Social Media: A necessary evil?

Social Media: A necessary evil?

Young Nagas dissect its possible impacts

 

Moa Jamir

 

A bubbly young girl with “eagerness to live and experience life” is trapped by dark calculated move of a dangerous sociopath who used the social media as a tool (Parry) to trap her. (Watch the video here https://youtu.be/TiCHETobino

Social netwotk in in Nagaland

This is the gist of the winning video submitted by the students of Unity College, Dimapur on the theme ‘The Effect of Social Networking on Naga Youth,’ an initiative undertaken by Young Indians (Yi), Nagaland Chapter last year. A team from Tetso College, Dimapur bagged the runners up prize.

 

In the world of instant gratification and rapid information flow, the direction of life and interaction is often shaped and influenced by ‘trending’ and ‘hashtags’ on social media.

 

The world today has migrated into the world of virtual reality where social media platforms such as Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook and instagram et al have become our existential reality.

 

In this universe, ‘viral’ is not a disease we conventionally associate with, but denotes an image, video, piece of information, etc. that is circulated rapidly and widely on the Internet literally inflicting the virtual world.

Social Media (4)
Every activities are uploaded and shared on social media (Unity College Video)

 

Reputations are made or broken in an instant. Some hit the gold mine while others bite the dust.

 

Keeping this in context, Yi Nagaland started the initiative and a ‘case study and presentation competition’ for the same was held at Patkai Christian College on October 10, 2015.

 

Students from the Yuva Chaupals of Tetso College, Patkai Christian College, Unity College and Sazolie College had participated at the competition by producing 5 minute films focusing on an array of issues, relating to social media in the Naga context.

 

Their videos, which analysed diverse topics on the emerging paradigm facilitated by social media such as changing of local lifestyles, rise of online entrepreneurship, and dangers of cyber crime and cyber bullying, were released on February 21 on YouTube.

 

Likes: Social Media as a Boon

Social media is just we need in this era of limitless possibilities, but are we sharing too much? Are we always clicking? Use it wisely, stressed a entry from Tetso College. (Watch the video here https://youtu.be/PWE0lL1HIR0)

 

In the video, Imtinsunep Longchar, of Ilandlo Online Shopping Site explained how social media can be harnessed as an effective tool to promote and advertise at every level. “The most positive impact is the responses which are quick and sophisticated.”

 

“It is not just about trying to push a product via social media, but it also acts as a channel to connect with the client and customers,” Medoneizo Putsure, the Managing Director of Bambusa opined. “In this way we get feedbacks from them and make requisite changes, if any.”

Social Media (3)
Checking social media is the first activity most youngsters usually perform first thing in the morning (Patkai Christian College Video)

 

Social Media (2)
The luring and the outcome. In this video collage from Unity College, a young girl is lured into meeting an unknown person she met on the social media resulting in fatal outcome.

 

As a business venture, it is a bridge between me and potential customer, said Khriemelie Metha, Proprietor of Nagaland Combat Academy. “Queries and concerns are answered effectively in shortest possible time.”

 

For Yanger Imchen of Sinai Ministry, social media is a platform which can be used positively to inform and invite about the Ministry’s various activities. “We share stories and events affecting those who do not attend,” he said, adding many churches are using it as a tool to reach out to people, especially the younger generation.

 

In a video submitted by Sazolie College (https://youtu.be/oXVIbwsi5os), Sievituo Solo Cyclist and founder Recycling Initiative said for any social service, half of the work is through social media. When we share the works undertaken, people see and also share the same and, we gain more publicity and more volunteers, he added.

 

4.The message from Tetso College.
The message from Tetso College.

Yanpvuo Yanfo Kikon, IT Consultant (SeMT) and co-founder of Indihut/ The Naga Blog/ Native Station discussed how it can act as a vibrant platform to generate online entrepreneurship, personal growth and connecting positively.

 

‘Dislikes’: Social Media as a Bane

Taking part in the Tetso College’s video, Shoukha Kakheto (NPS), Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Dimapur said while there are many positive impact, social media has its limitations.

 

The main concern for police can be attributed to the fact that the social media has created a “faceless entity” whose action can create havoc in other people’s life or society.

 

Spreading of rumours and hate message, cases of internet fraud and cheating are some common impacts, he informed.

 

He also expressed concern with the issue of defamation through inappropriate usage of videos and images without permission from concerned person(s).

 

In a world that craves instant gratification, “Think twice before speaking, but think ten times more before posting,” Kikon advised batting for using social media responsibly.

 

“It is a dynamic platform if used positively. Education, social work, business, state of affairs can be discussed in a nuanced manner if we temper it with responsibility.”

 

In another entry from Tetso College, Rozelle Mero of the Peace Channel opined, “We have so much to learn from each other and the virtual world is the reality where we can convene and discuss diverse issues,” However, propaganda, brainwashing can also happen and we need proper researches before any such move. (https://youtu.be/q7LfagcsI2E).

 

While admitting the indispensability of social media for growth and networking, Popular Naga Musician Alobo Naga maintained, “It should be part of our life but not so that we cannot live without.”

 

Also in the video, a parent expressed concern about the addictive nature of the platform and its impact on emotional and social life of the youngster.

 

“I was an active user, but now am scared after my personal information was misused,” admitted a youngster in one video with a note of caution.

 

The winning video by Unity College titled “Parry,” provided a narrative depiction of the dark side of social media where innocent youngster are trapped under various pretexts, which ultimately end up endangering their lives.

 

Overall, the entries suggest that the world of virtual reality is a necessary evil which one has to tread cautiously. While it enables us many possibilities, it also exposes us to perils of many avatars. However, its usage will continue to grow and impact everyone in diverse ways.

 

In such a scenario, a lesson advocated in the video entry from Patkai Christian College rings true. Every metal has its own reverse, social media networking as a blessing or a curse depends on one’s own utility. (https://youtu.be/DkbC3WbbxHA).