essay upsc ninja

Building the body of the Essay in UPSC Mains exam : Body-building 2.0

There a typical but pernicious misconceptions about writing an essay in the upsc exam- that there is no right or wrong. People mistakenly believe that anything goes and all opinions are equally valid as long you write well about them.

This is because practicing logic pushes us outside the comfort zones of our cherished opinions and we do not like the feeling of cognitive dissonance which ensues.

One of the most iconic portrayals of this constant battle of emotion versus logic appeared in the 1957 classic movie 12 Angry men. Wherein a jury of 12 people discuss the culpability of a murder suspect. The irrationality and blind emotion disguised as logic is represented by the 11 men who consider it to be a open and shut case. Only one skeptic stands in the way of consensus who invariably breaks all the 11 men down by his relentless and calm reasoning exposing their biases, blind spots and prejudgments during the course of the movie.

Here is the iconic last scene where the final member of the jury breaks down under logical rigor leading the decision of the jury to reach a highly unexpected consensus.

Most of the essays which aspirants write sound like the man in the video- devoid of solid reason, full of emotional pleas, personal opinions and heresy. The objective of this lesson is to never make the same mistakes he did- for in UPSC essays and in life.

Believe it or not, there is often a particularly right away or a wrong way to structure an argument. And a particularly well-defined way to counter-argument and even to anticipate them.

To be rational is to use system 1 and think slow rather than intuitively and fast. ( See this amazing talk by psychologist Daniel Kahneman about these concepts elaborated in his seminal book- Thinking Fast and Slow)

In the famous action-horror movie World War Z, when entire world is plagued by zombies, only Israel remains safe. They survived because of the principal of the 10th man. Here’s that conversation:

The essay in UPSC Exam is much like that where 9 out of 10 people make the same mistake while writing and get filtered out. The purpose of this lesson is make you good at being the 10th man and in effect the last one standing.

How not to be wrong while writing your Essay in the USPC exam

1. Anticipate counter-arguments and get better at the art of argumentation: Every story has two sides esp. in the Essay topics of the UPSC exam. Failing to consider the other perspective, no matter how difficult, is a mistake. You should be able to argue for and against the motion on every Essay topic. But this easier said than done because it is hard to accept this. It starts from realizing that you are wrong in some fundamental way and that your opinion is restricted and limited. Your opinion is not the entire truth.

Warning: Watching the video below can seriously damage your ignorance.

2. Use LED and know that arguments are different from opinions or conflicts. Arguments in Essay for the UPSC exam are not conflicts. Instead they are pictures of reality which you paint with your words for your reader. They serve to impress, compel, reason, convince and illuminate your reader to see your point of view. Arguments are not about winning or losing. They are about learning something you didn’t know but probably should have known.

To do this well, you must given them reasons to believe you. Do that by substantiating every assertion or opinion in your Essay of the UPSC exam with an L.E.D ( Logic, Examples, Data). Leave no statement unaccompanied by support from one or more of these. A statement without LED is nothing but empty opinion. A statement with LED is a compelling argument.

3. Create a narrative filled with compelling arguments. Know that Essays in the UPSC exam or otherwise, constitute fundamentally of a structure and arguments. Much like a building has an underlying structure of steel beams which are overlaid and bolstered by layers of bricks. For Essays in the UPSC exam, the structure of steal beams is the narrative of your Essay and the bricks are the individual arguments. The resulting building is a mix of both ingredients.

structure is like narrative of upsc essay
For Essays in the UPSC exam, the structure of steal beams is the narrative of your Essay and the bricks are the individual arguments.

For Essays in the UPSC exam, the structure of steal beams is the narrative of your Essay and the bricks are the individual arguments.

building is like upsc essay

How to demolish counter-arguments while writing your Essay in the UPSC exam

  • Identify and Attack the premise or the assumptions in the arguments of your opposition. Every statement has some implicit assumptions. If, for instance, someone argues that humans are the ultimate creation of god because of xyz reasons, then they have assumed the following:

1. That god exists.

2. God is engaged in the business of creation of creatures such as human beings.

But premise no. 1, God’s existence is highly debatable. The best way to destroy this argument would be to retort that gods’ existence is a questionable premise and a matter of opinion instead of being a matter of fact. If you attack the foundation or the Premise of your opposition effectively, you will destroy credibility in almost EVRYTHING they might have claimed in their argument.

Notice how the speaker in the video establishes the premises of her arguments and anticipates the opposition:

  • Point out logical fallacies like spurious correlations. It is a common mistake to correlation with causation. Just because two things are related does not mean one causes the other. Just because my dog can every time sense if rain is coming does not mean that he is the cause of the rainfall or vica versa. The two events are correlated but not causally inter-connected.

Below is a curious case of spurious correlation where Nicolas Cage films are closely correlated with people drowning in swimming pools. Is it correct to say that one causes the other?

