There was a time when personal computers, mobile phones, GPS trackers and sundry gadgets were only a figment of the imagination. Virtually everything had to be done manually. From stopping over by the roadside a couple of times to ask for directions, to being forced to wait by the phone at home to receive that all important call, to having to search for information in big books at the community or school library.
And if you wanted to buy anything, of course you had to pay a visit to a physical location, be it a supermarket, local store or boutique. The print and broadcast media were the sole sources of news, and you had to pen a letter and send it to a post office to reach loved ones who were far away.
Until the “savior”arrived. The dynamics began to change; now we have a whole new world. One which makes us wonder how we ever survived the archaic era. Thanks to innovation ICT, information is readily at the fingertips, more so with the advent of social media. The virtual communities of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more recently, Snapchat have thrown the windows of information gathering and sharing open to everybody.
Gone are the days when one had to sit in front of a television set or radio to listen to the news. These days anyone can shop from the comfort of their living room by simply downloading shopping apps to their mobile phones. Making deposits, withdrawals, bill payments, and other financial transactions can be done without stepping outside. We are used to all of this now, but as recently as a decade ago, it seemed like a miracle.
Beyond personal comfort and networking, social media in particular has been used as a tool to drive advocacy and change. One that readily comes to mind is the #BringBackOurGirls campaign which morphed from a movement in the virtual community to a massive revolution which transversed several continents. Social media has been used to raise awareness about several causes. It has been integral to raising a new generation of smart, tech savvy, socially aware youths.
With an increasing number of tech geeks and innovators who spend every waking moment thinking up ways to make life easier, things are bound to get even better. The new wave of technology, which will probably be introduced via social media in the near future, is just another reason why you should attend the Social Media Week Conference which comes up at the end of February, 2017.