A decade ago, none could imagine that mobiles and their applications would become an indispensable part of our lives.  The tweets, +1s, pins and likes have risen exponentially. Each day billions of users and tweets happen. 19 billion users login facebook every month…150 million active users login instagram monthly… intriguing numbers across the globe… isn’t it? Social media usage has leaped from 26 percent in 2011 to 42 percent in 2014.  No doubt Indians and especially youths are no less in usage of these apps.

Source of Data:  Billions of users and tweets per minute: social media in 2013 by the numbers

IMPACT on our LIVES

Social media and it applications have come to play a great role in our life. A normal person used to eat, drink, breathe and work for survival. But in todays world, our life revolves around much more. We eat, drink, breathe, work, talk on mobile and just can’t live without updating all about it, or expressing our emotions through it or venting out our frustration through it. Not just this, an app keeps a tab on our exercise regime, another one measures our steps, helps us makes notes, guides us routes, etc. So when mobile apps can do so much to keep us fit… they can keep the country fit and fine too…lets use its power.

The social media applications are very useful in our day to day activities. The students are fascinated by it, the youth is charmed by it and the older generation is gearing up to it. Isn’t it interesting when the children update or insist their grandparents to be on Facebook or Whatapp or Wechat.  The good news is every generation is realizing the importance of it… definitely these apps have a long way to go…

GO VOTING

Voting is important but in the age group 18 to 35, the turnout is the least. This happens due to many reasons, maybe because they feel politics is dirty, one vote will not matter much or they are too busy, ignorant, negligent to play their part in the selection of the government. Such people don’t have rights to crib or complain about the country as well. Anyways, the wrong can always be corrected. Minds can be influenced. The outlook can be improved. The people can be motivated. And the most ‘in thing’ can bring a revolution.

Ways how APPS can mOtiVaTE to VOTE.   (Motivate itself carries all letters of Vote)

  • Obama’s campaign in USA made the best use of technology, lets learn how they made it big.

A team of coders and engineers there redefined how individuals could use the Web, social media, and smartphones to participate in the political process. Without ever entering a campaign office, a mobile app allowed voters  to download and return walk sheets ; Web platform called Dashboard gamified volunteer activity by ranking the most active supporters; and “targeted sharing” protocols mined an Obama backer’s Facebook network in search of friends who wanted to register, mobilize, or persuade.

Source of information : Google

Indeed a great way to influence the canvassers….!!!  Our mobile phones take pictures, shoot video, play music, run games, and can do about a million other things then they can definitely remind us each day that you got to exercise your right to vote too. Lets build on some ideas..

  • The social media apps can help to prepare a strong database. They can collect voter information and analyze it to help the social committees, individual firms, reforming organization to approach individual voters by direct mail and phone.
  • Engaging conversations , forums , groups, giveaways , ideaboxes, surveys, blogging contests should come in picture through the apps by which problems, interests of individual voters can be known and addressed. Apps should have great commenting features making it easy for visitors, voters, supporters to discuss and debate issues close to their hearts.We users along with social media apps have to and must generate lot of conversations with the theme : ELECTIONS 2014
  • The way Google does it…. more can be done!! Google has always come up with great ideas to celebrate the voting days. This should not be just for the day but during the pre election days as well. The mobile apps should show a ballot box, a voter, voting symbols etc to reiterate the significance of casting votes. We must share it with our friends and contacts. This will lead to discussions and influence the users for sure.

  • Photos and video galleries showing or talking about ‘casting your vote’,  ‘power of one vote’ , ‘2014 Elections’ should be prepared and shared through the mobile apps so that it makes an impact on all those who see them. Remember pictures always say more than the words.
  • We love our phones. A lot. We would love it more if it solves complex issues. How about an application that comes along with an influential social media apps for free which easens the process for voters to obtain their Voter id cards. We definitely need an application of this kinds. Many voters are not able to vote because they do not live in their native cities and have not been able to get their voter ids made yet. If such an application comes, I would blog about it through the wordpress app.

 

I will make many posters like below with a postermaker app… one of the ways to reach out to people.

All those who say ‘Don’t care’ for Voting need to be reached and influenced by the social apps.

VIRTUAL VOTING will also motivate

  • I will share the below pictures of similar kinds as below after voting through all my social media accounts.
  • Virtual Voting Apps. To give a run through, a practice like feel before the elections and a motivation for the actual day , not just the news channels but other social media apps should also create a virtual voting environment. Every mobile number should be used uniquely and the user should be able to cast his/ her vote. The results should appear in figures and also facts should be reiterated  that if you don’t vote the right party, the non deserving one will win. I will defenitely participate in the e voting activities and spread the message with my friends as well.
  • Social apps should get more creative and come up with special emoticons for Lok Sabha Elections 2014. More smileys or other pictures  should be developed that look similar to ballot box, index finger with the ink, governing chair, voter casting his vote etc. Users will enjoy using them and will relate them better with elections. It will help definitely help to influence youth. Huge numbers of shares and retweets will be done by me.

  • Lots of media exchange in the form of conversations, influential article sharing, talking, pictures, posters, videos , emoticons, symbols is needed all around the theme of Elections. The users like us have to lots of talking and influencing and definitely playing the great role of motivating our friends, followers, supporters to make them walk to the the ballot box… This will work for sure!!!!

  • On the Election day, Social Media Apps should give a pop up to everyone to go and vote. In sync with GPS they should update every user about its nearest polling booth and inspire them to go out and vote. More than that we can go about messaging and texting everyone we know that ‘ My friend, head out to vote’.
  • Also there can be something more like why not offer incentives or some free usage of a new app or anything that just charms a voter who may not go to vote but will not give up because of that incentive….. Influential apps can definitely do something unique for their supporters and make them vote in lieu of it. Indians do everything for incentives…But apps have to track too to find out if people really voted or not…. he he 😉
  • Small and Free apps need to come in package with influential ones. They should be easy, bug-free, quickly down-loadable, smaller social app. I suggest a name for such application. Lets call it  ELECTIONBOX and we could create something like it. It should come along with Wechat and Whatsapp as a package. So along with  users talking to just friends and social groups, users can also do some serious talking exclusively about elections, politics, government with the actual  policy makers.

ElectionBox will be used by both voters as well as politicians. When Facebook and Twitter can have all your personal chats and updates, lets restrict this one only for political/governance/civic-sense conversations. Here everyone will voice their demands and expectations from the government using VOTE buttons. Presently, the concern is that except the newspapers and news channel, politics is not of everyone’s interest but if each one is given a say in the governance of the country, the participation will enhance naturally. Different voter types will have an identity. The first time voters will have a space here like newbies. Under eighteen will not be able to use it. Thus there will be a craze to be a part of it. And for such apps, voter id registration number should be made essential. Thus first an app needs to be created that catches the pulse of the people and then make it a rage. Here the politicians and their supporters can also join to convince voters and talk to aam junta too. It will be meant for some serious issue discussions and not just fake promises.

Such applications along with active users will turn out to be influential in making the youth go and use their right to vote.

Thanks to Wechat and Indiblogger for bringing up a contest to build a momentum for the Elections.

This is my entry for the contest.

The Topic

How would you inspire and mobilize India’s youth to vote in the Indian General Elections 2014 using social mobile apps?

#VoteForIndia

Written by

Manjulika Pramod

An engineer who loves to be called a blogger more!
Traveler, short-story writer, voracious reader, foodie is the better me!
Reading, eating, traveling, exploring, observing and blogging are the beautiful highs of my life.