  • Use counter-LED to counter-weigh the arguments of your opposition. For every substantiation your opposition offers, try to find cases which negate their assertion. For instance, if someone argues that being a billionaire is NOT immoral because there are people like Bill Gates who donate most of their wealth to charity, you can retort by saying that for Bill gates type-billionaire, there are dozens who do NOT donate their wealth or prioritize charitable work. Most billionaires keep the wealth within their families and seek to prevent it’s redistribution.
  • Use the reductio spell: Reductio ad absurdum is a method of argumentation where you take someone’s argument and extend it to ridiculous proportions. For instance, if it is not immoral to be a billionaire because people like Bill Gates exist, then the world would already have been rid of all it’s problems since the billionaires of the world would have solved them. This is clearly not the case, therefore the argument for the motion is frivolous.
ways to demolish arguments in essay paper of upsc

There are many other ways of demolishing counter-arguments which you can use for Essays in the UPSC exam.

But the test is in the taste of pudding. You must practice these principles in order to internalize them.


upsc essay ninja

The Essay topic “ social media is inherently a selfish medium ” was recently asked in the UPSC Exam. The ensuing debate corresponds deeply with this important and contentious issue.

Below are two sides of a debate about social media.

Arguing first is Jack Symonds-

In opposition is Laalithya Vadlamani:

  1. List out all arguments for the motion and how they were countered by the opposition in 250 words or less.

2. Write in 100 words or less about which side would you vote for and why?

Deadline for assignment submission is 24/6/2021 before 11:59 Pm

Get to work!

Ravi Kapoor, IRS


16 thoughts on “Building the body of the Essay in UPSC Mains exam : Body-building 2.0”

    Proposition by Jack Symonds
    1. Social media is affecting us at individuals and changing the way that we behave it follows that social media is affecting the way we interact with each other
    2. Over one quarter of the young people survey displayed indicators of high levels of depression and people who more frequently check social media were found to be 2.7 times more likely develop depression than the average. This depression affecting the way that we interact with each other in the physical world
    3. As a result of social media, eating disorders affecting all genders, all ages and all races around the world
    4. Facebook and Instagram have simple methods for reporting self harming and suicidal content is respectable but it is also a chilling indictment of the extent of this problem
    5. Social media elicits feelings of envy and feelings of inadequacy by instilling us with often false belief that other people are living more successful or more fulfilling lives
    6. Social media is not evil but it can very well be dishonest, it presents us with a standard that is unrealistic a reality that is unreliable and a world which has been filtered and altered for benefit of another person or group and that is very essence of corruption
    7. It also changing the way that we act as a society and the ways that we interact with our political leaders
    8. Social media giving massive following for people who are popular rather than who are professional
    9. Truth is quickly being replaced with speed and access and journalistic integrity quickly becoming harder to find

    Opposition by Laalithya Vadlamani

    1. Social media empowered us to feel our interconnectivity and collective consiousness
    2. Social media is also a powerful tool in helping to empower businesswomen to get opportunities which are not ready at offline
    3. It is equips with knowledge needed to become global citizens and communicators
    4. It is one of the best ways to stay informed social networking sites spread information faster than any other form of media
    5. Using social media allows people to follow Organizations and caused that they believe in and makes them that they are part of something even if they are not fully integrated into society
    6.World really is getting smaller and we are now connected to each other based digitally and physically
    7. Social media is one factor in modern life that can increase the connection in a world which is divided by the vagaries of Capitalism and disengagement of television and the isolation of suburban sprawl
    8. Social media certainly is not perfect but is has potential to be an incredibly pivotal vehicle for social change and that it has power to enchance existing interactions and relationships

    1. Social media is like “two edge sword”, has impact the way we use it . For instance, by exposing fully to social media many of adult people gone their lives (addict > suicides) while many of vulnerable people have been saved during worse situations ( Covid-19 pandemic-Twitter)
    2. Case study for former agrument- someone shared false information on Whattsapp ( spread rapidly across many parts ) that is, ‘ national wide Bandh’ on one day that leads to huge strike ultimately > lathi charge result in one person dies. This worse situation only because of one’s misinformation led to one’s life had to be sacrificed.
    3. Case study for latter argument- by using social media-Twitter, many Organisations come forward and use it effectively to save many people who seek help during pandemic in our country
    4. So, i can’t agree fully to either sides


    => Arguments by jack Symonds

    * Social media effortlessly allows to be in contact with your family, friends and colleagues. But, it’s not an organic interaction, need to stop stalking and start talking.
    * Individual level is shown by the research from university of Pittsburgh, who studied over 1700 people of age group from 19 to 32. This research shows that this age group is spending 61 minutes per day on social media.
    * Regular users of social media are 2.7 times more high to suffer in depression.
    * Social media provides massive following to people who are popular rather than those who are prefessional.

    => Arguments by laalithya vadlamani,

    * Social media connects people to people all over world.
    * Connects people online who are not having opportunity to meet phisically.
    * People can post their special moments with family and friends on social media like Facebook, instagram posts.
    * Helps businesses women for upgrading their business for instance helps African woman entrepreneur to upgrade their business.
    * Spread information faster than any form of social media.
    * Real time example is her grandmother being able to connect with her family.

