Impact of social media on elections

 After stepping into a new decade 2021, if we reflect back on what we have achieved in the last decade then undoubtedly it's the social media and how it is influencing us in everyday life. I will go over the societal influence in another post as in this post I want to talk about how Twitter and Facebook are effectively meddling with the elections in the US and around the globe. 

Last year, US has seen a historic and divisive election ever. According to the Forbes article, social media was an important platform in reaching out the masses pre-election and was a source for continuous engagement throughout the election phase. Starting from campaigning, debates, predicting the election outcome and ultimately choosing to kick out the incumbent president from Twitter platform all together!  We will take an in depth look at what kind of effect these online platforms could have on the voters and election process. 

On social media platforms like Twitter, where user can gain direct access to their political leaders by following them and responding to their tweets. Every person or party who is campaigning have their twitter handles displayed for people to follow them. It absolutely feels like they are connected to them even though they know they can never directly meet them in person. Psychological relationship like this can definitely help the political parties to gather vote bank by tabbing on their interests and suggestions. For most people, visuals carry even more powerful impact than words. With the amount of pictures and videos posted on these online mediums, there is no differentiation on to which one is genuine and which one is fake. There is no way to stop this misinformation. Sure, platforms have come up with their own algorithms to show a disclaimer that the claim is not verified, but still it's out there for everyone to digest! With evident media polarization everywhere in democratic countries, there are certain set of people specially youths are more inclined to use social media to get direct answers from the candidates. 

As per the PBS survey, biggest thread to keeping elections safe is to stop misleading information circling around the social media. The next bigger piece is to handle voter fraud. 

The most pressing question in this time is can media really alter any election outcome? Answer is no, but can it influence the voters? Hell yeah! These social media platforms are bypassing the mainstream media which was earlier acting like a gatekeeper between voters and political leaders. The way they are influencing the people and their voices is also a word of caution for everyone. Twitter banning the incumbent president's account over the riots is a last straw. 

As a citizen of any country it's a moment to ponder, are we allowing social media to dictate policies in our country? Sure government in US tried to testify the CEOs of these companies for not allowing external interference. But there is a high time government should regulate more stricter laws around them so that they don't influence the elections directly or target any government person/agency publicly. These kind of incidents make us ponder as to why some nations have still blocked Facebook and Twitter and will never allow them to operate without accepting their terms and conditions. 

Pic courtesy: google images.

Trump's election loss and lessons learnt!

 While elections in USA happened last year, and we are yet to welcome our new President, it is time to reflect last four years of Trump's presidency. In Jan 2016, he was elected as 45th President of USA. Everyone was so excited to have someone other than a politician to rule the country. What mistakes did he made now to loose this election?

There was no doubt that US stock market was doing excellent until Mar 2020 and unemployment rate was historic low. This president had really pulled through and got everyone much needed job and employment.  He had a highest approval rating to continue his second term as President. He also survived his impeachment trial. 

Then COVID-19 happened in March 2020 and everything was a downward spiral for him and his team. With COVID-19, elections in the country was definitely a big deal and it was a greater opportunity for him to react and send a right message to the people. Here are few things that he should have done last year which could have helped him to continue 4 more years. 

1. Handling COVID-19: Undeniably for Trump, covid-19 came at a very wrong time. He told in one of his speech 'Before the plague came, I had it made.' But right from the beginning the problem was his denial to accept this problem. While many countries battled with the same virus, their leaders imposed lockdowns and acknowledged the virus as deadly. But with Mr. Trump he commented initially that it was more like a flu virus which happens every year. Even during campaign trails, he gave a wrong message by not putting mask, gathering crowd and taking this virus very lightly. He himself at one point got affected and still downplayed the pandemic. But still he didn't have to really loose this election, all he had to do was  to acknowledge the problem and fight back with everyone by giving support. Trump's denial mode cost him his credibility.

2. Like other world leaders like Modi, he shouldn't have dealt covid case strategically instead of calling it as 'China Virus' repeatedly from March 2020. While many praised him for openly accusing china for causing this deadly problem, he actually fell flat due to many people in US not accepting this kind of rhetoric. Even though China is India's staunch enemy there was never a statement from Mr. Modi on blaming China for the pandemic.

3. Another problem that caused his defeat was he didn't expand his support beyond his voter demographics. He often ruled as if he was the president for only the red states. He made very little attempt to woo democratic majority states. Hence, Biden clarified that there won't be a red or blue president but just one President of America. This statement gave a powerful message and thought to ponder. 

Though Biden was not the obvious choice from democratic party as well, but in this election year definitely it was more of people voting out Trump than choosing Mr. Biden. Only time will tell how the Biden presidency is going to overcome this challenge of stabilizing the economy and giving the million jobs back to the people instead of handing over the stimulus checks. But living in a democratic country it is our duty to welcome the new president and support him for fighting against covid and building back the economy. 

