Thanks to social media, today we can connect with people who live on the other side of the world. Giving these platforms the nickname of civilian adhesives wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. They have enabled the human race to express its solidarity and provide assistance in common crises. Plus, giving your opinion on current affairs and disseminating vital information has never been faster. So social networking sites do not divide society; they merge it.
Class XII, La Martinière for boys, Calcutta
Social networking sites bridge social and spatial gaps by providing inclusive spaces for interaction. They strengthen the bonds. Online communities are much larger and more heterogeneous than physical communities. Platforms allow people around the world to fight collectively for causes. Some recent movements, such as Fight against Covid, Black Lives Matter and Me-Too, show how social media platforms act as a tool of unity and integration.
First year, MA, University of Calcutta, Calcutta
Social networking sites offer suitable and accessible collective platforms to channel their thoughts, regardless of their socio-economic position. However, the debate can give rise to contempt at the personal and collective levels. But the divisions were already present in the company, these platforms only amplify them.
Second year, Banwarilal Bhalotia College, Asansol
Networking sites do not create a division in the company. They are simple apps that allow people to share points of view. Twitter, Instagram handles are suspended if they post offensive posts. The division is the result of our views – whether we view opposing views as an offense or just another way of thinking on the matter.
Class X, Mahadevi Birla World Academy, Calcutta
Feeling of superiority
Social media creates a clear divide between the rich and the poor, the privileged and the common people. The division is hidden, seems not to be there. The platforms promote the idea that everyone is equal, but the truth is that there is a very clear division – it only includes the literate or educated sector. Second, apps like Instagram and Snapchat are considered “cool” and “trendy”. Someone who doesn’t use them is looked down upon. Society is divided between users and non-users of social media, those who can chat on Twitter or post photos of luxury travel, and those who work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. just to make ends meet. Social media has also created a sense of superiority among English speakers and wealthy Instagrammers.
First year, MSc, Lady Brabourne College, Calcutta
Connect and divide
You don’t have to be pessimistic to perceive that in the name of a united global village, social networking sites have given birth to a dystopian and divisive societal order. Inequalities of race, caste, gender, religion have been transmitted smoothly to the plethora of platforms. Differences are expressed in the most vicious way. The sites have become an incubator for the divide of ideologies, noticeable in the hatred conveyed by extremists of various political stripes. Social media has really led to greater connectivity, but it would be a perversion to claim that it has brought people together. In reality, different groups of people feel increasingly alienated due to the pervasive influence of sites.
Class XII, Apeejay School, Park Street, Calcutta