By: Al Jazy Al-Nasr
Social media usage is spreading like wild fire among young people of Doha. According to ictQatar statistics, FaceBook is the most popular social media platform in Qatar and it is the second most used website after the search engines.
Most young men and women in Doha own an account on a social media website and actively use at least use two social networks. These platforms are usually used to discuss the latest news, whether in or outside of Doha; to update friends with latest stories and use multimedia to show the world what is around them.
Recognizing the importance of new media in democratizing states, Qatar motivates young people to use social media and to learn how to use it as means to connect to the outer world. Moreover, the country encourages youth to major in journalism and is trying to build a strong future for journalists for 2022. These ideal journalists of the future are those who are new media savvy and therefore must adapt to utilizing new media technologies to report.
Noticeable, however, is that a large number of youth do not discuss politics on a daily basis on these online platforms. Social media, sadly, remains a space for social interactions, and does not translate to a robust political space for deliberation on issues of governance and freedom- much to the dismay of government’s trials to implement this culture of speaking truth to power.