Newspapers were the only medium of communication in the beginning of 20thcentury when radio and television had not been introduced. Afterwards, a few radio and television stations were established in their early phase and the majority of the public had to trust the print media in a spoon-fed way with the limited and customized information. There was no ‘say it all’ material and source where the masses could be able to get the desired information. Governments and rulers were in a position to show the public what they wanted to.
Twenty first century has witnessed tremendous change waves in different domains of technology and information technology is the biggest wave that has shaken the very foundations of the convention means of media and communications. Unlike the past, any news gets viral within seconds and the entire world gets into it with quick responses or reactions of the people. Even the news which are avoided or misquoted by the television channels, get the attention of the common people and popularity among them within no time. Any decision, step, or act by the governments or the society cannot be hidden now under the cover of silence.
Old assumption of political socialization says that the agents of political socialization are civic curriculum in schools, parents’ impact on their offspring, mass media, and the youth. But the new age interprets it as the sole involvement of the youth who are mentally more independent today because of media that is available any time on their tablets, mobiles, laptops, and computer screens. Face-to-face communications with peers at work and family, distant work, online buying and selling, whattsapp, and video conferencing have revolutionized the communication system that has enormously increased the political socialization among public especially the youngsters around the globe.
As the most influential agent of political socialization, internet has changed the traditional sources of information. They have a quick and complete access to the political information on any national and international issue. Policies, laws, and other topics are available on the online channels of news sites and websites which can be shared by the viewers with their communities and contacts on Social Media.
Open debates and discussions are floated on any given subject and then the story gets a wide spread. Since the youngsters like adventurers and they embrace any change in its primary phase, they reach the fountainheads of data and information and play their remarkable role in proliferating it among the public. Election campaigns of the political parties, their manifestations, slogans, past history, future planning, and every other relevant material is available on internet from where students can get it.
Educational institutions are aware of the need of political orientation of the students in the present scenario at national and international level. It has provided its students with the necessary sources to get themselves engaged in the political development in the country and across frontiers. Social Media of today is pretty active and it consistently plays its role in spreading political cognizance among students. Debates on the current issues and problems are shared on Face Book pages. Political discussions are initiated to get the students involved into the political developments around them. Youngsters foster their political identities online, share their preferences and likes for their political parties and leaders.
Students of present day world join discussions on the burning issues and political events Social Media and their opinions, likes, and dislikes are shared with and conveyed to their contacts in family and friends online. Clicking one “Like” or “Comment” spreads the message to those who are interested in the subject and want to know more on the topic and even those who are least interested in political situations around them, get information from these comments, likes, and debates. Thus the media creates powerful political socialization among students.
Face Book and Twitter pages are the fastest channels of communication that can bring any story to book. Use of 3G and 4G mobiles internet connection has made it more convenient for the youth to stay tuned to the political developments in the country. It helps them form their opinions, judgments based on their knowledge, tilts on the grounds of their observations and perceptions, and above all, they play their part in electing the next government through the power of their vote.