Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

UPSC Civils Daily Mains Question 27th March-2021

Q) “Despite social media playing a positive role on youth, the high use of social media and technology can have a negative impact on youth self-esteem. In this light, explain the precautions to be taken by the society and the government to reduce the negative effects of the social media on youth without affecting the right to freedom.” (250words)

Answer:

Social media plays an integral role in our lives today and has huge bearing on society and individuals. Social media has revolutionized the way people communicate and socialize the web. There is a positive effect on business, politics, socialization as well as some negative effects such as cyber bullying, privacy, and fake news.

Social media is continuing to gain popularity every day. Impacts of Social Media on youth is also quite evident in different frames of our lives.

Here are some statistics that were done on social media.

  • The average time spent by the people per day on the social network is 1.72 hours
  • For the teenagers, the numbers are much higher which is up to 27 hours per week

Social media has become a very important part of life for many young generations in today’s world. There are many young people who keep on engaging themselves with social media without even caring to think about what the impact of social media on youth would be. The effects can sometimes be positive and sometimes be negative but mostly they are negative if it is not integrated with a business or professional goal.

Positive Impact of Social Media on Youth

  • It keeps connected to their friends when they are not able to see each other always when they want to
  • Social media keeps you updates about the important things that are going across the globe currently or maybe in your locality. It is a great benefit to know about everything just by the simple click of your finger.
  • The youths have the perfect place to express themselves in such a way in which they will not be allowed to do in public. This is something which makes the youth feel better about them and they hold some position in society.
  • It helps you in developing social skills and the best part is that a few friendships can begin from the social website. Youths generally like make new friends and know about others as much as they can. All of this is possible with the social media platform
  • One more interesting impact of social media on youth is that it feels fun to interact with peers rather than talking to them face to face.

Negative Impact of Social Media on Youth

  • People of today’s generation give so much importance to social media nowadays that it has become their priority. They love being in the social media sites and forget about all the things that should come first for them like family, sports, and schools
  • In the platforms of social media, we can only see the virtual side of the person. This means we can only see the side which they want they want to show us. Many people try to portray themselves to others which they are not at all
  • Young people have this habit of bullying their peers which is ok to some extent. But when it comes to cyberbullying, it affects a lot to the other peer as this can be on the newsfeed of any person and can go viral easily. Sometimes such things can lead to depression as well as suicidal thoughts
  • There are some young people who are very easy to get influenced. They may feel the need to change their appearance physically and compare themselves to every next person they see in the social media
  • There is a very strong temptation in social media. It can become an addiction for the youth and begin to side-track them

Recent campaigns by social media platforms:

  1. WhatsApp has launched a nation-wide campaign called “Share Joy, Not Rumours” to help prevent the spread of rumours and fake news.
  2. Facebook launched #socialforgood campaign to address issues like cyberbullying, mental well-being, and entrepreneurship was targeted primarily for young users.
  3. Twitter launched #PowerOf18 to encourage youth to contribute to public debate and participates in civic engagement in election season.
  4. These campaigns are a way to take ownership of what is happening on these platforms and find ways to weed out negative content.

Way Forward:

  1. Increase the media literacy
  2. Data leaks at Facebook and uber in the recent past have proven that encryption should be so high.
  3. The government should bring out policy framework on the possible harm due to internet messaging platforms to engage at deeper level.
  4. The need of the hour is to tackle the gendered aspect of online abuses and uphold the rights of women in India.

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