by Farhan Mushtaq
The game of politics around the world is experiencing a new change in concealment, with the introduction of new tools to influence masses and their political ideas via the internet. Yes, social media have proven to be the medium for political change in the recent times. Upheavals in the middle-eastern world gained pace from the social networking sites like Facebook and twitter which eventually spread out in the whole country to bring out an overall change against the dictatorships present. This example very well defines the emerging role of this new medium as it continues to increase its outreach in the masses with the daily addition of around 10 million users a day.
Same is the case with Pakistan. Today, 60% of the population uses social media to connect with their family/friends. This 60% composes mostly of youth which makes it more attractive for the politicians to come and share their respective ideologies. Observing the influential role of social media in turning the public opinion, some of our politicians have also decided to use social media as their source to gain support among the masses. Imran khan, chairperson of PTI seems to have more realized its role before any other politician in Pakistan could do so. PTI mammoth online presence is said to have forced the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party to follow suit with Maryam Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari making and actively operating a Twitter account to represent their respective parties on social media
Now many political parties are spreading their ideas on social media to attract the public and have been successful in doing so. Will this strategy prove to be efficient when they would be contesting the elections? That’s another thing. The political agenda of any party yet remains the fundamental for the winning of elections. Apart from the political utilization of social media, it has brought a new welcoming change in Pakistani politics. I-e the involvement of youth that was so busy cursing politics before, has now started to take some interest in it through social media. This can be the beginning of a change that we have long waited for, if the youth practically starts to play its role actively.