We are the millennials living in this modern era. The most important aspect of modernisation that has hit us is the extensive usage of social media. Whether you want it or not social media has been integrated so much into our daily lives that now it’s scary to imagine a life without a single social media platform. There are numerous social media platforms created for various purposes but the core purpose of all of them is connecting people. And they have achieved this in a very marvellous way. You can see what a person is up to even when he is seven seas apart just by a single tap and that has only and only been possible with the advancement of social media.
Social media platforms have made our life quite easier. Social media has affected the current situation of society largely. To cite an example, Mee too movement that happened a little while ago helped many women to come out and voice their pain. If social media was not present there wouldn’t be any medium for these women to share their stories. Social media has made it an open discussion, it has helped women to be aware of the current threats, it has helped the victimised women in achieving justice and above all, it proved as a medium for these women’s voices to be heard. There are several such examples where social media has played a major role in the betterment of society.
Previously if you wanted your voice to be heard it required a lot of struggle. But now today when there is some injustice going on, or if you have to share your opinion, it can just be done by a few swipes and taps using your fingertips. From politics to weather conditions, from rapes to child marriages, from pain to pleasure everything can be found on social media.
When we think of politics in general, previously there weren’t many people who were aware of the political condition of their country. But today you can just find the trending issues on any social media platform. This has spared us the hours of reading the newspaper or glueing up to the television for the updates. Now you can learn anything, know anything anytime. Social media has made the members of the society more politically aware and now people are voicing their opinions and are willing to oppose the wrong.
Social media also helps you find new people and you can interact with them very easily. It helps you find people with common interests or people who inspire you. It helps you network with people across the globe and learn things you couldn’t find otherwise.
Social media is also a fun way of learning things. Nowadays we see the meme pages are on hype. They deliver to you even the most sensitive issues in a humorous way. They help you identify the wrong and rights going on in our society. Whether it is a new song that was released just yesterday or whether it is the verdict regarding Ayodhya it can all be found on social media.
But like they say “Every coin has two sides”, that means where it is good there is bad. There are a lot of negative impacts of social media on society. As the good information is easily available so is the bad information. People especially teenagers fall prey to such trivial stuff and ruin their characters, careers and lose everything. Many sensitive issues have been raised insensitively causing the victims to succumb to social pressure and sometimes in worst cases depression.
One among the negative effects of social media is the misuse of personal information. Data security is a concern. Your data and your personal information are open to the public and the social media platforms and there is always a risk of this data being misused or used against you. Privacy has been lost and when not used properly can be very very dangerous. Social media also increases the pressure of perfection among the people. People always tend to seek validation and evaluate their merit based on the number of likes/comments/shares. They try and compare themselves with other people and this I believe is one of the worst things to do.
Another important aspect is data authenticity. As social media is an open platform and everybody’s free to share their views and opinions sometimes the facts that some people provide are not true and may lead to wrong conclusions. Whenever we see something on social media we need to make sure that the data is correct and does not offend any other person before sharing it any further. This wrong data may cause severe negative consequences in many ways.
The most prevalent plague regarding social media is social media bullying also known as cyberbullying. Sometimes also termed as trolls. These trolls on social media have cost many people their lives and many others are suffering from depression and anxiety issues because of them. These trolls are anonymous and identifying them and reporting them is a lot of struggle and that’s why they are so free to pass whatever bullshit they want. Women have been body-shamed on social media. People have been harassed over social media.
I can’t stress it enough that the parents must educate their teenage children about the menaces and the advantages of social media. The issues or bullies should be reported and proper action should be taken. The good and bad should be properly explained and people should use their brain before posting anything or passing any opinion on social media or elsewhere. It should be used to create awareness about the issues that have to be addressed.
When not used properly social media can have a lot of negative impacts on the society and the individual. It all depends on how we take it and how we use the technology that has been gifted to us. You can either learn things, share stories, share opinions or you can bully people, body shame people and fall prey to all the negativity. Social media can either help or destroy you it all depends on what you want it to do. You can either choose to fill the world with the negativity or you can avoid it.
I would like to end by quoting a sentence of Mahatma Gandhi that said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And social media I believe is a platform which when correctly utilised can change the world in a better way into a better place to live with peace, harmony and social well being.