By: Dr Priyanka Saurabh
In recent times, social media has become a powerful tool to influence public opinion and influence the prevailing discourse in society. Social media has become so powerful because of its low cost, wide reach, easy access and availability of smartphones. Social media has acted as a double-edged sword where it has widened the avenues for democratic participation on one hand but it has also given rise to concerns about the spread of hatred and violence in the society. Social media has become an integral part of our life today and while playing its role, it exerts immense influence on society and individuals. It has become a new way of life for the 21st-century generation.
So there was a time when people used to meet and talk to each other in person and write letters to each other. People used to spend most of their time with family members and people used to value their relationships too so this was the situation with earlier generations. But today everything has changed people spend most of their time on social media and now you can easily stay connected with people you meet in your life even far away and you can also get updates about their life and life. What they are what they are doing in life and thus social media has changed the whole structure of society.
We all know that there are twenty-four hours in day and night, and these hours are for every human being. Everyone uses these hours. The only difference is that those who use these hours properly have different results and for those who are not able to use these hours properly, the result in future will not be pleasing. Now you must be thinking that what is the relationship between the development of the internet and this calculation of time. So understand it in such a way that the internet through which we boast of saving time, the same internet is taking a large part of your life’s time. Now here it is important to understand that out of the time you are spending on the internet, how much time are you using it properly? Internet usage has increased the most in the villages of India in the last decade. Not that this use is completely bad and wrong, but it is important to understand to what extent its use can be beneficial for you.
Social media has democratized the public space by giving voice to the oppressed, marginalized and sharing their perspective with a wider audience. Social media has enabled the rapid dissemination of information in new areas such as investigative journalism, environment, freedom of the press and citizen-centred journalism. Social media has been used by politicians and governments to mobilize support for their initiatives and broaden their support through debate, advertising and social campaigns. Social media collect user preferences and use them to personalize content where individuals are exposed to the same type of content which contributes to the strengthening of existing beliefs and polarization of opinion. How social media can be regulated to prevent the spread of hate and misinformation: To regulate hate speech and violence with clearly defined effective enforcement mechanisms and active collaboration between government, civil society and society is urgently needed.
There is a need to maintain a balance between freedom of speech and public interest in the use of social media. There is an urgent need to revive social interaction between communities and individuals to rebuild the social fabric of our society. As you know everything has its advantages and disadvantages. Even social media has negative aspects. Firstly it takes a lot of your time; You end up spending more time on social media instead of your family members and secondly, it has also invited a lot of nuisances like stalking, trolling which can affect your mental health and can affect people. Can also really spoil the life so you have to use social media very carefully and also you need to be very safe while using social media. (The author can be reached at email@example.com)