It goes without saying that social media has revolutionised all walks of life today. No other platform is engaging people to share their ideas as much as social media does. People irrespective of their schools and affiliations are agog to express their views on any issue across the globe with a single click. It has emerged as an effective tool of communication among the masses. People love to facilitate interactive discussions on various issues through social media making them aware of their surroundings more than ever before. It has widened the scope of ‘Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression’ to such an extent that people can exercise it by sitting comfortably anywhere in the world. They feel free to interact with billions of their counterparts around the world whenever they please. It has influenced their way of thinking and expression considerably.
With the advent of technology, the social media has caught people’s attention in every sphere of life. It has proved to be the biggest revolution in the history of communication. It has helped people in managing their lives as information or communique can reach the intended person with the blink of an eye. It has definitely enriched human life. Diversity is the salt of life; it makes it worth-living and meaningful. There are different applications available on social media allowing its users to express their ideas, notions and expressions over a range of social platforms where things have become easy to discuss by voicing one’s assent and dissent. It provides people range of diverse discussions which enable them to understand the theme in a most rational way. This is a great leap forward for rational beings called human beings for even new-fangled ideas to find a way through their thinking. It is rightly said that words without thoughts reach nowhere.
Social media has created a global community where people are no more divided by narrow thinking and boundaries but they feel united and attached to one another with the common goal of building a new society—a global village in true sense. It would otherwise have been impossible, had there been no evolution of social media. It has also contributed to gearing up business sectors besides creating job opportunities for millions across the globe. The youth in particular have got opportunity to work in various countries with a new vision in a harmonious way connecting them to people of all races, religions and nationalities. It has widened the grooves of their understanding and left an indelible mark on their lives. Their living standard has undergone a drastic change. That is why social media is the most vibrant and useful medium for creating awareness among the people. It has brought people together thereby fostering the collective goals of peace and prosperity. Social media is widely used to promote goods and services in business sector. Also, all the agencies and companies involved in marketing goods and services have come up with the effective grievance redressal mechanism for their customers using various social media platforms. Likes and dislikes of peoples are monitored and a database is prepared in order to offer them future products and services accordingly.
Government, public authorities as well as private entities are using social media platforms to make people aware of their policies, programmes and decisions they are about to make in the years to come. Even political class has started making extensive use of social media to grind their axe. During election campaign all political parties as well pressure groups make people aware of their agendas and manifestos through social media. Social media caters to people with several pleasant and unpleasant strings attached to it imposed by the government. It keeps people well informed every second at every stage. There are numerous users who educate people on almost all kinds of issues through social media. They enhance our knowledge on different topics from different fields. At the same time, various applications attached with social media have been designed to disseminate news and views on their health, wealth, career, profession and lifestyle.
Social media keeps us connected with our friends and relatives by sharing ideas and photos with one another. Those who are staying away from their family prefer to have lively chats and discussions with their kith and kin. Social media also helps in displaying users’ talent, creativity and scholarship likely to shoot into huge popularity and name and fame. There are bloggers, columnists and scholars who earn handsome money by using social media. Some of them have become celebrities now. Artists from different fields use social media to display their skills and promote the same.
Let us see the other side of social media—the negative ones including problems and challenges.
Firstly, hacking is a potential threat to personal information of users. The privacy of the users is a serious concern that needs to be addressed expeditiously. People share their personal information which is vulnerable to be misused by dishonest elements. There is no dearth of incidents on gross misuse of personal data supplied by the social media users leading to embarrassment, harassment and in extreme cases, even death. Fake and multiple accounts of a single social media user is a cause of worry and raise security concerns among the global community. Moreover, fraudulent advertisements on social media platforms implicate naive persons who do not understand the way tricksters behave.
Secondly, fake account handlers target people to recruit them for illegal activities such as terrorism, corruption, political violence by recruiting naxalites, drug trafficking, and human trafficking among others. The practice of honey-trap over the social media platforms is another method of blackmailing people and asking them to share confidential information. Anti-social elements use social media to spread rumours, fake and manipulated contents. They spread hatred and discontent persuading people to involve in illegal, violent and unwarranted activities through the use of social media. Presence of large number of people at common platform that social media provides has made their work much easier. Such activities cost both human life and property. Terrorism has become a global threat to the world’s security, peace and development. Terrorists use social medial for their nefarious purposes and execute their unholy plans in which individuals along with their entire family are ruined causing them irreparable loss.
Social media has become a mania for some who flip their fingers on key board in quick succession. People place high confidence on information received through social media without verifying its contents. They glue to the screen whole day triggering health hazards such as anxiety, depression, stress, sleeplessness and even dementia. Children with high level of addiction need professional counselling in order to turn back to normal life pattern. It is very difficult for them to come out of their self-made cocoon of virtual world. Psychologists hold that the excessive use of social media cast an adverse effect on user’s life including loss of hearing and impairment of brain. However, social media is now an essential part of human life no matter how old a person is. It would be very difficult and unwise to go back to the primitive age. It has ushered the world wonderfully into a new era where bright future awaits us. It has made the world much faster and way smarter thus making life worth enjoying. So far as its use is concerned, people themselves have to limit its use according to their requirements. Social media users must understand its merits and demerits. They have yet to learn how to use social media judiciously as irresponsible use can land a user in disaster. Social media is a great means to realise one’s own dream and fulfil one’s desires cherished long ago. It can bring a drastic change in life of a person and influence a society as well. All depends on a person who uses the social media. Social media can do wonders if it is used with better intention and for good purposes. Great responsibility has fallen on the elderly now as they should guide children to build a new societyon social media “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, where knowledge is free; where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls.”