Rise of Social Media

Befooling people in the age of social media is losing one’s own credibility. Social media is a platform where an ordinary man can express himself/herself without spending any money or without using any influence. One doesn’t have to depend on anyone in power to use the media. Because, no power is controlling it. Should the owners of any popular site decide to exercise any control or should they try to create some kind of influence on any issue, this is bound to be construed as personal agenda. Personal Agenda is against the spirit of Social Media.
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Social media is fast growing only because it is free and fair. Regarding freedom, I reiterate that if there were no freedom of expression, Social Media would never have achieved the popularity it has gained in such a short time. Another very important factor in its favour is that it is participative. Anyone can start a discussion, contribute to the existing one; start a group or join one already there. Besides, it is not just confined to exchange of views or ideas. We can share pictures, movies, audio/video files etc. Undoubtedly, Social Media encourages to be social, to be creative and effective. It is a boon in this Brave New World.
 
Earlier, Television gained its popularity because of the ease of entertainment without the arduous task of going out to the theatre one can watch a programme news or even a movie: all sitting in the comfort of your home. But it took quite some time. Where television swayed the mind of people, lots of program producer emerged. Training institutes for training programme producers also came into being. The channel owners provided the infrastructure and producers created such programmes as would engage the audience. Producers who applied their mind and understood the audience likes and dislikes could make such serials which continued for years. But there is a rub. Some people did find that these serials offer no value and were a ploy to engage them. The TV was termed an idiot for which I consider it is. More on this some other time.
 
But so far as Social Media is concerned, it is also engagement, but it is of a different kind. Here each person becomes a participant if he/she desires to be one. There are always group of people who share their views. There are people who have comments to offer. And as said above, it is not limited to discussions. Sharing of pictures, videos, knowledge on different subjects are both engaging and entertaining. It is for each one of us to make full use of this unique Free Gift.
Thanks for reading.

Changing Habits

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On Sunday 30/3/2014 we had a very useful discussion regarding managing CHANGE in life. The subject was how to inculcate good habits and how to ward off, the bad ones. Each participant was advised to identify 10 good habits of their friends, colleagues or of family members which each wanted to imbibe in their own personality.
At the same time they were also asked to identify 5 bad habits of their own which each wanted to give up. Besides, what efforts have been made so far to give up the bad habits were also to be explained? Since it was a Speech Training Session, the participants were supposed to detail clearly each point with examples.  These examples could be chosen from their own lives or those of others known to them. A heartwarming open and interesting discussion led to a number of conclusions.
First of all it’s necessary to understand how habits work. A habit is a kind of repetitive behavior for which you don’t think. You don’t have to apply your mind to check up anything before you take action. Let’s examine with some examples. If you wake up at a particular time, you don’t need any alarm to remind you. Taking bath and getting ready is also done as a matter of habit. If you were to check the time you take for getting ready everyday it will be more or less the same.  Taking your breakfast fast is also a habit which need consistent efforts to bring about the desired change.
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Does it mean that we cannot change our habit/habits which we want to change? No, it doesn’t. We certainly can with required will and efforts. However some habits can be changed by once own efforts, where as some others require professional help. But in both the situations one needs to adopt a systematic approach. First of all we must state clearly what new habit we want to adopt. It’s always better to write in your journal in clear terms. For example, if you have wanted to go for a morning walk but habitually you get up late, you can change this habit. After writing in your journal about your decision to start doing for a morning walk regularly you must fix up the date for starting. The first few days you may have to use the alarm which will wake you up at a particular time. It’s necessary not to laze around after the alarm. Just get ready and go for a walk. It is said that it is normally take 21 days to form a habit.
Now I give another example. If you suffer from stage fright and you cannot speak to a group by standing up, you need a professional help. You also require a firm determination that you will overcome the stage fright because it is impeding your progress. Further, you must carefully select the professional. It is like going to the right doctor for getting the ailment eliminated. With appropriate efforts and continuous practice one can definitely overcome the bane of stage fright. In today’s environment, it is necessary. In colleges you have to give presentations, and wherever you work, once you are in a senior position, you need to give presentations to your bosses.
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Even if you are an entrepreneur and doing your own business, you need to motivate your staff and for this also you need great confidence. Besides, you must not have any fear of facing the people from the stage.
In my next posting we will take up how to form some other good habits.
Thank you for reading.