Sneha Harsh

#SocialSurfing through the eyes of Sneha Harsh

A social surfing session was conducted on October 29th, 2015 by Voluntary Agency Placement Program Union at LSR, in collaboration with CSR. Centre for Social Research, a Delhi based NGO empowers the women and girls of India in trying to create fair and gender-just environment. This campaign on #SocialSurfing started in 2010 and over the five years it has been trying to reach a large section of society, especially the youngsters to create positive atmosphere for gender sensitivity.

Sneha Harsh
Sneha Harsh – VAPP, Lady Shri Ram College for Women

The session began with a discussion about social media : what it is, its evolution, primary users and outreach. Over time, we have seen social media nearly replace online news applications as well. Social surfing apps like twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and many others. For an example, given the exceptionally fast  ‘refreshal rate’ on Twitter, it is the platform people log on to, to check the credibility of an earthquake rumor they might have heard somewhere. Professional social media like LinkedIn provides a link between employers and employees, much like the employment agencies of current and yesteryear. This campaign helped us to understand the pros and cons of the social media and collaborate us for the social surfing campaign.

Our consent about what we view and post was spoken about. While we can control what we post, what we consume as we scroll through our news-feed is not entirely in our hands. One must think before posting anything on the social media because the use of social media is ubiquitous, your personal feelings go across   to those who really have nothing to do with your life , that can be taken in a negative way and that’s what we are looking at , be it in metropolitan city or in a small town

This campaign brought up the issues like Racism and patriarchy in the online world. To drive home the difference between virtual and real world interaction, an activity was conducted with two teams : one describing a picture with geometric shapes and the other attempting to replicate it. This enabled us to know the differences in perception from one person to another. There are possibilities when you are trying to convey a status or message that will reach all your connections, they might interpret  it as other way, may be good or bad or may be out of context..

“Counter speech” (or the art of dealing with online hate speech) was a short film screened to show how students amassed support for a classmate bullied online for poor performance in a football match. Based on the idea of counter speech, all attendees of the talk prepared a social media campaign with the material provided on wide ranging issues : beef ban, education system in India, metro buses.

An estimated 1.6 billion people will use social media by 2016. So the question is not whether we’ll use it to not, it’s how well we will use it and for this CSR is trying to spread awareness about. Last but not the least, it was an enriching and productive session.

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