    =>My personal opinions

    * Both arguments are very well. Both are get forward each other in arguments.
    * But, i support to jack Symonds. Because, he is talking about actually what happens in 2020 covid lockdown. People are very stressed. Because of using social media.
    * At covid lockdown period, most of the people spending more time for unwanted things like tiktok, Facebook, instagram, whatsapp and wasting lot of golden time. Causes stress and eye irrigation.
    * More elder people don’t know how to use social media. Nowadays, all changes to digital media. They are don’t know about usage of Android. But, nowadays all necessary things available in online. For maintain the social distancing, we are use digital media like cylinder booking, recharge, Money transfer.

    Arguments by Jack Symonds
    1. Not completely against social media as it connects with family and friends all over the world.
    2. Social media platform like facebook provided internet benefits from columbia to kenya in just 2 years.
    3. Social media gives us voice to fight for our rights.
    4. Major part of our life we are spending in a digital universe thus it corrupts our interaction with each other.
    5. University of Pitsberg school of medicine in 2014 carried out research on 1700 people between 18 to 32 years of age group they observed each participant spend 61 min on social media per day and visit it at least 30 times per week now the numbers are increasing.
    6. Regular users of social media are 2.7 times more prone to suffer from deepression.
    7. Social media shows unrealistic standards related with humans due to which most of the people suffers from anorexia.
    8. Social media provides massive following to people who are popular rather than those who are professional.
    9. No organic interactions with family, friends, Idols and political leaders.
    10. Stop stalking and start talking.

    Arguments by Laalithya Vadlamani
    1. To corrupt something we need to change nature of that thing.
    2. Social media connects with family if we are doing job in another country.
    3. Helps us to raise the voice against the government.
    4. Connects people who are not having opportunity to meet online.
    5. Online communications can make offline relationships stronger.
    6. People can post their special moments with family on social media platforms like facebook and instagram.
    7. Helps buisness womens for upgrading their buisness for instance helps african women entrepreneurs to upgrade their buisness.
    8. Acts as powerful tool for minorities to preserve their identities and interests.
    9. Spreads information faster than any form of social media.
    10. User friendly nature helps old age people to connect with thier grandchildrens and other family members so that they do not feel lonely.
    11. Makes world smaller by increasing interaction however it should not be the option always.

    My opinion: After going through all the above discussions I will support Laalithya Vadlamani’s arguement because she highlighted all the positive aspects of social media. Her first statement itself mentions that to corrupt something we need to change its nature. Though anorexia and deepression cases are increasing we cannot claim social media 100% responsible for it. Although there can be no other best alternative for physical interaction but social media may act as tool to fill the communication gaps, However it should not be an option always.

  4. According to jack symonds, social media effortlessly allows to be in contact with your family, friends, colleagues but it’s not an organic interaction, need to stop stalking and start talking. Spending more time digitally is corrupting the way we act with each other, making us more dependent on instant gratification. It’s impact at individual level is shown by the research from University of Pittsburgh, who studied over 1700 people of age group of 19-32. This research shows that this age group is spending more than 61 minutes per day on social media and visiting social medias websites over 30 times per week and makes such people more vulnerable to depression and mental stress i.e( people who frequently use social media are 2.7 times more prone to develop depression). Social media also indirectly causes a problem of eating disorder. Images of the models and how someone’s body should look like causes self doubt which results in mental illness and have far reaching implications on their loved ones. Facebook and Instagram has method for reporting self harming and suicidal content but on the other hand, they are the indictment of the extent of this problem . Social media constantly displays highly idealised views which causes feeling of envy and inadequacy and instilling belief that other people are living more successful or fulfilling life. It’s not evil but dishonest , it presents unrealistic standards and shows reality which is unreliable. It also impacted us at society level and the way we interact with our representator or political leader as it was seen in the U.S. presidential election. Facebook ‘s I voted function generated 340,000 extra votes which manipulated people to vote for a particular individual . Facebooks fake news scandal was also in news as they altered the real information and such informations quickly replace truths due to its speed and access. New altered or filtered world for the benefit of few groups is very essence of corruption. Laalithya vadlamani countered these arguments by saying that corrupt means to change major essence or nature of that thing . It constitutes change which is quite opposite of corruption. She provided some arguments to validate its point. According to her, social media empowered us to feel our interconnectivity and collective consciousness. As after U.S. election, retired lawyer Teresa set up a Facebook event to stage a peaceful protest in Washington and also to show trump administration that women’s rights are human rights. Woman across country set up similar events. Over 4.8 million women, men and children come to the street . This manifested that social media is a force for good and empower individuals and communities to instigate social change . Social media also helps in getting rid of social stigma as seen in the sticks and stones campaign in Spain to reduced stigma related to mental health. Social media acts as a mode for empowering women by providing them opportunity for businesses which is not readily available offline. ONE org social website helps African woman entrepreneur to expand their business with the help of social media . It is also best way to be informed as it spread information quickly . Red cross told the people that their loved ones are safe by social media outlets. It also helps in connecting with organisation which gives a sense of part of it and develops social responsibility in us. It’s an elixir for the old age community, it is reported that they are now more happier as they can contact their friends, families at a moment which gives them a sigh of relief by knowing that their kins are well which envisages that it’s an easier way to love and be loved. Facebook doesn’t stop interaction, it has just changed the way of interaction.

