Social media use rising, misuse creates problems
LAHORE: Use of social media has been rapidly growing in Pakistan which is useful in awareness creation among the public but also creating problems due to misuse of it.
The trend of reading books has been declining with growing use of Facebook among the youth while all the political and religious parties are using the social media as a tool to spread their messages.
These views were expressed by panellists in the Jang Economic Session on ‘Social Media – importance and impact on social and economic activities’, here on Tuesday.
The panellists included Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) Umar Saif, Dr Ali Kahlil, Sajjad Kermani, Asad Malik and students Talal Raza and Sarmad Aftab while hosted by Sikindar Hameed Lodhi and Intikhab Tariq.
Umar Saif said the social media played vital role in opinion making and reduced the monopoly of news channels while political parties were using it to mobilize the public. He said social media was used during the ban imposed by Musharraf on the electronic media while it was also used in the long march.
He said the Punjab government had taken special initiatives for promotion of information technology while chief minister was also using Facebook while governance of government institution was improved through social media and corruption complaints were reduced.
Dr Ali Kahlil said the majority of 16-30 age groups were user of social websites, who do not watch TV but use twitter or Facebook regularly, which make an important tool of information and communication.
However, the youth was also wasting their time by excessive use of these websites, he added. He opined that now the social website could not be closed while pros and cons of it existed.
Sajad Kermani said that over 600,000 Facebook users registered in Pakistan and its importance was growing as it played constructive role during the 2010 floods for gathering funds. He said one political party who represented with one seat in National Assembly once now became one of the important political parties of Pakistan.
He said political parties were using the social media for communication with youth while use of it was crucial for the progress of any organisation. However, there is a need for strict cyber laws to control the misuse of it, he added
Asad Malik said political parties use it to increase their influence. He said PTI Lahore gathering was the biggest example of the use of social media. He said use of social media will grow in future. Talal Raza said that social media was a knife and it depends how to use it.
Sarmad Aftab said literacy level in Pakistan was low due to which potential of information technology was not utilised properly. He said in Pakistan social media was limited to Facebook only while people were unaware about other social websites.