Nowadays it seems impossible to go for even a day without checking our social media feed, and so it is not surprising that this habit has given a rise to social media influencers and icons. Some are inspiring young netizens to think bigger, others are raising social awareness, and a few are creating funny content to help stressed users take a well-deserved break from their daily routines. While social media is open game for people of all ages, it is where the youth are really starting to shine. After all, it has given creative young minds an opportunity to reach out to likeminded people, and also share their talents with the world. Like youth from around the world, talented youth from the Northeast are also making use of this opportunity to make a name for themselves.
Bonny Deori and Tony Basumatary who gained popularity through Local Kung Fu have started using social media to boost their acting career. They, along with their friends, make and share funny yet realistic videos on YouTube. Their channel runs by the name of ‘Heavy Budget’ and has gained a lot of popularity among millennials. They are not the only ones using social media to their advantage. Vishal Langthasa from Assam, based in Mumbai, runs a popular YouTube channel ‘Chugli TV’. He is regarded as one of the most funny video creators to have come out of the region. His videos are not only hilarious but often include a social message that provides food for thought. He was recognised as the ‘YouTube NextUp Winner 2018’.
The youth also recognize the tourism potential of the region and the need to spread the word through social media. Himanshu Baruah founded his own tourism company called ‘FinderBridge’ that operates through Facebook and Instagram. He provides travel guides and tempting packages to travellers visiting the region.
Not only that, the youth from the region are also using their inherent sense of style to their advantage. Swagata Dev is a blogger from Guwahati. Her Instagram account deals in fashion and lifestyle. In the past, she was invited for an interactive session at Royal School of Fashion Design and Technology to discuss her work with teachers and students. She is also a part of the Northeast’s first Cloud Kitchen App ‘One Stop Kitchen’.
Youth from the region are not only creating funny content or promoting the positive aspects of the region, they are also working towards solving real-life problems. Rahul Pandey, and his team from Tezpur, working towards alleviating the social environment in and around their locality, founded the Facebook page ‘The UnCivilised Indian’ that has received a lot of positive feedback. People following the page can see the team rescuing impoverished or exploited children and animals, opening free schools for street children, raising gender awareness, cleaning the roads of Tezpur, providing food to the poor, and the like. In addition to Facebook, they also create and share social experiment videos on YouTube, one particular video has about 2.2 million views.
Then there are icons who are helping youth in the region discover their talents. Prabal Bora founded ‘KolporGolpo’, an internet company aimed at ‘identifying the unidentified’. It helps promote artists from various fields through Instagram. They are still at an infant age but are incessantly growing in the form of micro-documentaries, podcasts and articles. Bora is also the label manager of ‘Rainforest Records’, an independent record label in Northeast India and runs an advertising/marketing company named ‘officiallykaffeinated’.
Photography is a skill that many youngsters in the region want to pursue. And so it is not surprising that social content creators like Asutosh Kashyap are focussed on giving followers a better idea about the different dimensions of photography through his Instagram profile. A photographer at ‘National Geographic Your Shot’, he authored the book As I See It. A former Tedx speaker, he hopes that his handle will inspire more talented youngsters to pick up the camera and tell their stories.
There is no doubt that youth across Northeast are leading the way to a better society, through the elevation of art, culture, morals and necessary awareness. And what better way to do that than through social media.
By Anindita Hazarika