LAHORE - Over the centuries human being discovered numerous equipments, machines and technologies to ease out hardships in dispensation of tasks in different arena of life.

Besides many other inventions, if the revolutionary invention of wheel paved way for effective and accelerated functioning of machines, the discovery of ‘Chip’ is described as another milestone in the area of digital communications.

Small communication gadgets and social media have virtually made the world a global village and communications today are ever faster facilitating the people in education, business, healthcare and discussing social, political and economic issues through social media. But, the same time these tools become lethal for our social and family norms if used for maligning and targeting others and promoting false and malicious religious, ethical and political propaganda.

“No doubt social media is a useful facility ensuring access to volley of information in all areas of life. We need to use it for constructive purposes as if misused, it becomes lethal for our youth and society,” cited Sultan Ahmed, an Information Technology (IT) expert.  “Some communication forums had drowned their users in an ocean of irrelevant information instead of providing them relevant information on valuable education and research stories,” he said.

Basically, the internet facility is employed for acquiring knowledge, entertainment and communication, or to be used as a modern-day propaganda weapon. But many vested interests also employ this facility for polluting young minds and swaying them away through rhetoric and targeted exploitation as seen in case of ‘Arab Spring.’

“Apart from affecting physical and mental health, the excessive use of uncontrolled social media badly damages moral values by breaking social and domestic-bonds,” Sultan said.

Mentors of political parties and international establishment use this tool for uprising against the governments not toeing their policies and safeguarding their interests.

Emotional attachments with opposite sex and love affairs prospering on social media that most often results in elopement. And if there is a break up, it leaves the users in acute depression.

Mentors of political parties & int’l establishment use this tool for uprising against the govts for not toeing their policies

“Deep indulgence of youth in specific social media trends badly affects young minds and often result in widespread anxiety,” Sultan said. “Therefore, parents are usually seen blaming popular social media websites for promoting unethical tendencies among their children.” Besides having negative health and mental impacts, these websites also propagate wrong religious teachings confusing the youth especially about their creed. Liking and sharing such content is another dilemma where the uncertified information flows rampantly from one gadget to other. “Misinformation has been put in abundance on the technological steroids through hash-tags, and social media misuse was destroying the moral values of society,” commented another IT expert Javed Virk,. “In a society like ours, with an enormous deal of emphasis on artificial appearances and its impact, social media is promoting a culture of virtual moods norms and a world, not projecting the real one,” he argued. “The social media platforms are manipulating both male and females with dangerously negative attitudes.” For not being a highly educated society, we are governed by the cyber world where destroying our social norms and family system is on a few clicks distance.

“The most horrible picture of the exceeding social media controversies is the political ‘combat area,” Virk said. “Fake news, lies, allegations, maligning, mud-slinging has not only trampled down all norms but also result in political enmities creating a clear divide in society and even in a family fabric.” “Many those posting immoral assertions on these sites must remember, their mothers, sisters and daughters might also be seeing that content,” he added. Sometimes, it is really hard to stop an individual or a friend to misuse the social media for taking revenge, blackmailing or harassment. An innocent photograph, through doctoring, can be reshaped and used for character assassination, targeted harassment, abusive trolling and spread of disinformation.

According to ‘USA-Today’ recent report, the trendy cyber footprints are used more frequently for investigation and detecting the trends and the popular social media forums have become story features, like ‘Snap chat’ allowing anyone to look at (view) or comment one’s most up-to-date location. This has emerged as a widespread problem as one can access and ascertain the location of the people whom they even do not know.

“Detection of a cyber problem was still not as swift as was the spread of an evil or the propaganda in the cyber world,” said noted sociologist, Professor Manzoor Ahmed Alvi. “Internet and social media are expanding at a breakneck pace and fake news and misinformation seem to be travelling at the sunlight speed. Therefore, we need measures on the same pace to counter negative effects of social media on our social, moral and religious values.” Seeing the positive side, many parents have opined that these tools had helped their children in getting valued information in their studies and healthy discussions with colleagues. In medical and education side, these tools have eased out numerous hurdles in speedy flow of knowledge.

 

Today, a student takes online classes and surgeons directs online to a fellow in a remote region during operating a patient. Connectivity has no doubt played a marvelous role in rapid communications, economic growth, health and education, construction, travelling, information sharing, bank transactions and businesses etc. But, it also has negative impacts that call upon authorities to take protective measures for securing peoples’ privacy as well as our family, social and religious norms.