Social media & political dynamics

Aima Batool

TODAY in the age of technology, the word new media is not new for Pakistani society. Technological advances in today’s world changes the communication system. The advent of Internet technology totally changed the living standards. Today we live in the age of web and technology where world is moving on our finger tips and the traditional means of media are also affected through this technology, which has also changed the patterns of politics and political activities. The advent innovation of social media work as a fifth pillar of society which gradually but actively changing the needs of people for getting information. Social media and internet both play their role for the mobilization of people to act collectively. It works as an independent media which provides an alternative reading about current affairs.
It is considered as the emergence of politics because it gives voice to general public. It provides platform which helps the people strengthen their ideas about politics on different forums and monitor the all activities of governance holding persons. There is no doubt that new media is a unique way to communicate about political and social issues. Even it works as a treasure of political information and it develops the thinking patterns of society. However, different media analyst consider new media as a roadmap for politics. It work as the fastest means of communication which allow people to connect with political leaders within minutes. Social media’s impact is on both ends good and bad, highly involves and creates exposure for them about politics.
In Pakistan the diffusion of new media is creating the new ways for politics. It not only serves to engage the people for general socializing but it also develops the thinking patterns of people for politics. New media made its space in Pakistani politics and it attracted the majority of Pakistani people within a very short period of time. It has strong emerging and influential power it attracts the people for learning, its features also affect almost every individual especially the new generation. Meanwhile, it seems that it changes the perception of people highly but it also affects Pakistani youth. A few years before it was so difficult for Pakistani society to involve in politics through the advent technology like new media but now majority of people use it for political purposes especially the youth. After the advancement of new media it is now much convenient to take part in political discussion.
Many people especially the youth actively participate on different political websites, blogs, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and political pages for discussion. They get Political news, post, pictures from different online forums and they share that content on their personal accounts. Through this activity they can also do citizen Journalism and engage in political activities. From the emergence of online system people act as a global village .They get knowledge about all political happenings of the world and discus their ideas and perception about the politics with the rest of the world. New media gives a pathway for political Participation. It creates the knowledge about the politics among the general public. it also promotes the political parties, political leaders and political democratic setups and creates the powerful platform which educates and informs the people about the power of their vote.
It has created the political awareness among the youth of Pakistan. New media works as an attractive place which encourages the young people to discuss happenings in their country. Now these apps have the most usage among the youth that’s why all the political parties are utilizing it to encourage the youth towards their parties. Pakistani people especially the youth mostly involve in political participation they are the followers of different political leaders on new media and they use old media forums but after the emergence of new media. Mostly youth and university students are highly active in politics and they also take part in different aspects of political discussion on new media. It forces the political leaders to answer about their strategies and work for public. People use media on a regular basis for political participation they watch talk shows give feedback about the programme content through Twitter , they read newspaper and give their suggestions and share their writing about the country’s happenings through their e-mail.
Mostly media organizations actively run their online forums like e-paper, social media news channel pages, Twitter accounts all these forums are creating new opportunities for people to easily do their political Participation. Awareness about the social media is quite necessary for youth as well as for all citizens. The platform given by social media opened new means to encourage citizens to show commitment in politics and actively participate in political socialization. The usage of internet by the political elites creates more opportunities for political participation. Although the use of social media also influence politics and it is the factor which shape the political participation. Technological development is also increasing the political participation. New media plays its role as political institution because its major content is based on politics and it teaches the people especially the youth about the politics.
It restricted the youth to involve in politics through its content and Pakistani students feel more comfortable to use new media forum rather than the traditional media. Social media’s role can’t be avoided all over the world. With the passage of time political parties also felt to make their political identities through the new media. Now all political parties have their own Twitter and Facebook accounts. As new media connects the people in political discussion it also makes the Politicians more responsible to answer about political activities to their followers. It was examined that in past elections mostly political parties used new media as a tool to attract the youth for voting and political participation. In Pakistan all parties try to engage with youth for their lead in politics. We can say that all political parties successfully utilizing the social media for their political objectives.
— The writer is Research Associates Department of Mass Communication & Media, University of Gujrat.

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