Social Media: A Dominant Medium for Activism for Youth?

Published : Feb 26, 2021 05:23 pm | By: M D Sridharan

Social Media: A Dominant Medium for Activism for Youth?


Increasingly more and more youth are drawn to activism across the world and social media has become the dominant medium for such activities.

Increasingly more and more youth are drawn to activism across the world and social media has become the dominant medium for such activities. While the young people are attracted by the popularity and the widespread reach of the social media besides the immediate fame it can trigger, the fact remains that the social media has emerged as a double-edged sword for activism.

Over the years social media platforms has grown many folds and today it has become the perfect platforms for the millions of people, especially youths, to express their opinions. Even political parties heavily rely on social media to propagate their ideologies and vision. Even governments across the globe use these platforms to reach out to the people. Overall, the social media platforms have become the perfect cyber tool for everyone to share their opinions as a freedom speech and expression. Leave alone the expressions of ideas being trounced and statement by the leaders and celebrities being trolled, today social media is increasingly used as a weapon to vent the ire against a ruling establishment under the umbrella of activism.

Cyber wars against ideologies are being waged through social media and it is unending and most of the time it turns out to be against the ruling dispensation. Right from conceiving to executing those ideas to the tilt like inviting, participating and finally leading to protesting all such activities are being performed through social media with aplomb.

In the last decade social media has proved to be the backbone of several incidents of huge protests that have taken place across the world. Undoubtedly social media has become the dominant medium for provocations and galvanising support be it against a government or a religion or a community. 

As a result all over the world activists are proactively using social media to achieve their goals. Though Indian Constitution guarantees every citizen the freedom of speech and expression and also activism is a legitimate weapon, there exists a limit to such activities and it is bound by the law of the land.  

Unfortunately today activism and social media have become inter-twinned and the social media has proved to a double-edged sword that it can benefit the activists by provoking the like-minded thinking individuals, especially the youths, and also liable to be prosecuted under the law of the land. Under the constitution of India the government is armed rights to both monitor and control such activities through social media.  While Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution guarantees that “all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression”,  Article 19 (2) allows the government to take appropriate actions against the activists if such activities affects the security, sovereignty and integrity of India.

The new age social networking culture with extensive use of social media has been on the rise in India. Undoubtedly utilisation of social media has captured the attention of Indian youth entirely. In today’s world   the new generation youths cannot imagine a life without Face book, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts and online handles.

Finally, it boils down to a simple logic that while everyone has freedom to express, he or she should be ready to accept the criticism over their opinions. Certainly, if the opinion is an informed and good then one gets good response. On the contrary, if it is provocative, then he or she is bound to face the consequences.