Sanitation and hygiene constitutes a mere 12 per cent in issues discussed on social networking sites by Gen Next

Does Gen Next associate itself with social issues? What issues concern them the most? The answer to these questions have been found in a research which indicates that 60 per cent of all Indian SNS (Social Networking Site) users belong to Gen Next and 62 per cent of these netizens are digitally associated to UNICEF amongst whom environment is found to be the most popular issue of concern followed by social work, violence against women and child abuse. Sanitation and hygiene, however, are highly neglected and are discussed only by 12 per cent of users.

The empirical research has been conducted by Drizzlin, a social media marketing agency in collaboration with UNICEF among the Gen Now and Gen Next on issues like sanitation and open defecation. A comparative analysis has also been done on the views posted by the Gen Yest (40-54 years), Gen Now (25-39 years) and Gen Next (13-24 years).The study was done on 225,000 individuals from 104 towns across 82 national sample survey regions (NSSO) and over 800 villages.

The research is an initiative to understand Indian youth and their conversations on social issues on social media networks. The social media platform was chosen as people prefer to keep their views personal when it comes to speaking in public, whereas they are more open and upfront on social media.

The study also endeavoured to trace the role Gen Next plays in such conversations. Are they the initiators or the participants? According to the conversations sourced from the news media, policy issues and personal experiences, the Gen Now and Gen Yest have mostly initiated conversations on the issue while Gen Next does have a strong inclination towards hygiene and sanitation but initiate little amount of conversations on the web. Identity is found to be an important issue in conversations that have resulted in a high level of Gen Next participation.

The nature of the conversations on open defecation on digital media has varied geographically. The Gen Next Digital Media users have focused on peripheral cues of the message of issues like sanitation. There is a need for such conversations to be more solution oriented.

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