Social Media and National Integrity

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By: Nongmaithem Puinyachandra Singh

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With the explosion of social media platforms, people connect in seconds, the world becomes a village and friendship grows at global level, and information comes to our pocket at no cost. It’s true, and we should acknowledge the power and value of the social media.

In this present world flooded with modern gadgets like smartphones and laptops with internet connection, which are becoming accessible to every individual, the social media such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming very much part of our everyday life, where we get a platform to get to know one another easily, to spread news among us very fast, to know about others without much effort and share thoughts very effectively. As such, we can say that social media play a great role as far as connectivity among people is concerned, helping the society to become a strong society where people are connected and informed well.

But, have we ever thought that it can also torment us when wicked people resort to spewing their poison through this platform? To be precise, the role played by the social media, as in the case of other things where there are always two effects – the negative and  positive, have both the positive and negative effects. For example, even poison, if used positively, does good to human beings, so do such social media.

Those who are on Facebook and Twitter can form groups with like-minded people and have a channel of communication among them, making them easy to keep in touch with one another, to communicate their ideas and build up a strong likeness among them on various issues, thereby leading them to become a force in t

Social Media Image: xen.com.au

he society.

Here in this connection, we can remember the Arab uprisings, the role played by social media and their influence in the overthrowing of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and in the ouster of Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The role of Twitter and Facebook, in disseminating breaking news among the people building up a strong movement which resulted in overthrowing such powerful men, was immense. Some people sometimes call such revolutions ‘Twitter revolution’.

In India as well, since the last few years, we have been witnessing an unprecedented trend in the role social media play. For example, the impact of social media on the result of Delhi Assembly election, which was recently declared, was immense and seen by everybody.

In proportion as the role of social media, with regard to their impact on the society, increases there also arises a fear of such an advantage as we get from the advancement of Information and Communication Technology, being sometimes misused and exploited by some mean-minded people and this is really happening in our country. To give an example, the exodus of North-East people from some big cities of the country one year back, was due to a juxtaposition of Kokrajhar riot in Assam with the killing of Muslims in Myanmar on social media, which was done by a group of mean-minded people who wanted to evoke communal flare just to serve their fundamentalist ideology at the cost of national integrity and unity.

Such misuse of social media is mainly because some people are too much interested in their community they belong to think about others. We need to guard against such dangerous temptations because such things do hardy any good to us except to keep us aloof of other communities at different levels, blocking the channel of communication, which paves the way for misunderstanding among us.

India being a secular and democratic country, where diverse groups of people belonging to different cast, creed, and ethno-identity are living together with peace and harmony, we should not encourage such efforts that would destroy the true meaning of “unity in diversity”.

And also, in the context of Manipur, misuse of these social media can create a lot of problems among its diverse communities who are living togetherjust like members of a family.

So, it’s high time for one and all to prepare ourselves and stand against such evil practices. Now-a-days, with social media are at stake to fall in the hands of such wrong practitioners, civil society organizations and law enforcing agencies should join hands to face any challenge that arises from the misuse of social media.

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