An ideal forum for expression

SERIOUS opinions

Social media has done wonders in its own way as many youngsters have taken to it to express their concern on the serious issues affecting the country.

One of the examples was the recent ‘Gay for a Day’ campaign that happened on Facebook, in which everyone changed their profile pictures to one of themselves kissing a person from the same sex (in opposite to the Supreme Court’s verdict on Section 377). When the Delhi gangrape case was on in full swing, many changed their profile pictures on Facebook and What’s App to a black dot considered to be the ‘black dot of shame’. Metrolife spoke to a few youngsters who are highly vocal on social media to find out if it’s a good trend.

Darshan enjoys posting his opinions on social networking sites. “Sometimes, people just refuse to hear you out. So the only way to make them listen to you is by posting your views on social networking sites. If I post something on Facebook, my voice is immediately heard by the 800 odd people on my list,” says the technical writer, who posted a lot on the Delhi gangrape case and even changed his profile picture to a black dot.

A self-employed businessman, Ayush Agarwala posted actively on Facebook when the Anna Hazare movement was going on. “It’s a great trend when it’s taken positively by everyone,” he says. “It opens everyone’s eyes and helps the citizens cleanse the political system. There is nothing bad about it at all,”
he adds.

Agratha, a social media consultant, blogs extensively on issues that bother and has attracted a lot of “cyber hate”. “Social media is bridging the distance between people and sensitising everyone on a number of things. People talk about things like rape, inappropriate song lyrics and derogatory words used at women. These things are so ingrained in our culture that we don’t even realise we are doing it,” she explains.

   “Earlier, issues like sexism and racism were closeted and people used to pretend as if nothing was going on. But the current generation is fighting against it, which is great,”she adds.

Of course, it has its downfalls as she has experienced. “I get attacked a lot on social media as I have very strong opinions. Many a time, people have even ‘unfriended’ me. But a bigger disadvantage is that people can make fake accounts in your name and use your identity,” she notes. Speaking of the ‘Gay for a Day’ campaign in which she wanted to take part but couldn’t find a partner, she says, “Though it was a great campaign, it offended many,” she adds.

Says Supriya, a social media expert at Myntra.com, “Earlier, many issues would die down after a point. But now, with people voicing their opinions on these sites, there is a pressure on the authorities. The Nirbhaya case could have just been forgotten had it not been for social media,” she opines. However, one of the downfalls she feels is that a lot of it is paid for. “Some of the trending topics on Twitter are promotions,” she says.

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