Bose & me

My relationship with Music begin with Bose earplugs that I had purchased in my college days. What can i say, the technology has come so far now to - Bose Quiet comfort headset. Listening to music on Bose gives a very different vibe all together. I always had an eye on Bose Quiet comfort headsets and finally I get that as a gift from my workplace. Yes, after a product launch all of our team was awarded with Bose Quiet comfort noise cancelling headsets. Needless to say this is one asset I always carry along with my laptop. Let me list the top features that makes me to like this headset and add more details about the latest work they have done.

Image result for bose qc35

As a software engineer, our job becomes very mundane at some point and the sheer beats of music can lighten up the moment. The noise cancelling feature of BOSE comes handy when there is a big group discussion that happens around you when you are seriously focusing on writing an important email to company's customer or debugging a serious issue. With Acoustic noise cancelling technology, it continuously measures, compares and reacts to outside noise and cancels it with the opposite signal. In 1995, noise cancelling headphones made a bang in the technical world when Bose's acoustic noise cancellation headphone was named product of the year. Noise cancelling is adapted by many companies around the world but it has become a mission statement for BOSE. Apart from it's use in offices, home and surroundings, it is successfully utilized in the loud environment of military aircraft cabins. Noise cancelling headphones replace irritating environmental noise by producing calming white noise. Sound cancels sound and that's the logic behind this technology.

Life is full of noises - and I want to eliminate them all !!

With Quiet Comfort 35, you can adjust the level of noise cancellation now between three levels to suit to the current environment. I like to wear it in my workplace even if i am not listening to anything. Noise cancellation is truly amazing! Sometimes you feel like getting disconnected to this world when you are at work place or focusing on something very important. The sound of the music is crystal clear even if you are walking on a busy street. There is zero distortion and I can vouch for this quality in BOSE.

Image result for listening to music with a bose headset in a busy street

Bose allows to connect to two devices at the same time. So, you can keep listening to the music on your laptop and don't have to miss important calls from your cellphone. Such a brilliant feature for techies like us. Now, with the google assistant inbuilt it will do much more justice to your day today activities. Now all this task can be managed with a voice command. The headband of the device is state of the art. It is built to survive most rugged conditions and we can take them almost anywhere and everywhere. The over the ear cushions are extremely soft and we can instantly forget that we are wearing something.

The other feature that I would die for is the battery life. It is amazing that once i charge the headphone I don't have to worry about it for about 2-3 days even after using it for 10-12hours per day. After turning on the headphone, it speaks the battery percentage which I think is supercool and helps me in planning the headphone usage for that day. Apart from this, voice prompts are very helpful during pairing of the headset and other stuff. The headphones have built in microphone and sync via bluetooth.

If you like music and want to carry it everywhere you go and expect to get the same sound quality like you hear in the cinema theatres?? The answer is get a BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 35.

I am ready for an upgrade. Are you ? Noise cancelling headphones are expensive, but they are worth what you pay for.

Check this out for the details.

Latest trend in bollywood songs!

Recently I happened to attend a musical concert of Kumar Sanu and Alka yagnik. What a spectacular duo and they have given so many hit songs in their career. Most of the audience still remember the lyrics. The exemplary lyrics of 80's and 90's era are difficult to be forgotten. That was the golden era for music industry in India. The songs were recorded on the casettes and people would buy them and play on their tape recorders.. it used to be so comforting to listen to the music and sing along or dance along the beats. We could infact make out which instruments were used in those songs. Now, with the digitization of music we don't hear many instruments in a song. They are all digital music with sound effects. 

In 90's we had songs for all occassions:

song for first crush -- pehla nasha
song to propse someone -- maine pyaar tujhi se kiya hai
song to woo someone --- chura ke dil mera
song to sing in a marriage -- dulhe ka chehra/first time dekha tumhe
break up song --- ab tere bin jee lenge hum
sad song -- rone na dijiyega/tu pyaar hai kisi aur ka
patriotic songs -- Desh mere desh mere.. 

so on and so forth...

and now time to scrutinize latest song lyrics...

1. Din hai sunny ...
2. gulaabo zara itar gira do..
3. chitiya kalaiyan ve
4. main toh superman salman ka fan...
5. Rang de tu mohe gerua

and the list goes on....

Surprisingly, these songs have been a top listed songs for a while. So, I can't help but wonder have we evolved past lyrics phase in movie industry.. don't we care about lyrics now and we simply want to hear sound/beats and rap kind of songs that we can't even remember the lyrics. Nowadays, no one seems to buy songs from the movies..songs are instead sold to the directors to include in a movie. Most of the singers don't have the charm or have any prior knowledge of music. Their voices are corrected with the help of sound systems. Anyone can become a singer in this era.. only thing you need is a nice retro mix of the music on which people can dance and a hope that the music appears catchy to the audience.

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