[PR Channel] Social media empowers to changes the world, says youth

12 Dec,2011

By A Correspondent

 

In a nationwide survey conducted amongst the youth of India, nearly 76 per cent believe that social media empowers them to bring change to the world. They are convinced that causes for women and movements against corruption can be driven through this medium that is now growing as a source for information. In fact, as many as 28 per cent source information from social media sites whereas around 54 per cent prefer a mix of print, television and social media.

 

With a sample size of 1200 in the age category of 18 to 35 years, covering the major cities of Delhi (NCR), Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, the survey titled Youth in the day and age of Social Media conducted by Indiabiz News & Research Services, clearly shows that the youth feel empowered by the ability to express themselves and make their own choices.

 

The respondents indicated that while they primarily engage in this space to connect with peers and garner information, they also feel that they almost influence consumer choice, human rights and social change, politics and policy making and corporate governance.

 

What in many ways rebukes those who think that the youth believe only in symbolism, best described by clicking on the ‘like’ button for a Facebook group, about 70 per cent believe that ground realities cannot change by merely being part of a group. A lot more work on ground is needed.

 

These trends are obviously turning into being areas of concerns for politicians and even corporations (who now engage a lot in this space). What would be a cause of concern for them is that anti-corruption has emerged as the most prominent social cause endorsed by 32 per cent of the respondents and 35 per cent of the youth saw protection of the girl child and violence against women as a significant issue.

 

The power of this space, even though it cannot be measured in a comprehensive manner, is indicated by the increasing number of hours spent by the youth there. An India Biz survey conducted a year ago stated that this age group spent about an hour on social media sites. Now the time spent is one to two hours. And the advent of smart-phones, according to 82 per cent of the respondents, has helped increase connectivity.

 

 

What is evident is the growing sense of empowerment that the youth of India feel with social media. They choose their friends, determine which group they should be associated, pick information that they think matters to them, influence public debate and reject or accept icons or leaders. As stated in one of the many comments, ‘Social media can always create revolutions – positive or negative is upon its moderator and how the debate evolves.’

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