Over the last few years we’ve seen the rise in popularity of social media to becoming something that many of us would choose not to live without. Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube have become staples for our daily life, as necessary as a morning cup of coffee and as widespread as an epidemic. Speaking for ourselves, there isn’t a DStv Online crew member who is not socially connected in some way, shape or form.

Being so well connected via social media platforms has allowed for the rampant spread of news, faster than any news portal could ever hope to achieve. News of the Tsunami hitting Japan was already trending on Twitter before many people even thought to check the news channels.

Death And Tragedy Trumps Newsfeeds

What about the deaths of Bin Laden and Amy Winehouse? How did you first hear about these events and tragedies? It was a quirky comment on Facebook about Amy not having wine in her house that got me reading more; soon to find that newsfeeds were inundated with various commentaries about the poor girl and the nasty habit that stole her life.

The news of Bin Laden’s death literally broke Twitter records. According to Mashable, his death encouraged a record 12.4 million tweets per hour, with 4000 tweets being sent per second during the beginning of President Obama’s speech and just over 5000 towards the end. The power of connectivity and communication via social media now has the ability to thwart any hopes of keeping things under wraps; there is literally no place to hide on the internet!

Good or bad? In terms of keeping the world informed, social media is doing a fine job of making sure that news is accessible and fresh. But the fact that your personal connections determine the validity of news could be the bad side. Case in point would be Amy Winehouse’s drug overdose versus the bombings in Norway. While no one cared about the people killed during these attacks in Norway, the entire world of social media was buzzing with tweets and opinions on how people perceived Amy to have died.

While we love social media here at DStv Online and we’re always keen to hear the latest news via our Twitter feeds, maybe not everything thinks so. What is your opinion?