The growing force called internet

  • Vishakha Saxena, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Aug 11, 2014 18:02 IST

At a time when freedom of expression has become a topic of hot debates in India, internet has become a major bone of contention considering it's provided the youth with an unprecedented platform to voice itself.

From blogs to social networking websites to chat apps on mobiles, today's proactive youth has taken to internet like bees to honey. And the outcome presents itself in the extremes.

From sending Pink Chaddis to Pramod Muthalik to expressing their displeasure with a Supreme Court verdict upholding Section 377, India's young have been vocal and opinionated.

At the same time, images viral on WhatsApp and social media platforms have triggered riots, led to arrests and also the murder of a Pune techie, bringing to light the ugly side of social media. And there exists an uglier side like that of trolls and cyber bullying which has pushed people to the extent of committing suicides.

Thus, the question of why is it important to analyse the youth's habits when it comes to the internet - more so social media - answers itself.

Social media has also become of source of employment generation. Companies across the world hire not only professionals to manage their social media activities but they also tap regular users to promote themselves and their content. During the 2014 general elections, Twitter saw the rise of left and right wing trolls and bots which played an aggressive role on the performance of the various political parties.

Social media was hailed as one of the big reasons behind Aam Aadmi Party's spectacular performance in the Delhi Assembly elections. At the same time Congress' lack of social media presence was one of the many reasons it failed - just as spectacularly. As for BJP, Twitter quite literally predicted PM Modi's sweeping victory.

It goes without saying that social media has emerged as a force to reckon with.

Full coverage: HT-MaRS Youth Survey 2014

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