Dear Readers,

Yesterday, we
gave you the following practice topic for WAT – “Social networking strengthens relationships but also makes youngsters
This question had appeared in the new IIMs joint entrance in 2013.
In this article, we will look at the correct approach for an essay on this
topic and will also cover some important points which may be used in this

Guidelines – How to Approach this Question

Being a generic question, you
can choose any viewpoint, as long as you are using relevant points to back your
answer up.

The topic has a premise –
“social networking strengthens relationships” – and seeks expansion on how it
makes youngsters lonely. You can start your essay by tracing the origin of
social media and how it has developed or expanded over the years.

Ideally, you should provide points
which satisfy the needs arising from the topic. However, if you have a
different viewpoint (e.g. you do not think social networking strengthens
relationships), you should make sure that you have an excellent set of

If there is further scope for
remedies or solutions, you can include them so that your essay becomes wholesome.

What to Write in the Answer

Here are some
points which you can use in your essay:

· Introduction: You can start by giving a
general background of the advent of social media – how it revolutionised the
world by creating a platform for people where they can connect with anyone
across the globe. You could also start your essay by defining/explaining the
term “social media” and its vast applications in unifying the world.

· Main Body: Here you can elaborate on the
impact of social networking on relationships. While you can discuss how it
strengthens them, you can also talk about its demerits. Based on that, you can
move to the second part and explain how it is making youngsters lonely.

· Impact on relationships: Social
networking giant Facebook was created as a domain exclusively for Harvard
students to interact with one another. As it expanded and drew global interest,
more and more people signed up so that they could connect with their friends
and relatives who were far away. People were able to track down long lost
friends and found a way to share pictures as well as their opinions on various

Similarly, Twitter has served
as a great platform for people to exchange opinions and views. Other websites
like LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc. have contributed to connecting link-minded people
together in some way or the other. Social media has thus, aided in cementing
newer relationships and strengthening older ones.

· How has Social Networking affected youngsters? Majority of the traffic on social media sites is that of youngsters.
They found a new medium to interact with their school or college friends, to
look at their pictures and to know more about their personal life. With a
couple of clicks, youngsters can find a lot about a person. In cases of locked
or private profiles, some youngsters have even tried hacking. This has not only
led to grave violations of privacy but also encouraged practices like stalking
by making them easier. They have found newer ways to manifest their obsession
with certain friends or even celebrities. In other words, social networking has
created delusions in them about relationships.

Nuclear families and one-child households
have further propagated loneliness in youngsters. With nobody to talk to at
home after school, they turn to social networking sites and open themselves up
to vulnerability.

People are obsessed with
collecting social karma in the form of likes and comments. While these likes
and comments might be forms of appreciation or critiques, the youth can be
misled into believing that these symbolisms actually stand for something
substantial. Such thinking can lead to unhealthy obsessions and complications.

Your work on your essay is
ideally done if you have covered these points. However, to make your essay
stand out, you can also discuss the possible remedies for this issue.

· How to deal with this? Parents and
teachers have a huge role to play. There should be regular counselling sessions
for students who are in their pre-teens so as to avert possible insecurities
and problems. Parents should try to create a friendship-like bond with their
children. If youngsters are able to trust and confide in their parents or even
elder siblings, their mental health can be considerably aided and they can grow
up in a better environment.    

· Conclusion: A brief summary of core
points should serve as a good conclusion. Social media sites have become great
assets to the world by connecting everyone but in this process, youngsters are
becoming increasingly lonely. Their emotional and mental well-being is at risk
and apt measures should be taken in order to ensure their safety.

The next WAT
topic is – “Recently a law has been
passed to ban A-rated films on television. Why do you think this decision has
been taken?”
(IIM Bangalore, 2013)

The answer to the previous WAT Practice Topic is here.

To access the whole series of our WAT articles, you can start here:…

In the comments section of this article, you can find the link to the next article and so on. 

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