“Social Media and the Moral Disconnect”

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By   Sher Zada,
Technological advancement, Access to internet and introduction of social networking brought an
unstoppable revolution in our life on one hand while on the other minimized our dependence on printed
materials for getting information of our interests, for which we had used to travel and invest money in the
market. Until now there are 4.388 billion internet users with an increase of 9.1% each year, while 3.484
billion internet clients are using social networking sites and apps worldwide with 9% increase each year
.It reveals that slight figure of only 1% internet users who don’t use social media or avoid to use social
media due to their personal choices, priories and time space. The available statistics show that 5.112
billion cellphones are being used worldwide with an increase of 2% each year. Facebook which has the
credit of being a pioneer in the race of social networking has more than 2.38 billion monthly active users
till now, its immediate competitor twitter which is used more officially has 330 million monthly active
users and LinkedIn has more than 575 million active users. There are more than 65 popular networking
sites and many other stepping in the completion of rating. Similarly a huge number of applications are
used worldwide for the purpose of social connectivity. The statistics about using social networking might
have no worth as the purpose of using social networking matters. Facebook the giant father of social
networking was created by a team of brilliant minds including Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Savarin, Dustin
Moskovitz and Chris Hughes at Harvard aimed to be in connection with others for learning and sharing
ideas while sitting miles way. In fact there is no denial that social networking platforms such as Facebook
provided a floor for sharing ideas, knowledge, innovation and exposure to happenings whether good or
bad around us and played a great role in imposing the narrative of global village in real sense. The
emergence of social media has strengthen political understanding of the masses, shed light upon social
work, philanthropy, volunteerism, created motivation for youth leadership, broaden the concept of social
and cultural capital and stretched the lines of cultural endorsements from north to south and west to east
and vice versa, promoted tourism and raised up trade and business on individual, company, corporate,
countries, regions and continents levels. But on the other side evidences of negative impacts might also
be seen in the form of Arabs Spring a political turmoil, increasing extremism across the globe a peril to
the world peace and stability, pushing youngsters toward terrorism, winding violence and created problem
of privacy breach etc. Although virtually we are closely connected on social media from one remote
corner of the world to the other through cellphones and other digital gadgets while physically we behave
to be absent even living closed enough .The realm of social connectivity has been bashed in the recent
past by using the social media immorally. Sharing of nudity and pornography fanning the trend of raping
of women travelling in public transport, sexual assaults on teen girls and boys, caused increase in number
of pedophiles. Posting images of violent scenes, bomb blasts are injecting virus of social alienation and
terrorism in the young population to pursue their objectives. Persuading for sexual contacts instead of
developing social bonds. Sending irritating personal messages through social apps, blackmailing on
failure of getting what looking for is the routine activity. The obnoxious attacks on personality, gender,
race, color and creed, religion and political affiliation are the more visible example of social media
addiction in present time. There is no proper time and schedule for using social media. School, college
and university going students remain active on social media in their study and class attendance hours.
Teachers, Lecturers, Professors are seemed to popping up on social during their lecture delivery time.
Doctors, Nurses and attendants are found busy in posting their statuses while sitting in clinics and
hospitals, Engineers share their project achievements while working on site. In nutshell the extensive use
of social media in unsocial way has not only disconnected us from our blood relatives, friends and peers,
colleagues and official duties but put us on the junction of moral disconnect. To reduce the mesh of

drastic impacts of social media use on our moral values there is stir need of reforms on policy level from
the governments as well as personal moral responsibility and masses awareness on society levels.

(The writer is Islamabad based Freelance Journalist
Can be contacted on [email protected])

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