Youth Online Learning Organization (YOLO) & Social Media Matters (SMM) concluded an exclusive survey to understand and analyse the modern-day concerns of internet usage, privacy and security. The survey further circumferenced around various matters such as the ads and usage of personal data, opinions on curated content etc. It helped the organisations to explore and assess exclusive platforms that impact the users positively. The analysis also reflected how the youth could influence the entire humankind and be the changemaker as they use social media to bring a social change.
The survey got an overwhelming response as 2303 respondents got acquainted with the organisation to share their thoughts and out of them, 1401 were women; thus reflecting massive participation of females in proportion to males. Most of the respondents were from the Southern part of India, followed by North-Eastern, including Eastern regions of India.
The study encompassed the use of social media by youth and how most of the people use it for communicating with their friends and family, self-expression and business. The organisation observed that only one-tenth of the respondents use social media for business and around one-fourth of the respondents use it for self-expression, whereas, one-third of the respondents also use social media for learning. Interestingly, YOLO & SMM also witnessed that the use of social media for self-expression and interaction with friends and family is higher compared to those who use it for self-expression and business.
The study also revealed that a few users do not entertain ads as it disrupts their experience. Some of them also feel differently about social media as they think it is a medium which propagates negative thoughts and misinformation, further impacting their peace of mind and life adversely.
Internet, over a short span of time, has become an essential part of people’s lives, introducing social media to the users and making them accustomed to the online portals. Supporting similar thought, the report also suggested that out of all the people that use social media, 88% of those who use it for learning are benefitted the most, getting an advantage over the rest. In contrast, people who use social media for general purposes found it 81% beneficial.
As social media is gaining prominence among every individual, people also use social media platforms for various purposes like earning from their own startup, job search and more. However, nearly 46% see the primary usage of social media for business and entrepreneurship, but only 18% of the respondents stated that they have earned through it whereas the majority of people have not earned anything from any platform. As far as job search is concerned, the report highlighted an equal result as it showed 11% of the users being successful, and the other 11% are having issues with it, eventually resulting in them not being able to grow via the medium.
The usage pattern of social media platforms has increased exponentially, but along with that, people are facing infinite issues like breach of privacy and security. Considering that 68% of respondents are very much concerned about data privacy, whereas 9% are least concerned about it. Social media users are getting more worried because 59% of the respondents have faced uncomfortable situations on social media from people who indulge in negativity and antisocial behaviour. The report stated that only 10% had shown trust in social media, whereas 28% expressed that they have lost faith in these companies because the cases are increasing every passing day.
The main reason for cybersecurity cases is ad content on such platforms. The survey highlighted that 51% of the respondents see Ad content on platforms, and 49% do not see it. In the report, 52% agreed that they are allowed to use their data if paid, whereas 48% don’t allow to use their data even if paid for it. Hence, this proves that people are becoming concerned about their data privacy.
On curated content, a majority of nearly 95% rated this medium to high importance whereas only a few 5% the area where users need help personally with their social media. In this, content development (19%), business development (16%) and digital marketing (15%) are the core areas. 44% of the respondents aspire to be a social media influencer, whereas 56% do not. However, it is interesting to note that 62% have high hopes that social media can bring social change positively. This includes 29% who firmly believe in it and 33% who think that it has a high probability.
Mr. Prem Prakash, Co-founder, YOLO, said, “I have been monitoring the social media use of more than 1,000 interns who have worked with us. I am pleasantly surprised by the positive use of social media for social change by the youth. It’s also important to talk about a lot of good which social media platforms have done. Be it teaching underprivileged kids online, creating awareness campaigns, finding blood donors, distributing ration kits across India, raising funds, social media has helped such projects immensely.”
Ms. Pratishtha Arora, Co-Founder, Social Media Matters, commented on the exclusive report, “In the online world, privacy, safety and security are of utmost importance for any user. It’s a great opportunity for the youth to come forward and express their line of thoughts about the positive use of social media via online spaces. The figures of the report show that the youth is concerned about their data privacy and malpractices which is changing their perspective of using social media.”
The survey reflected the truth of the users who spend time on social media and the worrisome concerns of privacy and security. It further showed the critical part social media plays in one’s life and how one can analyse the pattern to understand its inner working and bring a social change and that’s what the aim of Youth Online Learning Organisation & Social Media Matters has been – to focus on using social media to bring a social change. With this study, the organisation clears the air of misinformation spread about social media and transparently showcases how users feel and use it.