Social Networking in India: A New Ecology
Posted: Apr 25, 2017
The 1960s gave us the term ‘Media Ecology’ which means the study and understanding of various media forms, their impact and their relation to the human environment. In this media ecology, a new kind of media has recently been added. Its impact can be seen across the globe including India. This new media does not know any geographical boundaries, an example of which can be seen by the presence of many upcoming online portals and the presence of many major websites including the top 10 social networking sites in India.
So, is there any way to really classify this new media or digital age media? The answer could be found by going through the essays of Media Theorist Marshall McLuhan who simplified the impact of media in two categories:
- Hot Media – that refers to those media that involve little or no participation by the masses. For e.g., film, radio
- Cool Media – those that require the audience or masses to stay active and involved. E.g., Television
Social Networking in India is in a fairly nascent stage and following observations can be made from it:
- The growth of entertainment mediums has not slowed down whether they are cool or hot. For example, radio has grown over the last 15 years in India with many private FM channels coming up. Similarly, Television has expanded considerably with the arrival of set-top boxes and digitization.
- Communication on social networking sites is both active and passive. Some sites allow users to do nothing and just require one sense like ‘seeing’ to give information. While other sites make the user to thoroughly engage in debates and discussions and share their work. However, if there are sites that provide a platform for personal and professional networking under one umbrella. These may contain free music,
- A new form of a combination of networking has emerged which combines entertainment and business together. A huge amount of user base exists which helps generate massive traffic to these sites. This has led to the setting up of start-up companies as well who use social media to their advantage and inform the public about their company or product. Hence, causing a whole new ecosystem to run on the world wide web.
So where does a search engine or a social networking portal that people use for getting games, movies, or latest music songs, fit in? Is it cool or is it hot? And how does it fit in the bigger picture of media ecology?
Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the middle. New media is neither hot nor cool due to the diversity of websites and the way they engage with the public. This fits the definition of media ecology better as all new media has become a medium that supports other forms of media instead of canceling each other.
Learn more about the changing face of social networking and entertainment by visiting www.sabakuch.com
I am Richa Jha. I am writing this article on behalf of Sabakuch.com.