Now before attempt account for pros and cons of Social Media with reference to Science and technology it would be worthwhile to sneak into chronological evolution of communication. As rightly said that the word communication is derived from the Latin word communis. In other words to gather and exchange information and knowledge about each other is communication. Leaving other sources of communication and as the time passed on the News paper emerged as most powerful agent to share various types of information about say the trade or the international, scientific and technological discoveries and innovations, liquidity and fiscal ups and downs in the national and international markets and most importantly the readiness of military and para military preparedness of countries at war. The speed and level of communication has witnessed changes from ages to ages and is probably due to thought process prevailing at that time. The communication from teacher to student, mail through pigeons and other system entirely adopted reformed methods with the invention of printing press during middle of 15th century and resulting into floods of voluminous news papers throughout the world. These news papers played valuable and measurable role in changing and shaping the world economy and for bringing the world together politically and socially.

The industrial revolution during 1780 and with the influx of numerous scientific and technological innovations like steam engine brought sudden change in the management related thought process in the world both at financial and political levels. 18th and 19th centuries were breakthrough period where devices like telegraph (1792) and radio (1891) ushered in a new era of sending and receiving messages over long distances. The regular broadcast of radio, however, started from Petersburg in America in 1920. The Times of India together with Post and Telegraph started its radio broadcast from the Bombay based office. Though the community radio station were functioning even before independence in India, in 1935 the Agriculture Department started its own radio station in Allahabad. In 1956, Saral Rurals were organised in villages neighbouring Pune. In 2004 Anna University of Chennai started country’s first campus radio. Thus the floods and competition amongst the community radio channels helped in principle the expansion of democratic values in the country. The common people are, therefore, seeking community radio as a media of their expressions and also an alternative means to fight against the professionalism of the main stream media. The community radios therefore in the country where illiteracy and diversities are all around can play very important and challenging role.

The Industrial Revolution of Europe substantially became the booster of television network unevenly in the world obviously because or the way in which the western countries went ahead of Asian and African countries in the technique and production. The development of television was, therefore, directly connected with the availability of technique as well as the wealth. It started in 30th decade in America, Russia and Japan and to start with in Asian and other poor developing countries half of the century passed on. The television in the world first started in British. Even to-day in the matter of television technique and quality of programme British is being considered as standard. B.B.C. was established in October, 1922 by the Britain Premier Wireless Producer including Marconi and on 14th November of the same year the first telecast was made from the London based studio of Marconi. In 1954 the television Act permitted ITV channels which were to be nursed from the income of advertisement. In America television was open for common man on 13th April, 1939 during World Trade Festival at New York. Thereafter Columbia Broadcasting Corporation started two hours transmission. On black and white television transmission were merely on cookery methods, comedies and puppet shows. In 1950 the Conservative Federal Government came into power and in the process to revert all the policies of socialists started commercial based television. However, Australia in the beginning imported American programmes. In Russia which was one of the strongest republic of Soviet, the first transmission of television was done in Moscow in 1939. China the most populated country on the map of the world and century old societies and governed by communists is quite different from the societies of capitalist countries. In Beijing television first started on Labour Day on 1st May, 1958. China even to-day has not permitted private operators to run T.V. channels. In South Asia, India is one of the strongest nations where transmission of television stared in 50th decade but in other countries like Pakistan and Sri Lanka it started with the sport of other countries like UNESCO, China and Japan. Serials are one the best resource to understand the culture and society cob-web of a country. Serials not only entertain the viewers but also infuse thought into their mind and hearts. The first serial on Indian Television was telecasted in 1984 though the advertisements were being shown from 1976 onwards.

The nature is endless treasure of vividness and what is conceivable in the entire universe is very little of it has actually. Colour is one of the finest gifts endowed by the nature because colour shapes our views and enriches our lives with endless variety. The colour mirrors our mood and probably has more influence on our lives than we realise. Human craving for colour has, therefore, inspired artists, inventors, fostered growth of industries, sparked international competitions and manipulated marketers. The scientists and technologists, therefore, started looking at colours inventions in photography, film and television. The evolution of colour T.V. was first described by David E. Fisher of Miami University and his son, a free lance writer, Marshall John Fisher. B.B.C. London for the first time showed coloured transmission on television on 2nd December,1967. Television as on to-day, therefore, has become indispensible media for entertainment, news and for current event coverage around the world, discussions amongst the experts of political, social and various other current  activities.

The chariot of time never stopped but marched ahead in search of innovations and there came another phase of revolution in communication and media. University of Pennsylivania in America developed 1st computer of the world in 1945. It was installed in the school basement covering about 15000 sq. ft.  area. In the technology of this computer vacuum tubes were used which consumed large quantity of electricity. During 1970 by use of semi-conductors substituting vacuum tubes the lighter computers were invented. On invention of micro-chips from its Pailio Alto Research Park situated at Silicon Valley the 1st light computer was invented in 1981. This was a personal computer which could be installed on a small reading table. In 1980 India witnessed a computer revolution during which the Govt and the companies started operating their business with help of computer. In 1984 Rajiv Gandhi brought resolution in the political agenda of Govt. of India. On opening of offices of foreign companies in Bangalore it was known as Silicon Valley of India. In 1995 for the first time India started providing internet services through Videsh Sanchar Nigam and in 2002 was even connected with phone. This made more easier and suitably approachable.

