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Is the youth of India swayed by the use of social media in politics.

This is an era of social media. Facebook, Twitter, You tube everywhere. With the proliferation of internet into masses, social media is emerging as a potential way of communication. Popular social media includes Facebook and Twitter. India has 118 million active social media accounts. Of this the more operated social media accounts is by the tech savvy youth. So apparently the more influenced by the social media is the younger generation. Social media is used differently by the different people for different purposes. One of the wide usages is by the politicians who harness the power of social media for their political victory. It is not an exaggeration to say that social media is playing enormous role in political victories.

A Pew research study in December 2012 established that nearly 45% of the Indian web users connect on social media to discuss politics. People particularly youth are staying updated with the news through social media. By the exposure to the abundant information every day, the youth are getting more engaged in politics. They are debating, expressing their views on politics through social media. Many of the politicians are staying close to people through social media.

Young minds are impressionable. They get fascinated towards new things and happenings around them. Earlier the political discussions were limited to middle aged and old people but now youth is also involved in political discussions and social media is a platform for all the youth to share and express their views.

Though it has both positive and negative impacts, positive side would be discussed first. Politicians sometimes can't express their views freely through traditional media, during such situations they choose social media to express their views. Social media, no doubt, is more democratic since anyone with access to the Internet can raise an issue in the public arena. Movements like Anna Hazare anti corruption movement has spurred the youth to actively participate and support the movement. Protest against Delhi rape incident is one of the biggest movement by the people through social media. The youth's political participation in terms of attending rallies and campaigns is on the rise.By the extensive usage of social media the number of youth entering into the politics is increasing, paving way to the development of the country.

Besides the positive impact, youth are swayed by the use of social media in politics negatively also. Some politicians use social media as vote bank and attract the people by false promises unfortunately the young people fall prey to this. People generally follow their favourite politicians through social media like Facebook,Twitter etc. social media is a platform for debates ,nonetheless debates which lead to serious fights also. The Web and social media have created a level of transparency that never before existed in our country. Too much of democracy will lead to political cynicism, apathy and skepticism by discussing or debating deeply on a particular issue. If the people have healthy debates on political issues it is well and good but some young people turn aggressive due to the extended debate on political issue which belongs to his favourite politician. Most of the times they discuss controversial issues which leave negative impact on young minds.

Generally political parties criticize each other through traditional media as well as social media. People who follow the political parties will also have the impact for instance if one politician criticizes another party's politician then the people who follow these political parties also criticize each other even though they don't know each other. Some people in order to become famous will go an extra mile and use abusive language. All these lead to hatred, abhorrence towards each other which is a menace to unity among the people.

Social media has both negative and positive impact on young minds. Too much involvement in any issue particularly political issue will lead to disputes between common people. Having healthy debates on social media is good for gaining political awareness and active participation in politics. But too much involvement is dangerous. Politics are always dystopian, it is the young people who must limit themselves from ailing debates. Politicians may not be the same throughout their political life but it is the young people who are swaying between good and bad. After all politics is a game and the young people are advisable not to become a toy in that game. On the other side it is the right of the people to express their feelings on political parties or politicians; after all we have elected them as our representatives.

K.B.D.Sridevi