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Is Social Media a bane or boon for the Indian Youth?

Social Media basically came as a means for people who are geographically

distant, to stay connected through internet-based applications; it was to bring

the world closer, a wonderful addition to personal communication and

relationships. In other words, social media was supposed to be a small but

welcome part of our world. It was also to learn, share and build a knowledge

community, make the whole world your audience and your friend.

But standing in 2019, amidst the gigantic envelope of Facebook, Twitter,

Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more, a question is looming in

front of us- is social media a part of us, or are we a part of it? Is it a tool for

us, or are we dragged along by it? Social media has not just touched the youth,

but has penetrated amongst all age groups, still, since the youth is the torch

bearer of any economy, society and country, our major concern is directed

towards the impact of social media on our country’s youth.

Is Social media a blessing or a curse for the youth ?

Before delving into the good, bad and ugly, one needs to understand the world

of social media, the different types that make for this massive medium.

Social media can be broadly classified into seven types

Social Networking sites: The platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

which, as the name suggests, help us build a network, connect and

communicate to build a personal or professional community.

Social Review Sites : These are platforms that guide you towards making a

decision, be it to shop , to travel or to invest, this is where one heads to , to

check reviews; honest experiences that do not come from marketers but come

from the consumers. These sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, Manta, Foursquare

and more, help us make quick and effective decisions by eliminating a lot of


Image Sharing Sites: Out of our five active senses, most of us are guided by

the visual sense- pictures, videos, infographics and illustrations, vividly

capture memories, precious moments, or candidly tell us a story. Social media platforms like Instagram, Imgur, Snapchat, feed our visual sense, and are

designed to amplify the power of images.

Video Hosting Sites: Moving images, music, dialogue and the works, makes

for the most entertaining and engaging means of consuming information.

YouTube revolutionise the way we watch, think and create content. These

days not just film makers, but professionals from all walks of life like to

market, brand or reach out to their audience, and build an engaged

community through videos, and platforms like YouTube and Vimeo and more.

Community Blogs: The word limits of Twitter, or image sizes permitted by

Instagram, may not be enough or even apt for you to share a complex

message, or be a voice to a movement. But for those who want to be able to

write more, customize their content, and add multiple pictures and links,

running a blog from a self-hosted website can be very daunting. That is where

shared blogging platforms like Medium, Tumblr, Squarespace, Hub pages,

Weebly and more, act as a platform for you to share your message, or tell a

story, or be a part of a movement, along with likeminded people.

Discussion Sites: All social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, leave ample

room for a heated discussion but its limited to your friends, followers or your

privacy settings. Without revealing much about you, yet being able to freely

ask a question, engage in meaningful discussions, whilst being discreet,

forums like Quora and Reddit, are very helpful and attract people with shared


Sharing Economy Networks: Platforms like AirBnB and Rover help bring

people opportunities by pooling resources on a large scale, that wouldn’t have

been possible with technology.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Fortis Hospital, in July 2019,

around 82% of students studying psychology in classes xi and xii in at least

200 schools, have said social media influenced their opinions and attitudes.

94% of the students believed that social media was a great tool to create

awareness about mental health issues. Social media is churning out a more understanding and tolerant youth when

it comes to cultural differences, homosexuality, animal welfare and making

them more aware of their rights, by bringing out instances of sexual

harassment ; allowing every single citizen to have a voice, irrespective of their

social or financial status, giving them a platform and an audience who cares

to listen and support.

When social media gives us oodles of support, love, sharing and connection,

why is there even a discussion on it being a bane?

Is there something behind the glitz and glamour?

A weapon can be used to protect, and the same weapon can be used to

cause massive destruction, it all depends on who is using it and how.

The Dark Side of Social Media

Relationship Issues : According to State Nodal Officer for Mental Health. Tamil Nadu, when he asked a couple having relationship problems in their

marriage, to video graph the time they spent together, the video showed the

wife on her smartphone, husband on his laptop, daughter on Facebook and

son on WhatsApp.

Mental Health Issues : According to Dr Shweta Sharma, Clinical Psychologist

and Consultant, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon, “ Paranoia is a tendency

to be suspicious about everything, whether it is someone , some place, some

group, or some object, Though it’s related to a type of personality disorder, it’s

fast becoming a habit due to excessive use of social networking sites. Poor

attention span, memory loss, temper tantrums and frequent bursts of anger

are also consequences of being too involved in the virtual world.”


▪ November 6, 2018: A special investigation team in Kozihikode, is

probing the suicide of two children from Kambalakkad, Wayanad

district, and the suspected culprit, are Instagram and WhatsApp

groups, who have been promoting music and posts, that glorify death

and suicide and these two teens were members of these groups. The two children hanged themselves while the music played in the


▪ March 8, 2019: A girl in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir,

committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance, after a

man named Khanday had posted objectionable pictures of her on social


Social Media is a weapon and a very powerful one at that; if used correctly it

can bring transformative results in the lives of people, in the trajectory of

businesses, to get justice, to create awareness, to generate funds for a noble

cause…the list goes on. But misused it is sure to create havoc in people’s lives

and minds, causing irreparable damages.

To cut a long story short …use social channels with your conscience and

intellect ON

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