I feel social media is turning into social curse these days. The Hindustan Times newspaper published a sad report about an Indian woman who was raped on the sidewalk in an Indian city in front of pedestrians during daytime (the incident took place around 2 pm) and no one did anything until a man called the police – the rest were videotaping the crime.
The newspaper said the woman had a fight with her husband two days before the incident and left the house. On that fateful day, she was approached by a drunken man and raped when she was on the road in a lamentable state of weakness, and likely hadn’t eaten and slept. The passersby not only did not intervene, but whipped out their mobile phones and recorded the terrible incident! A passing motorist informed the police, who arrested the rapist and took the victim to the hospital. There is no information about the state of her health.
There are many more examples that reflect the lack of sense of human responsibility in dealing with an emergency, especially in cases of crimes and traffic accidents, where people gather to photograph the dead or the injured, while others remain as spectators to record the scene so they can share it with their friends! They are mocking others’ misery.
One of the negative impacts of social media on the public is that they have lost the feeling and sense of responsibility. Several social sites have become a tool to terrorize innocents. This is why I say it has turned into a curse and not a blessing. Not all social media are alike. I like Facebook, but I don’t like WhatsApp, although I use it heavily. I feel that in Kuwait, for example, it has become a means to spread false news and rumors, and people believe what they receive and share it, causing the circulation of many rumors.
Stop making idiots famous! A lot of silly people on social media have become famous without providing moral value to people, especially adolescents. They expose their silly lives and latest updates, but there is no room for confirmation. Clearly, children are heavily influenced by social media because media celebrities have become role models and heroes for children.
Another point of concern is that many users expose their personal lives and health and social problems through social media. This opens the possibility of resolving them through the opinions of non-specialists. In addition, studies have shown that social media sites influence political change, so young people are exposed to extremist ideas.
In a pleasant conversation with my college student son about the high prices at restaurants in Kuwait, he said social media celebs here are the reason. They go to a restaurant and make a video that shows how happy they are with the food, so everyone wants to experience it, so prices go up.
Social media have eliminated all barriers between communication and interaction, where it is easy to send your ideas on various topics, whether political or social, to the world. We have to admit that Facebook, for example, played a role in motivating people to revolt in Egypt, but this does not mean that everything is flawless. The use of these sites by people has made them bad or good. The social media sky is not free of storms.
By Muna Al-Fuzai