    Both have presented the well versed arguments, but if i have to choose one i will go with the Laalithya. Social media may not be perfect but it is a pivotal vehicle for the social change and has the power to enhance existing interactions and relationships. Its use is more significant to the marginalised community as they got the platform to raise their voice and sometimes such voices are strengthened by the majority which forces government to solve such issues. If we use social media judiciously, no invention can match its utility . It can be considered as the invention of the decade.
    Sorry sir, i have crossed the word limits , i didn’t realise it while writing. I will keep it in mind ,next time.

  5. “Social media corrupts human interactions”

    Arguments supporting the motion:

    Premise: Social media is affecting us at an individual level and changing for worse the way we behave, and this in turn deteriorates our human interactions.
    Example of a university study on age group 19 to 32 presents higher vulnerability of depression in an individual who are frequent on social media.
    Relationship between social media and eating disorder citing an example of personal family member.
    Social media fuels the feelings of envy and inadequacy by instilling in us false beliefs that other people are living more successful life.
    Social media is dishonest and unrealistic which is altered for other’s interest and hence corrupted in itself.
    Example of social media influencing more people to vote in US elections.
    No organic interactions with family and friends.

    Arguments opposing the motion:

    Premise: Modern lifestyle is resulting in declining “human value” and reduced it to a number and social media is acting as a counterweight to this process.
    Social media empowers us to feel our interconnectivity and collective consciousness. Example of a lawyer being able to generate support over a cause within a day.
    Social media can disarm social stigma. Example of “sticks and stones” on twitter regarding mental health issues.
    Social media facilitates shattering of socio-economic barriers. Example of supporting African women entrepreneurs.
    Social media equips us with knowledge needed to become global citizens. Example of shooting incident being reported on social media first.
    Personal example of her grandmother being able to connect with her family.
    No absolute definition of human interactions and to consider social media out of it is an assumption in first place.

    Personal Opinion:

    1. Utilitarian approach: Going by arguments, amount of persons positively affected outweighs persons negatively affected.
    2. Inclusivity: Arguments of 1st speaker is restricted to young population while 2nd speaker citing senior citizens is more inclusive. As per UN report global average age in 2019 is 72.6 yrs.
    3. Argument of “no absolute definition of human interactions” stands firm ground.
    4. Any technology or facility can be disrupting but whether it will positively disrupt or negatively disrupt depends on the intent/story attached to it.

    Going by above reasons, I will vote against the motion.

  6. “Social Media Corrupts Human Interaction”

    Arguments by Jack Symonds…
    1. He says,Our human connection is replaced by virtual relationship.
    2. We spend huge proportions of our lives living in the digital universe.
    3. It affects us like an individuals
    4. Social media is causing depressions. 5.People whose social media are more likely to have depression rather than average one.
    6. Relationship between social media and depression is like a relationship between social media and eating disorder in young people.
    7. It affecting all genders of all races from socioeconomic backgrounds.
    8. It affects implication on loving families and loving friends.
    9. Finally ends with, social media can’t be evil but it can very well be dishonest.

    Arguments by Laalithya vadlamani…
    1. She says, it empowers us and make us feel our inter connectivity and collective consciousness.
    2. It is also a powerful tool in helping to empower business women.
    3. It allows people to follow organisation and cause of that, they believe in and makes them feel that, they are part of something even if they are not fully integrated into society.
    4. She then says, people are happier due to online contact to family and friends.
    5. Finally she ends with, social media makes it easier for us to love and be loved.

    I agree with Jack Symonds points… He says about today’s reality… Now a days teenagers are more addicted to social media…. They think social media gives everything to them… They are madly going towards it…

  7. Social media is inherently a selfish medium
    For the statement (Jack Symonds)
    According to Jack Social media has taken over he interaction done on a personal level or in other word interaction in the physical world
    but at the same time he is saying that social media has helped a lot of people in fact everyone to stay in touch with their loved ones.
    he presented some data regarding the eating disorder in age groups, and also the the idea of “grass is always greener on the other side” by sharing the feelings of people who judges their lives with others who posts a lot of pictures, check ins, videos, blogs, tweets, snaps, stories.
    He also mentions about the depression and mental illness people are getting due to spending too much time on internet and comparing their lives.
    According to him it creates an idea of how human life should be instead of the fact how one should live his/ her life. It instills the idea that the other person is successful and they are not.
    Against the motion(Laalithya Vadlamani)
    according to her the main point of attraction was Despite the social media interaction it does not limits us in any way for having interaction in the physical world.
    Social media gives platform to every individuals to post something which their own government might stand against. It also helps women entrepreneurship. It also helps in spreading awareness among people regarding world affairs.
    It helps to connect people staying away from the family.

