- ALI SUKHANVER
According to various Bangladeshi newspapers, the cabinet of Bangladesh has given a letter to Telecom ministry stating that Facebook is ‘Diminishing the working capabilities of Youth’ and also ‘affecting the students’. Reports say that the government of Bangladesh is planning to put a limited ban on Facebook, the most popular social-media gadget. If this ban imposed successfully, Bangladesh would be the first country in South-Asian region which took the misuse of social media seriously. God knows better how the Telecom Ministry would spare time to read this letter because this ministry is already too much preoccupied and overburdened. Bangladesh’s Ministry of Telecom recently introduced a video game with the name of Heroes of 1971: Retaliation. This game is about the so-called Bangladesh Liberation war. The first edition of this game was released in 2015 and now in 2017, the 2nd edition of this game has been released. This video game has a simple objective: liberate East Pakistan and, in the process, kill as many Pakistani soldiers as possible. Reports say that this video game has reached peak popularity in Bangladesh. It is something very strange that on one hand the Government of Bangladesh is worried about ‘Diminishing of working capabilities of youth’ but on the other hand it is fueling hatred among its youth. Certainly this all would have been done under the ‘kind’ guidance of Sheikh Hasina but in the long run this anti-Pakistan propaganda move would do nothing but promote prejudice, narrow mindedness and brutality among the youth of Bangladesh. And this act is more harmful and dangerous than ‘Diminishing of working capabilities of youth.’
Misuse of computer related social media gadgets has become one of the most serious problems in our social life today. With the advent of social-media gadgets even words have started changing their meanings. Gone are the days when the word ‘status’ had altogether a different meanings. I remember, in my school and college days my mother and father used to say that I would have to work hard if I wanted to enjoy a respectable ‘status’ in life. They would say that without labour and effort one could never earn a valuable social or financial ‘status’ either in family or in the circle of friends; but today this word ‘status’ conveys an absolutely different meaning. A friend of mine was complaining that in spite of his repeated requests his son did not add him to his friends’ list on the Facebook and same was his complaint regarding his wife. He said his wife was rather more brutal in her behavior; she not only deleted his Friend’s Request but also blocked him from seeing her activities on the Facebook. My friend said his wife does nothing throughout the day except dragging her fingers on her android cell phone; and even when she is sleeping, she sets her status as, ‘Sleeping but not Offline’. I could very well feel the pain and agony of my friend but I was helpless; I had no remedial suggestion for him.
Some people are of the opinion that the social media is distorting the whole face of our society silently. To some extent they are true but if I had a very fertile treasure of vocabulary, I would have used some more rigid word rather than ‘distorting’. You see in every family, from father to the eldest son and from mother to the youngest daughter, everyone has built around a China-Wall with no doors, no windows. And the only means of approaching the person living inside this walled-city is the social media. How strange is the fact that today birthdays are being celebrated on Facebook and in WhatsApp groups, condolences are conveyed through ‘Messenger’ and same is the case with marriage anniversaries. Another strange fact is that on one hand the people living within these self-created walled-cities pose to cut-off all their connections with the world outside but on the other hand they continuously keep on informing the outside world about all their very personal activities including what they took in breakfast and what was the menu of their lunch. A few days back one of my Facebook friends posted a picture in which he was walking along a road holding an empty can of petrol. The caption below was; ‘my car drank all petrol; me going to get more from the pump; getting late from my office.’ I don’t know how that friend of mine managed to take a selfie in that painful situation. And more ridiculous was the fact that this picture got hundreds of ‘likes’ in response.
I feel things need a lot of reformation. This stupid usage of social media must be stopped somewhere. Computer is no doubt the gateway to the social media. There would not have been anything like ‘social media’ if there were no computers. On one hand computer and social media have brought the people closer but at the same time these two have increased the distances too. Moreover a very new and novel type of corruption has also come to the surface; the cyber corruption. This corruption begins with the misuse of computer skills leading to abuse of internet and exploitation of social media. Imposing bans on all these ‘gadgets’ is not a solution to the problem. For betterment of the situation we will have to educate all our computer users regarding the use of computers but what to do if a government like Bangladesh itself is involved in patronizing the exploiters of computer skills.