People are still learning to deal with the internet. It’s a whole new medium of communication with which we have no previous experience. Lacking any sort of reference makes using the tools presented within cyberspace a process of trial and error. Although, most of the lessons learnt are the result of a horrible mistake.
More after the break.
Thankfully, we are capable of learning from mistakes; both ours and others. If anything these are the top five things that we have learnt from the internet in 2013
1. Social media is a great way to damage your brand
Almost everyone expects you to be online; and interacting with customers no less. In theory, this is a great idea because it allows for a large amount of feedback about your company without having to engage a third party to do research. Provided that, naturally, you are capable of receiving criticism constructively.
If you, or your “social media expert”, is unable to handle negative comments constructively, you may end up with what happened in the Paradigm Mall incident. That wasn’t the only example of a local business losing its cool over a complaint, as Bangsar based café Les Deux Garcon also ended up making the same mistake.
The lesson here is possibly that social media should be handled like a live grenade: carefully, and only thrown when there is an intention to clear the room.
2. People will believe anything they read on the internet
This is not new, but it’s worth repeating. People have a tendency to believe what they read. It could simply be something as harmless as one of the many hoaxes that had people fooled (like the baby foetuses in China). Or it could be the genius that is 4chan who convinced hundreds of iPhone users that the iOS7 update would make their smartphone waterproof.
One day we might even learn to verify sources before sharing. But one step at a time.
3. Someone is always watching you
NSA spying scandals aside, the web was full of stories pointing out how various organisations and businesses are tracking people. Ostensibly they want to know how to better serve these customers, although stalking them may not be the most polite way of doing it. Facebook is even trying to record what their users don’t post as status updates.
American spies were even accused of infiltrating MMORPGs to monitor possible terrorist activities there. Yes, World of Warcraft is on a watchlist. No bit of the internet goes unwatched; although that doesn’t mean all of it is worth watching.