We must inspire the youth to participate in the process of nation-building through social media. The generation is already well versed with technology, apps and smart phones. It is high time we exploit it. 4Cs of social media are Content, Collaboration, Community and Collective Intelligence. Taken together, these four themes constitute the value system of social media.
Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, is one of the earliest adopters of Twitter among politicians and has over 1.9 million followers. Milind Deora, Minister of State for Communications, Information Technology and Shipping, is another prolific tweeter. The two-time parliamentarian from South Mumbai, a high impact constituency according to IRIS, was the first Congress leader to tweet against the infamous ordinance that would have allowed convicted lawmakers to contest elections, just a day before Rahul Gandhi called the ordinance "complete nonsense".
What makes social media different from traditional forms of campaigning is that it is two-way communication. Social media allows the audience to talk back. It is cheaper, too. Digital media empowers the citizens to ask questions and demand answers. It influences opinions and pushes leaders to be transparent. Social media companies are also doing their bit to raise political awareness among people. Facebook has launched a "Register to Vote" initiative, while Twitter is offering a service where users can follow someone through a missed call or text message. Digital media promises to be a game-changer in the upcoming elections.
Social media is the pulse of what the nation feels. They give a platform where a person writes whatever he feels, his inclination towards political parties ideologies. "There are 160 high impact constituencies out of the total of 543 constituencies, which are likely be influenced by social media during the next general elections," the study by IRIS Knowledge Foundation and Internet and Mobile Association of India has said.
I believe that what leaders think and how they work is clearer through these social media networks. It is an indication of the thought process and helps a voter to understand the working of their political strata. It helps us to research about the candidates and then vote. It acknowledges the importance of voice of an Indian.
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