Transition of Thoughts

Weaving thoughts into words

Misconceptions about social media in India!

Web 2.0 has gripped the world like never before and even India has slowly but surely welcomed it. It includes social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook, Twitter etc, blogs, podcasts, wikis like Wikipedia and other such new age media which are making it really easy for people to share, interact and converse online.

India has about 55 million Internet users at this moment. Undoubtedly most of them are in the urban areas. Orkut has about 16 million Indian users, Facebook has some 8 million Indian users, Twitter has about 1.8 million Indians on it, more and more Indians are moving onto YouTube to watch podcasts and also taking to blogging – basically a lot of exciting stuff is happening in the Indian Internet industry. Recently YouTube signed a deal with IPL to show the matches of IPL 3.0 live online. Even though it has received mixed reviews, this initiative is indicative of YouTube’s huge and growing popularity in India. There are also a large number of blogging communities in India including Blogadda, IndiBlogger etc.

Even though this field is developing at a good pace in this country, a lot of people still don’t take this too seriously. Many misconceptions regarding social media and Web 2.0 in general exist in this country. Some people think that its just a pastime, some think that it decreases work hours, some think that it only makes people inactive in all the other work in life while most of the people still don’t think that this media can be used for some useful purposes like by companies and above all, all of them feel that this is another means of decreasing the productivity of people in their work life and their daily chores.

Clearing all the misconceptions, I would like to first state one fact – every new technology or invention has good and bad qualities about itself. The onus is on us to use it for a good enough purpose. Eg : When dynamite was invented, no one thought of the bad effects of it. A lot of Indian organizations like Jet Airways, Spice Jet, Kingfisher, Indigo, Paramount Airways, Tata Docomo, Indian Premier League, Airtel, Pepsi India, Idea etc are using this media to reach out to their customers, prospective customers and also their rival customers. The strategy which they normally follow is to listen to the conversations between people on blogs, social networking sites and other media about their products / services. They then engage the interested customers by contests, promotions, schemes, discounts etc and finally converse with them. Many of these companies have started separate social media divisions to handle the complete online media space. These companies also make videos which are meant to be viral that is they could be spread from one person to two, two to four and so on. Examples of use of social media in our country include the Tata Jaago Re campaign, 26th July 2005 floods in Mumbai, 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, campaigns by different NGOs like GiveIndia etc.

A large number of celebrities like movie stars and other public figures like Harsha Bhogle, Shashi Tharoor, Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai have joined Twitter. The best part about Twitter is the fact that it is like an Online SMS service with 140 characters. Unlike Facebook or Orkut where one has to become a friend of a person to know what he / she is talking about, on Twitter one can just follow a person and read his tweets (conversations). This encourages more of a general conversation on different issues when compared to FB or Orkut which are more towards what’s happening in our friend’s lives, our lives etc. This tool has helped me network with so many different types of individuals. Even LinkedIn which is a professional business networking site has a high number of users in our country. This site is being increasingly used by companies to search for the right people for the right jobs.

But as with any kind of new technology, a large number of people do misuse this media in different ways like having false accounts on different networking sites, fooling people by acting as a guy / gal, luring people into prostitution, sex etc, presence of pedophiles’, causing security issues, wasting time on such websites while at work, spoiling one’s personal and social life due to addiction and other such kind of problems. It’s up to the person to know where to draw the line in such a scenario.

This sector is still at a nascent stage in India and is expected to be the sunshine sector in the coming years as it will require more content writers, social media strategists, executives, social media marketers, web marketers, online marketers etc. Social Media Marketing and Online Marketing are expected to be the next big marketing concepts in our country! Do keep watching this space!!

For more details on Social media and social media in India check out –
(This list is not exhaustive but just indicative)

PS – With this social media revolution, a number of indigenous social media websites have also come up like Ibibo, BigAdda etc!


Exams, Exams, Exams – The buzzword these days!


Isnt 3,235 crore a huge amount compared to 36 crores? Then why the hypocrisy?


  1. Anita

    Hmmmmm Seeing social networking sites from a different perspective now. But still in a heart attack mode as exams are going on & u r busy with blogs!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Just a while ago, I received on Twitter a message from CCD asking me to predict today’s Man of match & win Match tickets/merchandise. This is how companies are using social media channels to pull the customers to their portals.

    And of course, we are gradually becoming addicted to social media and this is increasingly becoming part of our routine lives. Inspite of having fever, I couldn’t resist myself to use social media!

  3. Good to see this post, I am not going to post views on the article you wrote but I am glad that you have started putting thoughts together on social media!

    Hope the sessions helped!

    • aseemrastogi2

      thanks for ur encouragement..the sessions were really helpful…since then have started luking at social media from a different perspective 🙂

  4. Lata Singh

    Okkkk.. now, I really liked the line in ur post, ‘one should know where to draw the line’ but how many of us really know to draw the line? Companies are bound to put ban on Social Media Sites as there are people who don’t hesitate to take advantage of Companies’ Infrastructure and still claim themselves ‘Loyal Employee but Underpaid’ 😛

    Even though there are no second thoughts on the significance of social media (no, i am not contradicting my above statement) but jst advocating the fact that one shud know where to draw the line.

    Moreover, to stand clear on those who ignore the efficacy of social media comes into three categories; THE ONES who don’t know much or anything about social media, THE ONES who are interested but don’t know how to use it and lastly, THOSE who don’t believe in the value that a social media strategy can bring to any site or business…

    Last but not not least, very informative post.. Keep Writing and Keep Sharing!!

    • aseemrastogi2

      yeah that is there..i know of organizations who have banned it..but what m trying 2 say is tht today more and more organizations r realising the need of being present on such platforms to reach out to their customers and followers! thanks for the comment 🙂

  5. I was reading my teacher’s blog the other day and was overwhelmed to know that he believes in a principle to the core- “Do not talk about individuals, talk about issues”. I’ve seen him implementing this. On this context, let me address the current Indian media. Everytime when I tackle such issues, I borrow heavily from P Sainath sir, my favorite journalist. It’s long since our country’s media has taken up actual “issues” and done justice with them- price rise, farm crisis and rural injustice being the worst reported till date.

    We live in a country where every issue is reduced to a fight between individuals, heroic, villainous or just fun figures. So the complex issues behind the shunning of Pakistani cricketers by the Indian Premier League have reduced to a fight between Shah Rukh Khan and Bal Thackeray. The agonies of Bundelkhand are not about hunger and distress in our Tiger Economy. They are just a stand-off between Rahul Gandhi and Mayawati. The issues of language and migrations in Maharashtra are merely a battle between Rahul Gandhi and Uddhav Thackeray. And the coverage is all about who blinked first, who lost face. Here I go again, taking lot many names, again.

    As our TV and newspaper reporters blabber, I read somewhere “freedom of expression”. Frankly, we have neither. All we are left off with, is twisted freedom and a tortured expression. Issues today are either used to scare people, or entertain them. And all we do about it is hold a bag of popcorn and watch.


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