Social media, youth, civil unrest in India
A new rebel's dilemma
Keywords:Social media, Youth bulge, Civil unrest, India, Mixed methods
Social media has received and still receiving tremendous attention as a tool of revolution since the Arab Spring. Current scholarship predicts that like youth bulge in a country, social media can bring about unrest. This paper is an attempt to expand this research agenda and also take it beyond MENA region and authoritarian regimes. Using mixed methods, author tests this proposition in a democratic setting for an Indian sample of 28 states, 4 Union Territories and 200 educated youth. The findings show that presence of social media using educated youth is not a clear threat. Online and offline surveys conducted on a sample of Indian youth also indicate that they do not consider social media a useful ‘technology of revolution’ which can be effectively used for mobilizing support and thereby bringing about any meaningful change. At best, social media helps in gathering support at local level like in a neighbourhood brawl.