After two months of hard core brainstorming, the team at CSR finally had the blue print of what our programme will look like. Social Surfing, the title of this programme clicked with everyone in the team and we were ready to surf through universities in Delhi/NCR and pan-India. Enabling the youth to protect their online information and channelizing their energy to use the social networks for driving in a change, are the two prime motives of the programme.

Surfing through IP College

A week of co-ordination and we were set to roll ‘Social Surfing’ at IP College on 27th August 2015. The posters were sent and the team was gearing up with the presentations, when we got a call from the college coordinator – Dr. Supriya Saha, informing us that the share has got a great response from the students and we could expect the number of participants to exceed. Well we couldn’t have asked for more!

The team reached IP and we had the attendance of 102 students. That was huge for us. We were extremely skeptical about how the students would receive this idea but it clicked and clicked very well.

Surfing through IP College

From CSR, Amitabh Kumar (Head, Media & Communications) facilitated the training along with Vikram Sheoran, Arnika Singh, Mehak Jhingon, Ritika Bhatia, Hannah Carlman and Sonia Kaur. We began with the team introduction and initiated the first session that talked about the history of Internet. Before presenting, Hannah showcased a video that captured social media in numbers. The video instantly grabbed the attention of students and they were glued to it for the next five minutes. Hannah took over the stage after this and shared facts on the first email, the idea of internet and how it came into existence.

Next up was information on the Counter Speech and a dialogue on communication. To begin with, Amitabh planned to do a Tangram exercise where five teachers were called on stage to instruct five student volunteers and get the image (that they were given) made. The communication and connection that both the groups showed was commendable. They were 99.9% close to the diagram that was to be made and that is where the true essence of an educational institute lies. The teachers were proud to see how receptive their students were with their instructions.

Closing this activity Amitabh started his talk on the importance of understanding the content and figuring out the best way of responding to it. The idea that Social Surfing is taking to colleges is that the best response to a bad speech is better speech. Amitabh shared that we must take up issues but before we go ahead and express our anger we must think about how effectively we should address it so that it is resolved for once and for all.

He also shared the fact that social media specifically Facebook connects people across the globe and gives the user that freedom to raise his/her voice against any issue.

Counter Speech – a fairly new term to India but quite an old concept if we look into it deeply. All the campaigns, the initiative that are taken up to highlight/resolve an issue is a form of counter speech. Responding to any obscene remark/statement/comment/picture in a way that it highlights the issue and deals with it well, is possibly the best approach that you can have. Also, how you are using social media in a manner that a positive change is driven in is what counter speech aims at. To make it more clear we had an extremely superb video, ‘We All Are Daniel Cui’ that films a goalie being bullied for his performance and then how his team got together and through social media channelized support for him.

Amitabh and Vikram then moved on to the next session which was on safety tools provided by Facebook.

The last session, ‘Youth Rules’ invited students to devise their own campaign and present it to the team. We had three amazing campaign ideas by the students and are looking forward to their ideas of taking it further.
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