Role of Social Media in Environment Awareness

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100 million! That a lot of people right? If Kolaveri the Tamil song could go viral with more than 42 million hits, the documentary on Joseph Kony could go viral with 100 million hits, why can’t the environmental issues go equally viral? So let me ask, how many of you actually turned off the lights on the 31st of March? (Pause) I can see a quizzical expression on some of your faces. Well I am referring to the Earth Hour. The Earth Hour this year was publicized through various means of media like newspapers, social networking sites, radio and so on. 87% of the participants in the earth hour walk were mobilized through social networking sites. Who would have thought that these sites could actually reach such a large audience to promote this kind of a cause? Social Media is able to reach a vast percentage of the world’s complex society. To understand the influence of social media and its impact on its viewers and listeners, we conducted a survey targeted on two major age groups – 40 teenagers aged between 15 and 18 and 16 adults aged between 30 and 50. Twelve questions were asked and you can see them displayed on the screen. According to this survey, 93.1% of the respondents owned an account or a page in internet blogs. It’s not just the social networking sites which contribute but also entertainment-education. The average amount of time we spend on watching television is around 3 hours per day which means we spend 1095 hours in a year in front of the TV! BUT how many of us have tried NOT to change the channel when we see an environmental show? Conferring to our statistics, it seems that adults are more educated through T.V shows than teens are. Newspapers are always doing their bit to spread awareness among people. Gulf News launched the ‘No to Plastic Bags’ campaign four years ago in response to hundreds of camels and gazelles dying in the desert after eating plastic bags. And, in a bid to reduce the use of plastic bags, Gulf News distributed 200,000 free jute...
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