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Monday, January 30, 2023

A Generation, Lost in the ‘Reel’ World

In this article, let’s have a look at social media’s gigantic influence on the populace

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Prachi Pisal
Prachi Pisal
Journalism student, covering India.

INDIA: Today’s generation has profited from social media in a variety of ways; nonetheless, the mischievous tendencies have drowned many young people in despair.

Cybercrime, cyber-sexting, cyber-bullying, internet addiction, revenge porn, and a slew of other vices are all on the rise among today’s youth in a variety of countries.

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Early exposure and addiction to social media among today’s youngsters, as well as a prolonged focus on technology devices, has exposed them to a range of medical issues formerly only seen in adults.

In this article, let’s have a look at social media’s gigantic influence on the populace.

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Hindustani Bhau, an Indian social media influencer, was detained over a month ago in Maharashtra, India, for encouraging student protests. Due to the third wave of Omicron, a COVID-19 version, a significant portion of the syllabus was covered digitally, prompting student activists to demand the cancellation of offline exams.

Hindustani Bhau, whose original name is Vikas Fhatak, is a Mumbai-based YouTube personality; although he was granted bail by a sessions court in Mumbai, Fhatak has always been considered as a controversial figure due to the use of strong language in his content. 

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Furthermore, Maharashtra’s education minister, Varsha Gaikwad, as well as the Maharashtra state board of education, openly resisted student demands and mandated an offline form of tests. They had to cope with student-initiated violence in a few locations across the state, as well as the education minister’s residence.

If we specifically consider the impact of social media, particularly on youngsters, there have been several instances like this. Following this occurrence, the subject has managed to get some additional attention.

There is a lot of content on social media platforms now, and a lot of people are watching and following it. For Instagram and Facebook users, Meta has introduced Reels; YouTube has introduced Shorts, a comparable function that represents more content in less time.

There are many other platforms like these, across the globe. The intent of presenting these features to their respective users could have been anything like smart, strategic, or marketing, but the impact they are having is incredible. 

They keep their users busy with this strategy, they have some of the user’s information, they track users’ interests everywhere and they show the content user like. So, it is a rupture to the privacy bubble of the user, indirectly.

Children and teens were forced to utilize mobile phones or other devices for education as a result of the pandemic, bringing them closer to these aspects. Furthermore, for many people, such as artists and small enterprises, social media is a means of communication, business, and a part of their career.

Numerous artists describe social media as a part of their profession, for many small & large businesses social media is an important tool. So, the matter is ‘limit.’ The extent to which younger users are spending time on social media platforms, is the cause to care about. 

Furthermore, there are other concerns around teens and youth like false information, some songs or some influencers, movies or movie clips, clips from web series contain strong, sometimes abusive, sensitive language and visuals, which is unsafe for users, under a certain age. 

Moreover, social media cannot be the fourth pillar of democracy, it could have been a voice of common and not a voice for provocating forces, that tend to swivel and shape the minds in the wrong direction, by false information. 

For example, IT cells of political parties running with a certain agenda, some forces constructing strain among people, on issues like religion, caste, origin, etc., through social media happens to create issues. Besides, very ones try to discover the truth. 

Briefly, one cannot control, what is going to be there on the social media platforms, what the user can control is time management and the content they see. There are cyber acts and limitations by the government and the platforms, but beholding these matters, alertness is important. 

As an adult, there is everything and the user is the one who can decide what to see, options are always going to be there. For kids & younger ones, parents have to take care of these things. 

As an influencer, one deserves the freedom of speech and individual liberty, along with the responsibility of maintaining decency and morality. As an audience, the one is responsible to support decency and morality. 

The ability to perform does not have to have anything to do with this type of content. We are all human, and social media may serve as a source of leisure for some, but there are two sides to every coin. The reality is not always reflected in what users see on social media. So, it is all up to the user, the user is my responsibility.

Also Read: Time For a Dalit Revolution in the Indian Cinema?


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