Thursday, November 19, 2015

Being "Social" Media - Don't Filter your Impact!

I firmly believe that each one of us live off 3 fundamental urges of: Need for Recognition, Narcissism and Empathy! Though the degrees varies from person to person.

Facebook (referred to as FB intermittently in this post) as a company probably relies on these / feeds off it, to ensure it's existence! As a marketer I'd give them a hats off for tapping into this so successfully and sustain-ably growing from strength to strength. They seem to have found the right mix of these to ensure that the majority of us, feel FB is a part of our life now. Be it Sharing Photos, Checking in to let your world know where / with whom you are, Venting anger, Voicing public opinions, Keeping in touch and Umpteen other smaller (yet important) emotions that appeal to us at a given point in time!

They sure do deserve Kudos for their success when you look at it:
- As a Business,
- As a platform to improve communication
- As another step in bringing the world closer

but like every entity, FB has it's own pitfalls! One of them, which is glaring to me as a person is what Facebook currently calls 'Profile Filter'. They ride on the current wave of public opinion and the fact that people want to show their support (get on the right side of their misguided conscience) and let them apply a filter and feel they've done their bit!

My 2 cents on this (I've heard this phrase way too often in the last few months to not use it in at least 1 post (:) -
1) Applying a Profile Filter is nothing more than one wanting to garner acceptance socially! Yes, as a person you're only feeding your 'Need for Recognition' with this
2) FB as a company, could've done just a little more and ended up being exponentially more effective!

I agree for campaigns like Digital India, they couldn't have done too much more to help (not that I vouch for a profile filter being used here, but that's for the business minds of FB to decide). But when it comes to issues like the Nepal Earthquake or the current Refugee Crisis, FB could've done more than just turn a blind eye!!

They could've given people a simpler way to contribute (monetarily) and in return give the user an option of a profile filter. They could've made it both easy (one click) and transparent to ensure the actual cause benefits from this support! That is like a badge showing you've done the least you could and you're urging (spreading awareness) others to follow suit.

During the Nepal Earthquake, they could've had a simple click to contribute to the rebuilding. Once a person contributes (however small), he gets to apply a Profile Filter.
Similarly for say the current Refugee Crisis, click to contribute to their interim welfare!

This feature however small, would've actually benefited millions (not to mention the immense positive business impact for Facebook). This would've tapped into our third fundamental urge of Empathy, and left a deeper / lasting impact on all of us.

Then in my opinion, Facebook would really be "social" media! (pun intended)

Monday, November 2, 2015

An Indian Citizens Voice - The 'New Category' of people!

Responsibility is something we're ingrained with right from childhood. If you're the older sibling you're even told a million times if not more, that "your younger ones are watching you, so please conduct yourself properly!". As we grow (and become so-called 'more mature'), we learn to handle this weight of responsibility better! We learn to conduct ourselves with dignity, we become more tolerant, we learn to respect everyone for what they are and most importantly we learn how NOT to be judgemental!

However, lately what I've noticed with this 'New Category' of people baffles me! It makes me wonder if rules are different for this 'New Category'? Whether they grew up in the same society as me? Whether they're another kind of species? Sometimes I even assume that this 'New Category' of people are the sole reason for the existence words like dimwit, blinking idiot and a cartload more of all the junk you can attribute to them.

This 'New Category' of people unfortunately for us have their voices heard every where and this ends up being detrimental to all of us! I've encountered them lately in multiple folds:
  • One genius who belonged to this group, blamed women for rapes and asked them to dress up "decently", instead of asking the imbeciles who rape to keep it in their pants!
  • Another one instigated the lynching of a man just because he heard a rumour (which of course ended up being false). What's worse? The rumour wasn't about this man being a terrorist OR raping someone OR being a murderer, rather it was about him having beef (again, even if he indeed had Beef, I don't see how it's anyones' bloody damn' business to have an issue with that? Moreover, if a cow is holy to you and you don't want to eat Beef, then don't - simple as that! How on earth can you force others not too? What if plants are holy to someone, will you stop eating vegetables?)
  • It goes worse when another few in this category resulted in our nations relationship with the harmless, always cordial and a wall of sorts (with China) country Nepal going to the dumps!! But again, I was expecting too much, right?? As it's this same set of individuals who failed to keep a good working relationship with a group of students (FTII). So I guess I'll safely assume Nepal was too much to handle for them?
To a bunch, these are just politically motivated instances / bad PR. But, let's all for a second, forget the political landscape and just consider only these specific individuals and their actions. Look beyond the clutter (with no prejudice) and you'll also notice how more than anything this 'New Category' of people are making an impossible future for us! Majority of us (including me) generalise, so you can only imagine what the rest of the world is doing? For them these individual incidents define our country.

I've lately been fortunate to be able to travel across the globe (predominantly for business). I met this enterprising (old only by age, young at heart, and sharp as a knife with business) Australian Investor at the beginning of this year, and again bumped into him last month!

If I'm to sum-up my conversations with him between both our meetings, then it would go from:
"India's new leadership seems to be promising and flamboyant. I guess it'll be very good for your country" (trust me, when you hear this from an outsider it'll make you beam with pride)
"The safety concerns is making me re-evaluate my investments in India!" (and here's where you feel let down)

As an Indian, all I can hope is that common sense somehow transcends to this 'New Category' of people! They've been fortunate to be so eminent, followed and looked to as leaders (in their own right), so I think it's time they behave responsibly and do justice to this unique opportunity they have. It is a cross road of sorts, a strategic inflection point! They now have reached a point where they'll leave an indelible mark on our country.

Whether that's for good (every Indian citizen sincerely hopes for this) OR bad is something only time will tell?

Note: I'm writing this post as a citizen of this country and NOT vouching for OR pointing fingers with any political agenda, whatsoever! It's never been my intentional to hurt anyones' sentiment OR belief. This post is just calling for every citizen to stop thinking politically for a moment and think about it as your future and that of generations to follow!