    If I were to vote someone from the above mentioned people i would vote for both as i felt both had some distinctive points in their arguments put forward. As i believe one can not completely cut off ties with social media in this world and when our world has been hit by a serious pandemic like COVID 19 virtual world or social world is presently our world to survive in, and stay in touch with the people
    but it does not necessarily mean that we cannot keep physical interaction

    1.Social media affects on an individual level,According to the survey, 30 times a week a person is spending time on social media.
    2. Eating disorders not specific age but all the ages.
    3.People aged between 19 to 32 are depressed 2.7 times more likely to develop depression.
    4.It causes envy, inadequacy among peer groups.
    5.effects political leaders.
    6.Truth is being replaced with speed and access to false rumors.
    7.provides a feeling of safety(contradiction).

    1.Force to empower individuals and communicate to integrate social change.
    2.Aged people are happy to be around their loved ones and connect.
    3.An app used to save black community in USA. helping African women to help in growing of business world, and powerful tool for minority groups.
    5.Its not about hours and hours of spending its about making people smile who are very far away.
    6.Women has gone extraordinary manner in which it spread around the world.

    I agree with Laalithya Vadlamani for her explanation and logical based and providing more explanations.Social media may have negative effects but it is doing more good than bad.

  9. In the debate presented here, the speaker who is talking for the motion is Jack Symonds and the speaker taking against the motion is Laalithya Vadlamani.

    According to Jack Symonds – Social Media has impacted every individual at an intricate level such that it has changed the individual’s approach towards each other and their behavior towards themselves. It even dictates the likes and dislikes of people and presents unrealistic standards of living.
    He also says that social media leads people to depression and unhealthy minds jeopardizing the relationships between friends and families. Social media outplaces the truth and journalistic integrity has become a rarity. It has distanced people from their friends, families, and reality.

    But, according to Laalithya Vadlamani – Social Media helps us to be in contact with everybody and is not distancing from our dear loved ones. According to her social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. She has also presented certain data wherein a billion users visit the Facebook site every day and about 80 billion posts are posted on Instagram. By this, we come to the point that the aesthetic lifestyle has increased in social media popularity immensely as the users share their cherished moments with their dear loved ones.
    According to her, there are various applications and tools regarding social media wherein some tools/applications create awareness programs and some help in protecting the individuals facing discrimination concerning races, cast, etc. The tools/applications developed highlight the current threats across the nation. Also, some of them help in generating and connecting businesses for women entrepreneurs. One such example is
    Social Media is one of the best ways to stay up to date concerning information and news. Social media spreads the information faster than any other medium and also allows people to follow various organizations and causes of their interests.
    In conclusion, she says, so social media has made the world smaller, compact and closer. Expressing our love and respect for the whole world and the deserving people and also our opinions regarding the important social issues.

    As far as I am concerned, I am in support of Laalithya Vadlamani as some research states that social media is harming the community in several ways, but that doesn’t mean it is all bad, and cutting it off entirely shall solve the problem. Rather view in such a way that it connects people of varied backgrounds. A quick way to know each other, if they are living across the world from one another.
    Social media has exponentially increased the resources for mental health information and support. Research shows us that people who get support from peers have better health outcomes, irrespective of their physical condition or psychological depression.
    Being a part of social media can increase the quality of life, reduce health risk, can help improve satisfaction, memory retention, and overall well-being with the help of large social groups/communities.

  10. Is “social media inherently a selfish medium” ,can be evaluated from the lens of the following pros and cons:-

    It is a selfish medium- In the 21st century whether it is a 10 year old or a 75 year old, there is no denying social media has transformed human interactions significantly. Print media has given way to instant connect platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc where populism has triumphed over professionalism integrity. As there were no rules or checks and balances, these are now being relooked at and questioned.

    Social media has weaved a utopian paradigm where real human connections are being replaced by Virtual interactions to feel validation, instant gratification, seen, to feel included by posts, check ins, swipes, tweets, like, upload, share, message and reacts.
    The human touch has gone missing in this digitally created picture perfect universe. The impact on individual level by various studies depicts eating disorders and depression as an outcome to match unrealistic aesthetic lifestyles. If you ask why- and probe into this fluid world of idealized false beliefs, it is not evil but dishonest .False news spreads like wildfire. There have also been concerns of perpetuating a desired outcome in political and economic spheres. e.g ivote creating a filtered reality.

    It isnt- People may not be averse to semi regular Facebook updates, Snapchat stories rather excessive obsessive use of social media. The central focal point being that it helps connect people living far away from home, stay safe and in contact in a affordable manner whether it’s students, elderly, minorities,migrant workers.
    Social media also has far reaching social implications for developing nations like Kenya, Columbia etc. Platforms like is already showing positive outcomes by connecting even far flung areas to access knowledge and grow businesses. The disengagement by Television, Isolation of urbanism and selfishness of social media are but one side of the coin. One must also look at the other balancing side which connects and integrates people.

    In toto, even though some facts support that social media in some cases has posed challenges of mental health, physical health, cyber safety and bullying. It cannot be overlooked that social media is a mere technological tool and can be used as users deem fit. Positively or Negatively.
    While Jack Symonds has supported his arguments structured clearly with facts to support that social media is inherently selfish. I find that Laalithya Vadlamani has approached proving it isnt selfish with an emotional appeal including personal examples and direct political references. In concurrence, the absence or curtailment of freedom to information in my opinion is no guard against the challenges it poses. it must be addressed and overcome as the pros of social media have much promise and outweigh the cons.


