How Can A Social Media Site Change Your Life in China?
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As we all can experience, the influence of the social media world is now becoming more powerful and potent than before. You cannot believe that only a status or a post from a social media site, like Facebook and Twitter can cause different kinds of reactions from online users; the online condition is difficult to be measured accurately. As the most populous country in the world, the impact of the social media platform in China is much greater than anywhere else.
Like other social media sites, Sina Weibo is one of
the channels for the online users to share and express their personal thoughts
towards any specific topics, but at the same time, it has also changed and
impacted many Chinese people’s lives since it was launched. There are many instances
showing that without social media sites, like Weibo in this case, those people
might still be living in deep distress.
In September 2011, a picture of a girl from Beijing was
suffering from a horrible pain from the scars and skin grafts on her face,
arms, and legs. Because of rejecting her former classmate’s romantic advance,
he threw lighter fuel over her and set her on fire which caused her horrific burns.
Once the picture was posted on Weibo, the girl and her family got a lot of
supportive messages, and surprisingly, an offer with unlimited free treatment. Without
the online support and Weibo, it is believed that her family would be very
hopeless of saving her daughter’s life.
Meanwhile, in the same year, there was a massive
debate on the air pollution in China on Weibo. Starting with the general
public, celebrities, and several politicians, those blogs aroused the attention
of the Chinese government. Certain people also suggested buying machines for
NGOs to monitor the air quality in China. One of the people from the debate
mentioned that “the more people discussed this issue, the more powerful they
became” and “Weibo will bring society changes which cannot be stopped.” Without
Weibo, the air pollution problem might not have been altered and solved.
It is believed that the Chinese people are now more
reliant on the influential effect of Weibo; how a specific subject be spread
from the virtual world into the reality, and then take action. However, at this
moment, you may think that Weibo has the exact function of Facebook and
Twitter, which can also increase the awareness of certain issues to the public.
So, what are the main differences and what is special about Weibo towards the
The examples that have been brought up might be some extreme cases, however, they are the evidence indicating how critical the social media world to China. Indeed, compared to the past without social media, the Chinese society has now become more integrated. Chinese people were believed to be merciless and calloused; anyone who died in an accident was not important at all. However, after social media emerges rapidly in China, it brings the Chinese people all together—increasing their awareness and concerns about the country and people. Also, the public becomes more emotional and sensitive to different subjects throughout the country.
Additionally, many of the foreigners may notice that the Chinese people have limited freedom to discuss any issues in China, as there is a rigorous monitor and control by the local government. In fact, Chinese people have opportunities to talk about the environmental and social issues that would affect their daily lives, such as the above examples that have been mentioned. Yet, those sensitive problems especially politics, Chinese people should be cautious. Fortunately, Chinese people have a new platform to express their personal thoughts in order to grab others’ attentions since the past decade —social media sites, like Weibo.
Weibo, as one of the most popular social media sites in China, becomes an essential channel for people to see, read, and communicate. If any organizations want to succeed in the virtual world or stand out in the market, they can use their Weibo accounts to build a closer relationship with the online users. They can grab people’s attention through online campaigns by creating some emotional meanings. For instance, some luxury brands can cooperate with charities and organizations to increase the consciousness of child abuse. This is one of the ways to increase the social awareness to the public.
There is no doubt that the social media world has such a great influence in our daily lives. A post or a blog can already create a great debate to the public. Especially in China, Weibo has changed the Chinese’s attitudes towards the society. It has brought the people all together. As we observe the characteristics of the Chinese online users compared to the past, any recent issues about the environment or society, would arouse the concerns of the people and huge disputes would then occur. Consequently, Weibo is definitely influencing China, and the local people’s behaviors towards the country.