Anil Thakraney: Sandy goes social

02 Nov,2012

By Anil Thakraney


Sandy did sound like a scorned woman, and she did bring the US East Coast to a halt. Thankfully, her fury was short lived, and cities and towns in the region are already back to near normalcy. However, thanks to her popularity on the social media, for that one day, we were all New Yorkers and New Jerseywallahs, as the world came together on Twitter and FB to bond with those affected by Sandy. The social media also helped local residents stay in touch with their near and dear ones across the world. I personally know of a few Indians who stayed connected with their NRI family members on Twitter. And that’s such a wonderful thing.


Compare this with what usually happens. I often tear my hair out over the posts many people put out. Utter rubbish goes on in the social media, and I have come precariously close to disconnecting my account. This is what I call social media abuse. People continuously posting drivel about what they are thinking, where they are lounging, the song on their lips, the dinner menu and the usual quotes from those dead and long gone. I often feel this abuse will one day be the death of this hot new medium. And I hope folks understand this before it’s too late. Because, as Sandy showed, the social media can play a very important role in a crisis.


Just imagine the likely scenario if Twitter and FB were around during the 9/11 attacks. Or if they were as popular as they are now, when 26/11 happened in Mumbai. The furious networking would probably have helped locate the victims faster, and this could have helped save some lives. Not to speak of the emotional succour the social media offers when a person is facing trouble. You will experience its awesome power when (god forbid!) the next ‘shock & awe’ campaign breaks out.


I sincerely hope people realize the importance of the social media and quit screwing this space. No one wants to know what you plan to eat for dinner. Repeat, no one. And if your ‘friends’ are showing some interest, it’s either because they have a hidden agenda or they simply want to indulge you. The sooner you get this, the better.




PS: Hee hee hee. I love this idea. LG, for their ‘lifelike’ monitors, conducted an experiment inside an elevator with hilarious results. What an outstanding product demonstration, it makes an otherwise cold product come alive. However, I would slip in a word of caution: If someone suffered a heart attack in the process, no one would be laughing at this stunt. And it could bring the brand a great deal of misery.


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