Overcoming downsides of social sites

| Updated: October 24, 2017 16:26:14

Overcoming downsides of social sites

When Emma Watson tweets on her remembrance of the Rana Plaza tragedy that occurred four years ago, she conveys a powerful message against the practice of making profit at the cost of lives. Watson, who featured as Hermione in Harry Potter when a child grew into becoming the Beauty and Beast-famed Hollywood star, visited Bangladesh in 2010 as part of her promotional activities for People's Tree, a British retailer that promotes manufacturing ethics. Social sites can thus promote a cause and influence public opinion in its favour. Here is a platform that can be used for connecting people when an emergency such as the critical need for a rare blood group for saving a patient's life arises. Even by staying in touch via social sites, the diaspora and/or students studying abroad or young men and women staying away from near and dear ones with jobs can keep them up to date about the latter's condition and the vice versa. 
Modern gadgets and technology can present the world right in front of a person simply by a soft finger touch. Its advantages cannot be limited to mere personal connectivity. One can go public to be noticed for a great cause as well as the most silly or trivial incidents one wants to share on social sites. It is the unlimited possibilities of public exposure that thrills teenagers and young people. They develop a mentality of sharing and commenting on anything and everything they find funny or stimulating little aware that they are spending too much time on the exercise and what they consider important or funny are in effect vacuous or cheap. 
Over time the habit dies hard. Their desperation to draw attention of Facebook or other social site friends compels them to spend even more time than before and their virtual world gets the better of their real life. Study time gets reduced, face-to-face communication proves too difficult to overcome for them. The exercise is simply intoxicating to which they voluntarily surrenders without knowing that they are causing great harms to themselves. 
Unless otherwise gifted, the extensive social site users usually post messages of not great taste and erudition. Look how Serena Williams, one of the greatest tennis player in history, responds to Romanian Ilie Nastase's racial comment on her unborn baby. The younger William sister (Venus being the elder of the two) was caustic but at no point did lose her dignity to the ill comment of the 'milk and chocolate' colour of the baby she and her fiancé Alxis Ohanian, a white man, are expecting. To quote her, "This or anything will not stop me from pouring love, light and positivity into everything that I do. I will continue to lead and stand up for what's right'. She then takes help from Maya Angelou's poem, "Still I Rise, "Does my sassiness upset you?/ Why are you beset with gloom?/ You may shoot me with your words/ ...you may try to kill me with your hatefulness,/ but still, like air, I'll rise." 
The greatest tennis player of our time has been so resourceful in responding to the disparagement and has displayed another side of her. Unlike many of her generation, she has a love for poetry and life. To her the two have become inseparable. Sadly, not the majority of social site users have an insight so poignant and deep into human life. The trash they produce on Facebook, Twitter etc., displays their shallowness of mind. One needs to read literature, classics in particular, to develop an insight into human soul. Social sites unfortunately are creating a generation overfed with information but lacking in knowledge and wisdom. 
If this is not enough, there is the danger of cyber crimes. At a time when users of the social sites are causing grave harms to themselves, others are on the prowl to take advantage of the weakness, confidentialities and innocence of the unsuspecting among users. What happened in Ramu and Brahmanbaria over proxy posting of pictures with an ulterior motive is still fresh in people's minds. Account hacking, morphing, stalking, intimidation are some of the myriad crimes the complex world of the internet has helped to create. Thus, bank accounts like that of the central bank of Bangladesh are hacked for stealing money. Beside such heists, girls and women are made the prime targets of a few such cyber crimes. 
The state minister for the telecommunication ministry revealed at an international seminar in the capital last month that of the internet users, 73 per cent women fall prey to various cyber crimes. Then, of these women, 23 per cent do not lodge any complaint against the perpetrators. In most cases, they are compelled to live a hell of a life and when the harassment crosses all limits, some have no option but to take their own lives. If only they could chant the mantra like Serena or take inspiration from her, 'still I'll rise'!
When so much is at stake, there is need for caution before opening a Facebook or other social site account. Handling the device requires some expertise. If one is not adept in using the smart phone or the computer smartly, chances of falling prey to hackers or other sharks cannot be ruled out. 
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