    Arguments FOR the motion by Jack Symonds:

    1. Social media impacts people at a personal level. As a part of society, people are developing a greater tendency to be visible to a larger number of people. There is a dependence on the feeling of inclusion and instant gratification.
    2. Real human connections are being replaced by virtual relationships. Huge proportions of an individual’s time is spent in the digital universe, thus affecting our ways of interaction.
    3. As per a survey, between the ages of 19 and 32, people spend roughly 61 minutes per day on social media. 25% of the people using social media are suffering from high levels of depression. People frequenting social media are more likely to develop depression.
    4. Social media distorts our perception of body images and causes eating disorders in people. This results in mental illnesses and adverse effects on physical relationships.
    5. Evidence of self-harming and suicidal content on social media.
    6. Social media creates an idealized view of peers, thus eliciting feelings of envy and false belief, of other people living more fulfilling lives. It creates a bubble of misperception, which is prone to burst and harm its creator.
    7. It is dishonest, and sets unrealistic standards and unreliable reality. It gives a sense of an altered filtered world, which is the essence of corruption in our ways of life and interaction.
    8. Impacts the integrity of political, social, and democratic processes, where the bias of the social media platforms’ employees figures in prioritizing content in their consumers’ feeds, creating political scandals.
    9. It builds a lack of organic interactions, by preferring popular over professional, even though it’s coupled with degraded quality.

    Arguments AGAINST the motion by Laalithya Vadlamani:

    1. Market culture treats human life as a number and market value, especially the weaker and marginalized sections. Social media is a counterweight to the ongoing devaluation of human lives, by giving them voice and representation.
    2. Offline and online worlds, though separate are well integrated and people can very easily transition from one to another. Social media does not stop, prevent or substitute physical interactions but provides an effective leeway in the absence of physical interaction, which is pretty much understandable in the present times of a pandemic.
    3. It overcomes the limitations of distance, thus providing visibility to every voice on the globe. Thus, it can serve as a potent platform to raise genuine concerns and provide audience and representations to all voices that need to be heard, and all rights that need to be recognized.
    4. It has a large user base, where people can enjoy, share and cherish precious moments of their lives. Thus, online relationships can strengthen offline relationships.
    5. It empowers people to feel our interconnectedness and collective consciousness, thus saving people from the wraths of loneliness and giving them a sense of belonging and well-being, and a feeling of love and be loved.
    6. It can serve as a tool to instigate social change and arm against social stigma. it can become the voice of minority identity and interests, by spreading knowledge needed to become global citizens and communicators. Thus, it helps us stay informed.
    7. It facilitates the breaking of glass ceilings and the shattering of conventional social-economic barriers. For e.g. empowering businesswomen across the globe.
    8. Social media allows people to follow the organizations and causes, they believe in and contribute towards them. It may involve a sense of expediency, but it may not necessarily imply a feeling of non-fulfillment.
    9. Social media does not force itself to be the main route of interaction but provides a great option available as a leeway for interactions in situations when physical interactions may not be possible or may need time. It changes the way we interact but it is not corruption.

    (2.) My opinion about the above motion:
    Both the speakers have conveyed some strong arguments in their points, however, there is a lack of diversity and balance in their perspectives. Where the person speaking for the motion focuses largely on depression, the speaker against the motion is largely centred on the idea of giving representation to certain sections of society. The counter-arguments are not really strong from Laalithya. Also, while the good thing for Jack is that he has brought in relatable data points, no such relevant data figures in the arguments from Laalithya. However, for me, Laalithya edges slightly, because of the sync in her arguments and her well-defined premise of corruption, which supports her argument that Social media has not necessarily corrupted human interactions. This kind of puts that Social media can be a great solution in certain situations, but it is definitely not the panacea for all the problems in the world.

  12. 1)
    Motion – Social media corrupts human interactions
    (a) For the motion-
    Real human connections are replaced by virtual connections, through social media. People spend a huge proportion of life in the digital universe. A study was done by Oxford professionals on 1700 people from the age group of 19 to 32. It highlighted that a person spends more than 61 minutes per day, which caused a high level of depression.
    Facebook, Tumbler, etc. are distorting the image of people about how they should look like, this is causing a high level of eating disorder which is found in all genders, all social communities across the world. This sometimes leads to self-harming or suicidal attempts.

    Against the motion-
    On the other hand, through social media, people are meeting those whom they can not meet offline. Online interaction makes real conversation stronger. For example, parents can keep in contact with their children studying abroad. In a way, people remain updated with the happenings around them or even across the world. Data shows that Facebook has around 1 billion active users per day, Twitter has 500 million tweets per day, and 80 million posts on Instagram per day. In this way, social media plays a vital role in keeping people more organized.

    (b) For the motion-
    Social media corrupts people’s organic interactions, by replacing the truth. Social media, for instance, gives more followers to the people who are already popular not to the professionals. People are more and more getting dependent on instant gratification.

