Social media here to stay, Twitter and Facebook not just fads
By JO TIMBUONGPETALING JAYA: Social media — blogs, Twitter, Facebook and the like — is not a fad that will burn hot and then disappear. It is integrating with our daily activities the way cell phones and the Internet already have.
And it’s not just for friends to stay in touch with one another. These tools are now increasingly being used for spreading news, gathering information, and building relationships.
“Social media is a normal part of my life,” said Niki Cheong, assistant editor of The Star R.AGE and a self-confessed Twitter addict. He has 1,483 other Twitterers who follow his tweets and 1,613 friends on Facebook now.
“I tweet when I wake up, when I am waiting in line at the bank, during meals, and before I go to bed,” he said.
“Obsessive? Maybe. But I don’t think so. It’s natural to me.”
Cheong was speaking at a talk on social media at the Menara Star here yesterday. The event was organised by the Malaysian Public Relations Consultants Association.
He started into social media as it was the best way to keep in touch with friends and family, some in faraway countries, and to even reconnect lost friendships.
“I just tweet on what’s the best restaurant to buka puasa at this evening, and I’ll get hundreds of replies. I guarantee that,” he said.
Cheong was one of two Malaysians who recently made it into the Top 20 of the Ultimate Mr Twitter World list, which is compiled by the Tweeter Wall site.
Michael Netzley, associate professor of corporate communications practice at the Singapore Management University, who was the main speaker at the talk, said many people were turning to social media tools.
“Twitter and Facebook aren’t just for the Generation Y crowd, you will find Generation X and even Baby Boomers on these too,” he said, warning that the social media tool could be misused with incorrect information being disseminated.
He cited the example of the public outcry in South Korea over mad cow disease when that government decided to allow the import of US beef.