Social media is entirely different from any other traditional medium like print, electronic and parallel media. It creates a virtual world by using the incredible power of the internet that users can access by using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Social media affects our life in so many ways that now it is almost impossible to do without it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s our personal life, or something related to our profession, we need social media in our day to day life.
Social Media Has Multiple Roles
Talking of our personal requirements, social media is an ideal platform to stay in touch with our friends, family members, and colleagues. The distances have ceased to exist, and things such as talking to our friends from foreign countries seemed like an uphill task a few years back. But with social media by our side, communication has become easier and seamless. Now, we are not dependent on telephones, and mobiles to talk to them. We can talk to our friends and relatives any time we wish. We have mediums like Google Meet, Zoom, Whatsapp, and Connected app to do that.
In the present times, social media has become an integral part of our existence. There is not even a single aspect of our life that social media doesn’t affect. Talking of its multiple roles – it’s an excellent source of providing information, entertainment and networking. Social media is a dynamic platform which can be used for almost every kind of work – staying in touch with old friends, and family members, making new friends, professional networking, learning new skills, seeking partners for dating, and also getting professional counseling. In simple words, social media has a phenomenal reach.
What is Social Media?
Social media is truly an unconventional medium. It exists in a virtual world that can be access through the Internet. Social media networks are a very powerful tool that keeps the whole world connected. It is also a very effective medium for communication. It enables the exchange of information faster than any other medium.
Social media plays a very positive role for individuals, organizations, groups and countries. In the last more than fifteen years of its existence, social media has made us economically, socially, culturally and politically prosperous. Many revolutionary contributions have been made by social media that enriched democracy. It has a monumental role in bringing unity, integrity, secularism, and socialism in many parts of the world.
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Good Effect of Social Media in daily life
One of the fine examples of the power of social media can be found in the way social media popularised the ‘India Against Corruption’ movement which was one of the biggest campaigns against corruption. The agitation was literally fought on the streets of Delhi as well as on social media that led to huge mass gathering at Ramlila Ground where Anna Hazare, the social activist addressed them.
During the 2014 Parliamentary elections in Delhi, social media again played an important role by making the general public aware of political parties’ plans and policies.Socialmedia was used very powerfully in that particular election increasing the voting percentage, as well as awareness about the election among the youth. In fact it was the power of social media that put the Aam Aadmi Party, a new political outfit in power, dethroning the more established Congress party.
On another occasion, a large number of young people assembled at India Gate, and participated in a candle march to seek justice for ‘Nirbhaya’ a victim of brutal rape and murder through social media. The agitation that followed the candle march forced the government to enact a new and more effective law on rape. Social media is an ideal platform to raise social injustice, and other issues that affect masses. Social media is also use for entertainment purposes. You can often see trailers of upcoming films, teasers of serials on OTT platforms, and reviews of films. Nowadays, TV programs are also being broadcast through social media.
In short, social media is useful in following ways:
- It is one of the fastest mediums of communication.
- It combines different kinds of information at one place.
- It’s an excellent source of current news and updates.
- You can do audio, and video chats on social media channels such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
- Be it educate class or uneducated class, it doesn’t differentiate between classes.
- It’s a free platform where everybody is welcome.
- Pictures, Videos, Information , Documents etc. can be easily shared.
Bad Effects of Social Media
While social media has a positive role, nonetheless, some people also misuse it. They use social media to spread hatred and create bad blood among people. There are certain groups that work under an agenda of dividing people on the basis of caste and religion by spreading ill-will. Often misleading and provocative content is made viral through social media which adversely affects the peace and harmony of society.
At times, things deteriorate to such an extent that the government is force to take preventive action to stop the misuse of social media. We have seen how Indian government had to ban social media in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir. Even during farmers’ agitation in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, social media was ban to stop anti-social elements from carrying out any major incident under the guise of farmers’ agitation. Just like a coin that has two sides, social media too has two sides.
Therefore, social media is harmful in following ways:
- It provides a lot of information, many of which are misleading as well.
- The facts can be easily distort to give it a new meaning.
- Any information can be change to make it look provocative.
- Lack of original content.
- There is no respect for privacy.
- Photoshopped images and doctored videos are share to create distrust and confusion on the platform.
- Cyber crime has become one of the biggest problems on social media.
In the end, it’s up to users how to use this incredibly powerful medium. Social media is like a double edge weapon that can be either use to add a lot of value to our lives, or for creating instability in the society.