    Against the motion-
    Social media can help in fighting against social stigmas. New apps and tools help to bring powerful change to the movement. For example, a web Black Lives Matter portal enabled black social media users to mark them unsafe on their profiles. This movement was against the threats that the black community faces.
    Social media empowers us to feel our interconnectivity and social networks. Discouraged by the outcome of the US election, a retired lawyer set up a Facebook event, inviting a peaceful protest in Washington. On November 8th she was one lady to know that women’s rights are human rights. On the 21 st of January, 500,000 people were protesting forcefully with her.

    (c) For the motion-
    Social media elicits feelings of envy and inadequacy. This medium is not evil but dishonest. It is replacing the standards which seems unrealistic. the unreliable reality, and this filtered and altered world is the essence of corruption. In the recent US elections, Facebook generated three hundred and forty thousand extra votes towards particular political interests. Facebook employees were accused of false articles about their own political beliefs. In this way, freedom of thought was under doubt.

    Against the motion-
    Social media helps women’s entrepreneurship which is not found offline. A website helps African women to connect and to grow their business. Hence, it is a powerful tool for minority groups in general.

    MY OPINION about the above motion.
    Our day-to-day life is severely affected through social media, positively and negatively. For effective understanding, one should consider both sides of the same coin. Many times it seems a distraction at an individual level, but sometimes it becomes the source of entertainment, education, and self-improvement. For some, social media is a cause for depression but at the same time, it brings many opportunities for many people to decrease their isolation, make money, raise an issue, and expand their awareness. For example, consuming more calories is a major reason for obesity, it does not mean that people should stop eating food having more calories. Rather it is advisable to have a well-balanced diet consisting of fewer calories.
    In the same regard, a mixture of both should be chosen which is reflected in the ideas of Laalithya Vadlamani. She says that interactions on social media do not stop anyone to have real interactions. Her arguments are a well-balanced mixture of both. This is why I would vote against the motion.

  13. 1. Definition of Corruption – Defined as filtering of our reality. Social media setting dishonest, unrealistic standard,
    Opp – Defined as more than filtering i.e striping it of its utility, function and pleasure. Social media is bringing change by making interaction fluid and complex.
    2. Human interaction – Replacing organic interaction with virtual connection. Thus corrupting human interaction.
    Opp – Social media is not replacing one type of connection. Even if it did, it can still be fulfilling or for an individual, thus not corrupting.
    3. Mental health – Social Media causing issues like depression, eating disorder, self harm, suicidal tendency. Quoting personal experience of family member with eating disorder.
    Opp- Social media apps allowing minority group to highlight threats and issues. Allowing them to voice their concerns. Thus avoid feeling isolated.Quoting personal experience of her grandmother feeling included because of social media.
    4. Instant gratification- Social media making people dependent on instant gratification.
    Opp – People are not dependent on social media for instant gratification, rather for a community of people they are unable to find in offline sphere.
    5. Core reason – Social media is corrupting human interaction because the highly idealized view of life instills feeling of inadequacy, envy. This alters the way we behave and interact.
    Opp – Social media is not corrupting human interaction because it is empowering us to feel our global consciousness and interconnectedness. It is strengthens the bonds and connection people have in real life.

    I would vote against the motion. This is due to the logical inconsistency in the argument put forth by the speaker defending the motion, for instance – Social media portraying highly idealized world as well as social media sites being rampant source of content related to self harm, suicidal tendency. Further, the speaker acknowledges the shortcoming of the study but fails to provide substantial argument for why one should still consider the data significant. While mentioning harmful groups, no counter argument or acknowledgment of awareness groups headed by professional using social media. The speaker against the motion accepted that there were changes good and bad but in essence not equivalent to corruption. The counter arguments and their appeal to the emotional and ethical aspects of human life were better than the ones defending the motion.

    If I had to put forth views for the motion, I would highlight the para-social relations occurring as a direct consequence of social media.

  14. 1. Social Media corrupts Human Interactions(jack Symonds)

    1)Effect of social media on an individual level, one hour of time spent by each individual in a week 30 time visit as a survey shows.
    2)2.7 times more likely develop depression on who frequently check social media
    3)Depresion is affecting the physical way of interaction
    4)Causing eating disorder on all age groups
    5)Social Media elicits feeling of envy and feelings of inadequacy by the views of our peer groups
    6)Social Media impact on political leaders i.e on elections and on our society.
    7)Truth is being replaced with speed and access to false rumors

    1)Social can be used as a force for good and empower individuals and communicate to integrate social change
    2) How web app is used to save the black community in USA at some places
    3) is helping African women to help in growing the business world(Power free tool for minority groups)
    4)Socail Media played a crucial role in Colorodo shooting case to pass the information before the press arrives and the safety of the people
    5)Age group above 70 are happier in connecting with families and friends worldwide
    6)Not about spending hours its about smiling who is far away i.e 600miles away
    7) social media doesnt stopping in talking to loved ones in real life
    8) women march has gone extraordinary manner in which it spread around the world.

