Social participation was an essential part of life in the early times while it is essentially not a part of life after the school in present days. This change has both advantages as well as disadvantages for the present generation. Advantages come in form higher involvement in recreational activities involving oneself while disadvantages are many since human is a social animal.
Social participation refers to involvement of an individual whining the society in decision making, different types of gatherings and production or consumption activities. Social participation has a correlation with the age of an individual as those who are of a working age are more likely to be participative as compared to those who are in the dependent age group. One activity may seem more attractive for an individual in a certain age while the same activity may not be interesting to the same individual after a certain age. Social participation is essential in maintaining physical as well as mental health of the individual as well as the society at large. In the modern times it is not restricted to physical participation as one can participate through social media and other communication channels. This participation can be refreshing as well as addictive as we are currently witnessing. Going to school or office can very well be participative as it involves relationship building be it friendly or professional.
Trust is an essential component in increasing or sustaining social participation as an individual is lesser likely to participate in places where he/she is unclear or suspicious about the cause of participation. Trust is usually dependent upon the present social situation of a society or we can say the communities that comprise the society. Individuals usually identify themselves with a particular or a number of communities and the past as well as present condition of that community in society shapes the views of the members of that community. Belonging to one community can be a reason for non participation of an individual in some activities and higher participation in other activities owing to the stereotypes associated with community members. These stereotypes are often more prevalent in the rural areas as compared to the urban areas. In the rural areas, these stereotypes guide individual participation though the trend have been changing to some extent owing to emergence of better connectivity of these regions and more faith in constitutional establishments.
Social participation is determined by a variety of factors, both individual as well as social, an individual may be participative in some activities but hesitant to participate in many other activities owing to individual needs and interests. The society where needs of individuals are in harmony with those of others is tend to have higher social participation in community activities. Society is shaped by needs and interests of people at large while at the personal level, it is usually the emotional factors which drive individual’s actions and behavior, these emotions are much dependent on the age of a person. An old individual is likely to have lesser interest in any social activities except for religious and spiritual as they are more concerned about afterlife thoughts.
Sports is one domain which is quite stimulating to young people as they are more energetic and creative. Sporting events witness participation of people of all age groups and it helps an individual feel more expressive in terms of national or regional identity. Some sports are more dominant in particular areas owing to the tradition as well as due to the colonial legacy. Sporting events connect people more than any other activity as it is often associated with individual emotions.
In the present times, since communication media has taken over, people use digital media to express themselves. Digital media is not only attractive but the coverage that it provides is stimulating to the people. Having more friends digitally is the trend of the day and having more followers has become one of the basic thing for some interactions. Social participation in traditional venues is reducing by the time and digital media coverage is getting stronger and stronger. This trend has led to lesser interaction among the youth which have become a cause for explosive behavior and depression.
Most of the population have gone digital in the present times and it is expected that more people will go digital with the time. This has a great influence on the economic activity and the consumption patterns as people are going for conspicuous consumption. Digital media is a very dynamic space and so is the participation of people interacting through digital media sources. There may be one pattern or website popular today and after some days we can see a shift to some other platform as seen with the case of social networking sites.
Amid this trend of digital media, we can see that the religious venues for gathering are increasingly becoming popular as people believe that only religion can ensure well being in afterlife. Since people of all ages have equal access to religious content on digital media, we can see a mixed participation in the religious activities and there is better social participation expected in the coming times.