Innovations after innovations, nevertheless, destiny of communication has covered a long way so far. I do recall my childhood scientific game: two match box covers tied at the end of thin thread, one singing a song at one end and other listening in second. During 1980s I struggled hard to get a fixed land line connection installed at my residence. But now the communication is standing at the corridor of great achievements. Today there is no place in the planet earth which is not touched by mobile phone. It is most conveniently reachable and affordable by all and sundry. Martin Coopers an employee of Motorola, made history of mobile phone during April, 1973. This was a bulk instrument measuring about 5” to 9”weighing about 30 pounds. It contained about 30 circuit boards and took about 10 hours to recharge. Talking and listening was comfortable but the display was missing. As to-day we witness the mobile phone improved leaps and bounds helped by improved techniques like ISDN, GSM and the satellite phones.

The power of word, emerging into the news paper, telegraph, teleprinter, radio paving the way for television conjoining internet and use of web-based mobile technologies social media emerged into a powerful tool of to-day’s societal cobweb. The social media, therefore, can be termed as a group of internet based application that build on the ideological and technological foundations of web that allow creation and exchange users generated content. Social media is the media for social interaction as a superset beyond social communication. Social media, therefore, is seen in many forms such as magazines, internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, video and other features. The history of social media is as old as 550 B.C. which has chronologically been described in preceding paragraphs of this article and how its propagation to to-day’s status has been boosted by scientific and technological developments right from the start of Industrial Revolution born on the aftermath of Divine Rights of king in Britain. I am emotionally forced to quote the first sloka of Geeta i.e. The direct and live telecast of world events like Common Wealth games, World cup, Davis Cup and oath taking ceremonies has affirmed belief of Sanjay showing direct events of Mahabharat to Dhartrastra.

The advantages of social media are numerous and can be accounted for as sharing of ideas such as activities, events and interest within their individual net work. This is also being used as communication tool by teachers in their classrooms, forum and groups. The availability of social media services and technologies helps in bridging the communication gaps. The users can search contents, down load and use it in his own ways. Therefore, it serves as a generating content source. Now a days a smaller scale global companies resort to social net working to promote and launch their products. For customers feedback and customers interaction social media networking is perfect tool these days. It is also a important tool for crisis management in case of a nation   or an organisation in the grip of sudden calamities. It is also low cost effective and less time consuming. Social media by breaking communication barriers helps updating forgotten old contacts into fresh one. It has provided opportunity to connect people and build relationships even with unknown people. The popularity and reliability of social media implement can be measured as under:

(a)        Radio took 38 years to reach 50 million listeners.

(b)        T.V. took 13 years to reach 50 million viewers.

(c)        Internet took only 4 years to reach 50 million users, and

(d)       Face Book in 9 months added 100 million users.

Notwithstanding the reliability, popularity and frequent improvement in its scientific and technological concept and design, social media has not ushered in to or  its perfectness of users societal needs and it has its own set disadvantages and a few of them can be summarised as under:-

(a)        Social media has designed tools to peep into the privacy of people. This is rather a serious matter when users are targeted on the basis of their location and age etc resulting into harassment, kidnapping and sometime murder also.

(b)        The increasing use of social media specially by youngsters causing addiction of face book and What App chat and discussing their problems with their friends rather than with their parents is causing family aloofness. Now the drawing room culture is slowly shifting to bed room culture.

(c)        The introduction of new technology and mechanism into auto industry, agriculture, and other manufacturing industries is by and by replacing workers and social media is assuming power of communication, in the sector of advertisement agent is in the process of downing the requirement of man power. The frequent usage of social media can have an influence on the workers productivity.

(d)       The biggest and largest concern is our teenagers addition of spending countless hours on social media sites and not bothering learning the practical knowledge and expertise of every day life.

(e)        The another critical side of social media is sharing of large scale information which can be  downloaded within few clicks and copying of one’s status.

Whatever, the social media has been recognised as 4th pillar of democracy. In modern society and its perception the social media is a complete profession rather than a mission. Despite its utility and enhancement in users area, the law of the land has been sincerely thinking of imposing a rational restriction on social media within the frame of fundamental right of expression. The process to bind social media with limits in India had started well before the independence. The independent India brought legislature like Press Council Act, 1978 and Right to Information Act in 1996 and implemented many other laws as well. To conclude it is worthwhile to sum up that in the entire world the history of social media is about 400 years old. During this period the social media has been so much at the target of social upheavals, political revolutions, colonial expansions, world wars and Govt. penal codes and faced so many criminal and contempt cases as no other system in vogue has faced. Let the social media be at the service of mankind and play vital and crucial role in the nation’s future growth.

Writer: M. L. Mudgal


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