‘oh it’s so irritating to see my students are always at facebook!’ Mr. Reddy (46, teacher at a private school ) commented recently during a conversation over coffee. A widening generation gap on the perception of social network (‘wastage of time’ vs. ‘great way to communicate’) and it’s super emphasized ‘ill effects’ are mushrooming the ban of social networks at the educational institutions across India.
But, contradicting to what the ‘oldies’ think, here’s a survey report that was published at the time of India, June 16th 2013. The report states “about 75 per cent of India's youth prefers social media over phone calls to communicate, with more students using the Net for school-related tasks, says a TCS survey…. The findings, a part of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Gen-Y survey 2012-13, reveal that today's youth are collaborating through social networking tools and building virtual communities aided by affordable bandwidth and smart devices.”
Interestingly, the youth are also finding ways to divert the firewalls and access social networks! Rubani (21years) informed me that platforms like ‘hidemyass’ is increasingly used to access the banned contents. It’s also ‘cool’ to break the firewall and let everybody know! Recently in the confession page one girl expressed her ‘love and respect’ to a boy who is known to be a great ‘breaker’.
The TOI reported ‘India's post-millennial generation, those people born in 1996 and afterwards, seem set to overtake the preceding millennial generation, taking communication over social networks like Facebook and Twitter and instant messaging modes like Whatsapp to newer extremes… Nearly three out of four students cited "Research for School" as the main reason to access the Internet followed by social reasons like chatting and connecting with friends (62 per cent)… Seventy four per cent of those surveyed said they use Facebook the most to communicate while 54 per cent conceded to use SMS, both significantly higher than the number of students who said they use voice calls (44 per cent) for the same purpose… The survey said the urban post-millennial generation is increasingly turning to text and chat as alternatives to voice”.
To be noted most of the institutions even banned mobile phones! Large universities like Anna university (which controls 227 engineering colleges apart from many other universities) have banned mobile phone way back in 2006.
To TOI TCS Chief Executive N Chandrasekaran said “Urban school students today are gaining greater online access with more affordable bandwidth and smart devices on offer. They are an ultra-connected generation using the power of the Internet for education as well as collaborating through social networks and building virtual communities."
The survey added that the preference for Facebook is equally high among respondents in both metros (92 per cent) and mini-metros (91 per cent).
Hence, there is a clear perception gap (regarding the usage of social media and mobile phone) among the Gen next and older generation. The older generation must understand that social networks are great platforms to learn, communicate, network and gain knowledge.
Read the TOI report here
Other references : http://education.sulekha.com/cell-phone-banned-by-anna-university_90118_blog