Paper to be presented at #husITa16 in Seoul, Korea, 29 June 2016.
Subhasis Bhadra (Gautam Buddha University, India).
Peace is inculcated, nurtured and maintained positively to gain sustainable impact. Peace is always being challenged as the social, political, economic divisions’ surfaces. The divisive forces and the connectors are always active in social context. These forces can be influenced, shaped, organized consciously to make desired changes to strengthen the connectors. Here, comes the importance of social media which is an active conscious social sphere, an online community of consciousness, a civil society voice that can be used to cultivate connectors for sustainable peace. This social media is a wide open social space.
In a study, social media was taken to understand the use of social space by the Hindu and Muslims youths in India that could represent personal relationships, net-works, and attitude towards each others. The study revealed that the friendship within the same religious group is higher and expression of views on this direction is also more. This was interpreted that the youths belong to a particular religious community have more relations within the same religious group because of their family members, friends and neighbors are also from the same religion. Thus, the online social space is reflection of the social situation. Here lies the great potential of using this open space for nurturing and developing positive peace by encouraging the value of acceptance, tolerance, and pluralism.
Through social media, exposure to the different views, ideas contribute significantly in development of self-esteem and identity. The multi cultural, religious, social perspective is strength of social media that has equal potential to expand the space than a real social situation and modify personal views, develop conscious community beyond social prejudices and stereotypes. The social media can effectively play an essential role in shaping this world’s view of humanity, sustainable peace for creating a better world of harmony and coherence.
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