How does the trend of increasing number of social media influencers affect you? Do you follow people on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter and for what?
Talal Salim al Dhahli, Assistant HSE advisor
The number of influencers on social media is increasing. They are capable of swaying users to any side. This rising trend also many times tricks people into either believing news or getting cheated. I am regular on social media, but I prefer Instagram to others as I get a lot of information on topics such as health, food and tourism.
Ali al Shayadi, Teacher
I think that the increasing number of bloggers on social media is like a double-edged sword. While on the one hand you can get a lot of information on a wide variety of topics, on the other this unfiltered information could land you in trouble as some of it may be false. I am a follower of social media as I think I get to know about a wide variety of subjects.
Haydar Sabeeh Kalash, Lecturer
The increasing users on social media is bound to affect people because some accounts may be fake. These scammers spread fake news to mislead people. Scammers also sometimes steal important personal information and cheat people. Social media users should be cautious when sharing personal details with others and take all security measures.
Hassan al Mannai, Teacher
Most social media applications provide a variety of information and so I follow them regularly and I do get influenced by many opinions. I also follow a lot of blogs on health, religion, Arabic language and teaching methods.
Q2. Do you think you could rely on them for real information, Honest reviews or feedback?
Vinod Raghavan, Communications expert
Depending on social media for facts is sure to land one in trouble. Most of the information or reviews posted online are just personal opinions and must not be taken seriously.
Amal al Lawati, Private sector employee
I do not rely on blogs for information as I know that they are not serious with their work. Most of them give biased information and get paid for what they write. This is done to influence customers.
Jamal Chowdhury, Private sector employee
Bloggers and social media users hardly give honest reviews. Journalism is serious business for which people undergo training. Journalists are taught not to write opinionated pieces. Sadly modern day social media users are more of gossip mongers.
Ridhwan al Battashi, IT specialist
I trust news only from official social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook or television, radio or newspapers.
Sajid Hooti, Businessman
Social media is new age journalism which is in its nascent stage. Though most sites publish personal opinions, there are indeed some that provide facts that sometimes even media houses deny or fail to write about. But I think that one must be wise when following blogs and verify views or news with mainstream media channels.
Q3. Do you think social media has created a materialistic culture, where each one is striving to be famous (by getting as many 'likes' as possible)?
Avinash Nair, Engineer
Yes, everyone wants to appear rich, perfect and happy on social media sites. This may not be the case on most occasions. A lot of people just share one side of their lives. I feel it is a fake world where both likes and followers can be bought.
Nayyar Afridi, Businesswoman
Nowadays, everyone wants to be a blogger or a star on social media. Sometimes young people in their effort to do things different and attract attention land themselves in trouble. Such people are also bad examples for others.
Ashutosh Pandey, Cabin crew
Yes, it has. People lead fake lives and there is a constant need to ‘Check-In’ to show whenever they eat at someplace or boast about the things that they buy. There are so many influencers on social media who try to sell you things or publish biased opinions. Such posts often influence youth to indulge in illegal activities.
Syed Mehar Ali, Private sector employee
With the number of social media users increasing, materialism too is increasing. People are competing for more likes, more friends and more followers. This often breeds negativity and affects youngsters who get influenced easily. I think it is important that people ensure they set good examples on such platforms.
Anup Poojary, Logistics in-charge
Social media has already created a culture where one wants more likes on one's profile or timeline. Such a culture increases unhealthy competition and it is difficult to stop people after a point. There are bloggers who play pranks to amuse followers. Many even end up indulging in unlawful activities to attract attention.
Q4. Do you think original online content (blogs/ reviews) has taken a beating in recent times with people only interested in posting short texts/videos/pics?
Phalguni Bangera, Choreographer
I believe people do not give a lot of importance to text in this digital world. We all have opinions about things and do not want to read what others want to say. We prefer to post or see videos or pictures. It is good to see visuals, but I wished written word was given equal importance.
Rachna Raval, Teacher
It is true that a lot of people are today on apps like Instagram and Snapchat where you don't really have to write anything, and pictures, videos show you the world. Many companies too have switched to online advertising, but they should ensure that products are marketed with enough content for the customer to read.
Sagar Bhatt, Sales representative
The focus on pictures and videos has increased a lot. Everyone seems to naturally master the skill of making videos and pictures and uploading them without any restriction. I am not sure what freedom of speech is leading to. It is sad to see that written content is shrinking and visuals are taking their space. We need to keep the culture of writing alive.
Shivali Truptesh, Homemaker
It is true that content has taken a beating due to various social media applications highlighting videos and pictures. Though it has given everyone the opportunity to share their works, I think the magic of words is powerful than videos. A written piece ensures readers get a comprehensive analysis of a product or service.
Truptesh Amin, Purchase officer
Most people nowadays prefer to see pictures with a small caption or a brief description about an event than a big post or an article. This is probably because there are too many posts to read. Social media may have brought the world together but it is killing the habit of reading with focus on pictures.