By: Masmoom Shahwani
Advancements in science and technology have been blessings for men in more ways than one. They have helped shrink space and save time by improving means of communication and transportation. However, every new system, advancement or invention that has to do something with human activity has to conform with the standards of right and wrong.
It is, therefore, rightly said that no new invention is inherently either good or bad by itself. The aforesaid characteristics can well be attributed to the human minds that act as master of this technology. There was a time when human mind was only a passive participant for the gadgets and screens of mass communication. They could only take influence by these instruments through receiving whatever information they fed to human mind. But today human mind has become an active participant for the gadgets, devices and screens around it. Man can now actively participate, express his opinion, comment, share and express his presence on cyberspace in many forms.
During the times when a small group of people linked with news industry could influence the public opinion through means of mass communication, many regulatory statutes were introduced by governments and media own organisations to put an active check that they didn’t feed any information that was malevolent to others or it distorted facts. South Asian Free Meida Association (SAFMA), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) are examples of bodies that regulated the behaviour of journalists, newspapers, media channels and continue to do so, whether ideally or not is another debate.
However, social media provided a space to every men to be vocal and to be able to share on cyberspace. The voice of the outspoken, insightful, and rationale beings on social media is so successfully suppressed by the powers that be as the forces of dark discerned their interests to be at stake. On the other hand, majority of the people who are either half-educated or mal-educated, using the later term for those whose degrees have not brought any positive change in their behaviors, are left free to not only spread their frustration but also impinge upon the individual freedom of fellow beings.
Many people clutter up the Whatsapp inbox of their family, friends and colleagues with ridiculous and irrelevant posts for fun, not knowing it may be a fun for them but an act of annoyance for the receiver. Many others still add you in Whatsapp groups without your consent, not knowing the agony that follows this naive act on their part. Tagging friends with snapshots, posts, and such irrelevant material on Facebook is also a common malpractice that people least bother about. Such acts of stupidity really corroborate the proposition that social media has facilitated the wild spread of ignorance that was once confined to individuals’ selves or at best to their primary groups. Maligning characters, spreading humor, propagating evil, expressing disillusionment, sharing sacrilegious posts, spreading hatred, superstitions are few evils that social media is infested with in contest of Pakistani society, other than aforementioned ill-practices.
No regulatory measures can be taken in this regard given the common use of social media other than sensitising people about the individual’s right to receive any information or see on social media what they desire. Hope this write-up will conveys message to all those positively who had been breaching the individual freedom of others.
Published in The Balochistan Point on January 1, 2018