The Social Surfing Workshop with the theme ‘Access is Empowerment’ was conducted in St.Xaviers College on 10th October 2016. The workshop was attended by students pursuing Masters in Public Policy. The workshop began with a video on origin of World Wide Web. Then we went on to examine what does social media mean to us, its function and the issues. A key point which was brought in the discussion was how social media can bring social change. This discussion revolved around the role social media played in the evolution of Jasmine Revolution or the Arab Spring as it is known commonly. The discussion moved on to Facebook, a social network site which played key role in this social revolution. One of the key issues of social networking site is security. So, the next part of the workshop was on highlighting key security features that Facebook offers its users. Since, 99% of the audience used Facebook, we were more or less aware of them. The next part was the most interesting session of the workshop. This session focussed on various policy issues that concern us with respect to social media since we were policy students. The focal points of discussion were around accessibility, cyber security and net neutrality. One of the students who was ‘differently abled’ brought out a very crucial perspective on accessibility. He/She said that the concept ‘accessibility for all’ includes people who are differently abled also.
The final session of the workshop was the activity session wherein all of us had to split into groups and we had to design a campaign of our choice that we would want to start through Facebook. My group’s campaign was ‘Equality of E-quality’. This campaign was later declared as the winning campaign from our college. It was a great opportunity and a platform for me to interact on of the vital topics of discussion today in our country which is social media. This workshop has made me to look at social media critically. This is what I have taken from the workshop personally.
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