    2)As it got me a chance to give a conclusion i agree with some aspects of both the arugments. In general it is true that it is causing the depression mainly to the youngsters, as they are the future of the world, from the data givenby JACK it clearly mentions(17 to 32 age group).

    Too much influence of Social Media in interactions with the Real life friends and family members, where as people are Increasing in time spent on social media is more in comparative to time spent on books.

    I rarely diagree to laalithya and appreciate the example used in interaction with her grandmother through digitally and to be aware about Fourth industrial revolution and the march done by women for peace thougth social gathering.

  15. (1) Social media corrupts human interactions

    Proposition by Jack Symonds:

    1.Weak introduction by highlighting importance of social media instead should have given facts against social media- to establish a stronger premise.
    2.FB Internet org was opposed in many countries and was banned in India.
    3.He says social media keeps people safe and then goes on to talk about depression and eating disorders caused due to social media. Self-contradictory!
    4.His premise is- if we agree that social media is affecting us at individual level then it can be said that it is affecting our interactions with each other.
    5.University of Pittsburg study of 1700 people between 19-32 is too small a sample to study the impact of social media.
    6.He anticipated counter argument for depression but couldn’t substantiate the same with the data.
    7.Social media is corrupting individuals by setting unrealistic standards, idealised views and a filtered worldview.
    8.He pointed out that we are not having organic interactions with our friends, family and political leaders but didn’t discuss why and how aspect of it.

    Opposition by Laalithya Vadlamani:

    1.Counter-argument against social media corrupting individuals- To corrupt something is to change the main essence or nature of that thing but here social media only enhances human interactions with its utility and functionality.
    2.Social media is a counterweight to ongoing devaluation of human lives(Oppression of minorities) rather than aiding it.
    3.Online interactions not only connect people from across the world but also help in making offline face to face interactions stronger.
    4.One billion Facebook users, 500 million tweets and 80 million Instagram stories in day indicate users enjoy digital interactions. — Substantiated by data.
    5.Social media makes us feel interconnected and empowers our collective consciousness— followed by examples (A) 8th November Peace protest after US Presidential election lead to 408 such marches around the country,(B) Black lives matter protest, (C) which supports African women entrepreneurs— Highlights the role of social media as a powerful tool for minority groups.( But this wasn’t required to oppose the motion.?)
    6.Spread information faster- 2012 Colorado shooting reported by Twitter users before news crew.( Again, a benefit of social media but not required for the debate)
    7.Social media is essentially helpful to people who are physically isolated by families-it provides digital interaction at the least.
    8.Social media interactions are just one main way of communication, they do not stop or prevent one from having personal face to face interactions.— Strong argument based on logic.

    (2) If given a chance I wouldn’t give my vote to both speakers for the following reasons:
    -Both of them have wandered away from the debate. For example, talking about anorexia and depression in the first case and excessive emphasis on minorities in the second case.
    -The examples and studies quoted are not really impactful.
    -Second speaker have not anticipated any of the further counter-arguments.

    Instead, would have loved to see the debate focus on how on-screen conversations have choked our real life communication skills.The importance of a human touch, warmth in the voice and emotions which can be conveyed in reality are not even discussed. The honesty and strength in human interactions which lead to long term relationships is not spoken about.

    Still, If I am to vote, I’d give it to Laalithya Vadlamani for the logic based argument she proposed which says- Digital interactions doesn’t prevent one from having physical human interactions.

    P.S: Hi Sir: Really sorry for not adhering to the word limit. I wouldn’t repeat the same.
    Thank you.

      •Human interactions are being replaced by virtual relationship which corrupts the way of our interaction with each other. Corrupts human interaction by reducing face to face interaction time.
      •Social media platforms are giving young people distorted images of how their bodies should look and oftentimes results a serious mental illness that has far reaching implications on loving families.
      •Social media elicit feeling of envy and feeling of inadequacy by instilling us with often false belief that other people are living a successful and worthy life.
      •Social media sometimes is dishonest and represents us with standard that is unrealistic, the world which is filtered and altered for benefit of another person that is very essence if corruption.

      •Rather than corruption social media is of anything a counterweight to the ongoing devolution of human lives rather than being seperate virtual and real worlds, the fact that online and offline fears are tightly integrated is exactly why people take away and constraints in their offline lives by hacking their connectivity through their online interactions.
      •Online communication can make face to face offline relationship stronger.
      •Social media empowers individuals and communities to instigate social change. Social media can help us arm social stigmas. For example web app allows black lives matter organizers modeled after Facebook safety check to allow black social media users to symbolically mark themselves as unsafe in locations throughout the United States. The tool serves to highlight the current threat the black community face across the nation making it clear that how racism threatens the safety of black Americans.
      •Social media empower women to grow business and also one can follow the organization that they believe in.
      •Social media doesn’t in fact just place one type of conversation with another, it instead allowed translation of interaction and social network through a more effective form.

      Everything has two sides good or bad and I think both of them have represented their part of the story. Individually both of them are correct like Jack Symond said about the filtered and altered articles for someone’s personal benefits are one of the worst part of social media, on the other hand Laalithya Vadlamani’s argument that social media do not stop anyone to have real interactions is also valid.

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