Social media has been the top feature of tech trends in India. That in itself has the capacity to make you feel happy if you are a social media buff or ardently love social media and was waiting for it to arrive in the scene. It did this year in a big way but not exactly in the positive manner but made its presence felt to many by some arrests. If the arrest of professor in West Bengal over his sharing of post on Mamata Banerjee could lead to his arrest what happened after the molestation case in Guwahati where exodus of people belonging to north eastern states happened on a large scale due to posts on social media, people got aware there is a medium which can create trouble. Social media did create trouble for the people and it become evident when arrests of two girls happened in Maharashtra. There fault was one of them had posted regarding the shutdown in Maharashtra and her friend had liked that status update on Facebook. The arrests happened using 66A of the IT Act which has been termed as a draconian section. Later on we saw a PIL filed by a 21 year old Shreya Singhal at the Supreme Court and later on the apex court intervened and finally government modified rules under this act.
Was social media only this? No it was not. It was the unifying factor which brought people from different corners of the country for a cause. It happened when the anti rape protests happened and it got huge support. People were getting to know many things through social media. More people wanted to be connected on social media platforms when they were on the move and that is what the stats say where 904 million subscriptions completed in October 31 and in the first half of the year 102 million handsets were sold out of which only 6 million were smartphones and majority were the low-end phones with which people can stay connected. Social media on mobile phones have got entry in India that we can understand.
Does that mean we should now relax and be happy or this is just a superficial picture. Do we actually understand what is it? Are we taking it seriously or thinking it is just there for fun or for creating issues? Have we realized the importance of social media? Is the government connecting with the people on it? Are plans and policies before they are passed announced on social media to garner public opinion? Or the government views it as something hot to touch and is extra cautious while dealing with it? The restrictions, the control on internet freedom, the monitoring- all that which have got into online space, is that what social media is all about? The thought which again comes to my mind, no social media is much more than this and we still have to get into its depth. We have just started reading the first paragraph, we have got acquainted with the concept but we cannot yet understand it fully and of course cannot analyze it as of now. But what is heartening is the fact that we started reading the book which was lying all this while with us.