Social media is a phrase being tossed around a lot these days but it may be difficult for most of the people to define social media. So what exactly is social media then? To know the meaning of social media let us break it first. Media is the main ways through which the large number of people receives information. Social media is the networking and connecting linkage between more people in the virtual communities and networks. Briefly, Social media is all about online networking.
The different forms of Social Media technologies includes Google, facebook, Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, micro blogs (e.g. twitter) wikis, youtube, etc. Technologies include blogging, picture sharing, video sharing, comments, tweet, wall-posting, emails, music sharing, instant messaging, etc. Each year, we grow increasingly connected as networks evolve and new forms of sharing emerge. According to the article “The Emerging Role of Social Media in Political and Regime Change” by Rita Safranek, “The Middle East and North Africa region has one of the most youthful populations in the world, with people under 25 making up between 35-45% of the population in each country. They make up the majority of social media users, including about 17 million Facebook users, 25,000 Twitter accounts and 40,000 active blogs, according to the Arab Advisors Group. The statistical data shows the increasing charm of the social networking in the World.
Social media has both positive and negative impacts on youths. It depends on the usage of the social network. Hacking, pornography, divorce are few bad things that is possible through these social networks but in contrary social media can play a vital role in the capacity building of youths. The technologies like blogging, uploading, sharing can help in building reputation and bringing in career opportunities and monetary income. Since, in social media youths get the facility to present their ideas in front of the virtual communities it helps to increases their confidence level. Thus, self-disclosure and self-presentation are the main facility that the social media can provide. Although newspapers also publish the articles, poems and thoughts of the youths but it require significant resources to publish information as in most cases the articles goes through many revisions before being published and sometimes they just go unpublished which may demoralize any emerging talent. Thus social media provides the platform for any youth to advertise themselves and to show their hidden talent in front of the world.
Online education is another factor which plays an important role in the capacity building for youths. According to the U.S. Department of Education study revealed that online students out-performed those receiving face-to-face instruction. They are comparatively inexpensive and accessible to enable anyone. Today, one in six higher education students are enrolled in an online curriculum. Thus, it also sharpen their habits of searching, sharing and reading. Social media like facebook, makes people more social as they help in forming friendship, tagging and chatting. Some people are shy in nature. They have lack of confidence and can’t present themselves infront of other people so social media is really a great gift for them to extent their boundaries and replicate their knowledge to others. Through social networks, youths can participate in various trainings, conferences, seminars, campaigns within and outside the country and thus can broaden their horizon in any topic through their active enrollment. They do also represent their countries to the outside world. Social media also provides information about such active personalities which is a matter of inspiration to others who want a change.
Social media facilitate youths also in terms of monetary income as they provide facilities of online jobs. Today, when the world is facing job crisis, youth with only little talent of social media can be enrolled in the online jobs. This makes them busy, experienced and they can also earn some money during their student life and can support their families as well. The outer personality or sex has nothing to do with the online jobs. Different groups of the young youth activists like environment networks, youth alliance for environment, groups for children and youths, etc have provided youth a direction to work in the field of their interests and to promote the environmental, social and national issues to United Nation, Government officials and different NGOs and INGOs. The voices of the young youth activists are being heard largely due to the social media. On average, 47% of social media users engage in social care. This has not only made youths enthusiastic and passionate about their field of interest but also it has made them more disciplined, focused and capable.
Thus, today social media is a boon to the society. Rather than focusing on the bad impacts of social media on youths, we should try to catch the opportunities to boost our energies with the help of social media.