According to the statistics, there are 1.65 billion active users on Facebook in the first quarter of 2016 (The statistics portal, 2016). Since Facebook established on 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook have keeping its first position on social media in U.S. and this is cannot be denied. But today, I want to introduce to you the communication software that is sitting on the first position in China – WeChat.
This article is about WeChat, but it’s also more than just WeChat. WeChat is a free application for instant messaging service created by Tencent Holding Limited. There is another popular application created by the same company before WeChat was launched, called QQ. But along with the developing of WeChat, obviously the users of QQ has been decreased even though they are under a same company.
What I have to tell you is how amazing that WeChat is, it is a chat software that support sending voice messages, video, text (including expression) and images, and also support for a group chat up to 40 people. WeChat has a function to add friends, just simply that enter and search the username or QQ number to add the people who you want, or by scanning their QR code. After that, you can start chatting with your friends. There also is a real-time interphone function on the WeChat; it’s like walkie-talkie. While it seems like a messaging software, but I think it is also a great platform. It’s an app that leads us to perceive the world, society, community, friends, and family.
WeChat Pay and WeChat Red Pocket, these two are new functions of WeChat. WeChat Pay is kind same as PayPal, but it only works in China, and people can use this easy and convenient function to transfer money to others and pay in store. It’s interesting that to introduce the WeChat Red Pocket, and it’s related to a Chinese tradition. During the Chinese Lunar New Year and the date of birthday, the elders always put money into a red envelop and give to the youngers, and that’s called Red Pocket and this is a traditional way. Since WeChat launched this new function, it becomes just a few simple step finger job, people can express their minds anytime they want and anywhere as long as they have WeChat on their hands.
Since WeChat become popular in China, according to statistics, in this year (2015) WeChat had over 549 million monthly active users (2015). I am thinking that the first thing to do when most people get up and turn on their phone is checking the WeChat. But actually according to the statistics, people spent more time on phones than before WeChat was developed. So there is a question pop up about WeChat, about social media. Netizen questioned that if WeChat will make people overly dependent on social media, and weather social media will negatively affect someone’s life?
From my point of view, to some extent I do think that WeChat will make people be too dependent on social media and will affect the relationship with the ones who near you. I saw a news long time ago and it was about WeChat: A grandmother invited her grandchildren home for dinner. All of her grandchildren did show up and attend the dinner. During the dinner, they all were chatting on WeChat and no one would like to talk with their grandmother. So grandmother have to buy a smartphone and start learning how to use WeChat because she wants to have more chances to talk to her grandchildren. I do think this is a tragedy for active social media, because it making us to lose the close feeling of face-to-face. Technology has been developing, but human being has been stepping back. Certainly social media has positive and negative impact for people’s life, but the most important is that people know how to balance their real life and being appropriate active on social media.
Indeed social media open our eyes and give people fun and knowledge, but we have to remember one important thing is, we lead to social media, not social media lead us.