By Ekta Mukhi
In the exact words of American columnist Erik Qualman, “we don’t have a choice on whether we do social media- the question is how well we do it”.
About a year ago, Pakistan had been predicted to move into a new era of social media usage. Accurately enough, in January 2013, Branding Bees published analytics about Pakistan’s increasing use of several social media platforms such as: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
With over 1.5 million users on LinkedIn, 8.1 million users on Facebook, and the Three Twitterati; Imran Khan, Dr Tahir ul Qadri and Ali Zafar being the most popular celebrity on twitter, Pakistanis have been creating quite a buzz lately.
Social Media has primarily not just changed the way we communicate, but the way we act as well. Perhaps it’s the liberalized media outlets through which citizens of Pakistan can raise their voices and now actively engage in discussions. Ali Zafar, known as an elite Twitterati, with over 208,000 followers is referred to as the cultural ambassador for Pakistan, never failing to promote peace and motivate his fans. He is one of the few celebrities in Pakistan that has always been vocal about his opinions on issues that concern the country and its state. Not very long ago, this multi-talented artist was fervently campaigning on Twitter for the cut on the entertainment tax imposed by Pakistan’s government on all entertainment events, he explained that this was a restraint in the growth of artists and performers, who form the core cultural representation of Pakistan’s identity.
Some telecommunication companies have even started projects to provide Internet access to underprivileged students in rural areas via mobile phones. “The quickest and easiest way to get someone to use the Internet is through a smart phone.”
Good or bad, everything is left unexposed once it’s on a public forum. This may be the beginning of the Pakistani youth to use social media channels, as a way to take charge and partake in revolutionizing their country.