Two SocialSurfers Suhasini Mukherjee and Priyanka Londhe, conducted workshops on 5th and 6th February 2018 in the Institute of Hotel Management, Institute of Hotel Management and Culinary Studies, International College for Girls, Shri Bhawani Niketan College for Girls and Indian Institute of Crafts and Design. With these 5 workshops, #SocialSurfing completes 205 workshops from the total target of 300. #SocialSurfing 3.0 started in the month of July 2017 and aims at completion by March 2018.
The trainers had fun interacting with students on the topic of online safety. The discourse on safe and healthy online interaction was weaved into the theme of freedom of expression, intricacies of communication – both online and offline and healthy perception towards people from all genders and social strata. The students were undergraduates and mostly in the age group of 18 to 21 years. They had fun participating in Tangram exercise and enjoyed the video clip from the movie ‘Dear Zindagi’ which is an exciting way of discussing communication techniques. The trainers emphasized upon the importance of enabling Two Factor Authentication, choosing Trusted Contacts, checking on servers that Facebook has retained a log of and creating strong passwords.
The trainers discussed the problems women face when they use social media and the female students in the colleges could relate to the discussion. Being stalked and victimized by fake account creation and being vulnerable to being judged by regressive people were the common grouses. The male students were sensitized on respectful conduct on social media and extending support and encouragement to their female friends for using the same. Some female students spoke to the trainers about the absurdity of marital alliances and the importance given to the girl’s absence from social media platforms. A section of upper caste Hindu regressive culture does not permit girls and women to have a stake in the world they live in. Presence on social media is a mark of existence, exposure to the world and hence having a stake in it. The SocialSurfers were happy to see girls fight the constraints by not only creating a social media identity but also be proud of it. When asked if they have an active Facebook profile, the girls shot their hands up… proud and skywards.