The relevance of jalsas and social media in electoral process

The changing patterns in terms of the technological advancement has totally changed the conventional wisdom in the current time. 

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The conclusion that the mass presence in Jalsa and social media does not ensure votes in elections, in the same way, maybe true a few years ago, but this claim seems untrue in the contemporary era. The changing patterns in terms of technological advancement have totally changed the conventional wisdom in the current time.

Hussain Nadim, Executive Director Islamabad Policy Research Institute writes: “that the Jalsa turnout & social media presence doesn’t really translate into votes may be true in the past but this conventional wisdom is probably not accurate anymore & requires serious adjustments based on the new data-driven by disruption in technology.” He presented certain data and facts to support his arguments.

In the past, access to smart phones, social media and technology was very limited to disseminate and express ideas remained very limited. But the trend has changed in the current time. Nowadays almost everyone has access to smart phones and social media through they express their ideas and thoughts.

Data shows a considerable increase in Mobile users from 2018 to 2022. The numbers of mobile users has jumped to 187 million from 110 million in the last four years. Just between from 2021 to 2022, over 10 million new mobile connections were added. The shows how rapidly the access to technology and social has increased. This gave the people a large avenue to get involved in the political process and get timely information on the political developments.

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Moreover, the increase in internet users is also unprecedented. Data shows that the number of internet users increased from 44.6 million (2018) to 83 million (2022). Just between 2021-2022, the internet users increased by 22 million which shows 36% growth in the internet users. On addition, the internet speed has seen an immense increased as well. Speed of mobile internet has increased by +26.5% & fixed internet by +29%

Exponential Social Media Growth is also a big factor to support the afford mention statement. Social media users has increased from 35 million (in 2018) to 71.70 million (in 2022). The Social Media users have not only doubled but also broken the barriers of rural-urban divide with TikTok having penetrated across the country bringing the previously disconnected population into the mainstream.

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The above facts and data means that we can expect the unexpected in the coming elections because of the digitalization seeping into the rural Pakistan is likely to change voting behavior significantly. In the age of internet and social media, narratives are now decentralized, impossible to fight the public sentiment as they have the power of internet and social media to express their views and thoughts openly.