Tabeenah Anjum Qureshi*
Media today has a deep impact on our society. For some it has become a way of life, a dear friend, and for that matter some even consider it as their oxygen, the way of livelihood. Among all the forms of media, social media has an upper hand.
What is Media?
Before understanding the social media, we need to know the definition of media. Media is a source through which we can exchange, give and take information, any knowledge or interact with anyone. The main forms of media are TV, Radio, Newspaper and Internet. To elaborate, we can say that media is the means of communications through radio, television, newspapers, magazines etc. which reach or influence people widely.
What is Social Media?
Social media is a virtual platform where people give and take information, interact with each other without even knowing the identity of the person. We can say, it is a form of electronic communication (Web sites for social networking and micro-blogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.
Internet plays a vital role as it is the only way to access the social media sites.
Impact of social media
Social media is the media of 21st century and to be precise, it reflects the persona and thoughts of the youth. It is considered the fastest medium to spread any kind of information among the people. Anybody sitting anywhere, with the help of their gadgets viz. Notebook, mobile phones, tabs, PCs etc, can get access to any kind of information they want or spread, tell or share anything they want regarding anything.
Social Media Benefits Common Man
Social media in India has worked as a revolution in bringing a change in the past few years. It has empowered the common man where he/she can express themselves, can lay bare their frustration, entertain themselves or freely talk about their likes and dislikes.
Impact of Social Media
Social media in the last few years has changed the way people used to think. Post the Delhi gang-rape, people used the social media as a weapon to lash out at the administration, the management and government. Not only that, the social media infused the people who never used to react strongly to bring them out on the streets to protest against criminals and crimes. People empowered with social media raised their concerns over various matters and compelled the careless and corrupt ministers to listen to them and their needs.
Impact on Politics
The modern politics is said to rely on the social networking sites heavily. In 2013, we saw many instances, though unfortunate, of this. Many politicians bought with money fake Facebook likes, many uploaded fake videos for the sake of publicity or even to malign the rivals. The politics was of poor quality, but it was enough to denote the important role played by the social media or social media sites, viz Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc.
Due to the deep impact of the social media, it is believed, the UPA and its allies, hit by scams, scandals and corruption fell flat in the assembly elections. Parties like the BJP and AAP fared well due to their effective projection on the social media.
It has now become a trend for all political parties to spend a lot of money on the social media to strengthen their base and disseminate their ideas.
Many ministers were caught saying that they would deploy a team to connect with people virtually and would spread their ideologies through the social media.
As per the surveys, the Gujarat chief minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, is the most talked about person on the social media. Taking advantage of it, the BJP stood victorious in three assembly elections.
Pros and Cons of Social Networking
The social media in many ways seems to be assisting the mankind as mentioned above, but as the cliche goes, everything comes with a price tag. The social media is not untouched by that fact.
There have been many cases in the past which forced people to commit suicide. Images, videos, info etc once uploaded on social media are said to remain there forever. People misuse social media by uploading many private videos, images in order to take revenge. Many times confidential information had been leaked which created chaos. The worst thing about this medium is that people easily fake their identities by creating fake profiles.
Many stringent laws are there to curb such acts, but people are not always sure how to regulate their thoughts.