It is only in times of emergencies and national calamities that the real impact of the social media is evidenced. People from the old school may deride the effect social media leaves on society and our lives. However, these critics have no answer when confronted with the obvious benefits and the role social media has played in present day affairs. Whether it a call for blood of a particular group or for help to locate the parents of a child found crying on the road, social media has played its part.
The recent floods in Chennai have brought up this fact remarkably. Watch Siddharth's video
We have so many examples of people responding to appeals for help from hapless inhabitants of houses that were inundated by the deluge.
The impact of social media has been recognised by corporates, the world over. Most of these organisations have a team working to respond to messages and see that grievances expressed are redressed.
The youth of today are responsible a lot and are able to use “smart” methods to highlight society’s woes like corruption and mismanagement easily in social networking and micro blogging sites like Facebook and Twitter respectively. This has the right effect because their posts receive immediate exposure and the concerned authorities or people have to take action. The days of making written complaints that are lost in red tape are behind us.
However, every advantage has the proverbial “other side of the coin.” Unscrupulous elements take recourse to social platforms like Facebook to spread hatred and indulge in unlawful activities. Many of these are detected by alert cyber policing. Detractors of social media cite these examples to try to wean away the general public from using them. However, this information revolution has gained an irreversible momentum and cannot be stopped. When I think of these detractors, I am reminded of the call for baring women from wearing clothes they like to protect themselves from predators.
Development comes with a price. This fact is known and cannot be a reason to halt progress and stagnate. The “old school” are advised to accept the fact that the present generation has the capacity and capability to move things, remove Governments and make an impact on the way the country develops. Social media is one of their weapons.
So let them do it their way!