Sonika Lamichhane / KATHMANDU – Social media is a popular tool that facilitate people to create and share information, ideas, hobbies, and other kinds of expression through virtual spaces. People use social media to share, write, and meet new friends on the internet. When the Internet was launched in the 1980s, it represented a new era of communication.
However, our lives have been completely changed today. We can see, communicate and contact people all across the world with a click. Digital connectivity has made everything possible.
The use of the internet has spread all over the world since the invention of the world wide web in 1992 in the United States. It has an impact on Nepal as well. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snap Chat are some of the social media platforms used in Nepal.
Social media has transformed our life. It has brought people together from all around the world, removing all the barriers between the people. We can make friends from all around the world. People can easily communicate, share their ideas, information, and thoughts. Likewise, social media could also be used to keep up with current events, it provides news through which we can know about what is going on around us. It also serves as a job search engine for people.
Certain groups are created on social media, from which we may see the vacancies for various positions. Through those posts, we can stay up to date on the most recent job openings. Similarly, it helps in the promotion of a product for business reasons. People are selling their products on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. These days people are using this media as a publicity tool, where we don’t have to invest money for the publicity of the products.
However, looking at the flip side, we spend the majority of our time on social media, which reduces family intimacy. People are so much addicted to social media that many parents these days lament that their children spend more time on their devices than they do speaking with them. Similarly, social media reduces face-to-face communication because we feel more comfortable interacting in a virtual medium, where we can’t see the person’s face or expression, and we feel more convenient chatting online.
Many people are unable to concentrate on their work as they are distracted by social media. When we post images to social media, we become so obsessed with it that we regularly check for likes and comments, which diverts our attention. Furthermore, social media is exacerbating cyberbullying. One of the most serious issues these days is that we hear a lot of news about cyberbullying such as ending people unnecessary messages and harassing them mentally.
Impact on Nepali Society
In Nepal, social media has become important tools for the people. The number of people using social media is growing every day. People’s use of social media is based on their preferences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, social media was the most useful tools for the students. Similarly, parents are mostly working in offices and they don’t get time to take care of their children or assist in their homework. Hence, students learn and complete their homework by watching YouTube and other social media sites.
According to the Nepal Telecommunications Authority’s most recent report, there are 27.76 million individuals in Nepal who have access to the internet. While the internet has benefited us in a variety of ways, it has also ruined the lives of many people, though this technology is a boon if used wisely.
It has grown into a platform for students to explore their ideas, showcase their ability, and learn new things. Many individuals, though, have taken it for granted. According to the Cyber Bureau report for fiscal year 2020/21, a total of 3906 complaints were filed, including females filing 2003 cases, males filing 1471, and others filing 224. Similarly, 53 cases were related to Facebook issues, 2 to YouTube, 2 to Instagram, and 9 to Tiktok.
It is up to us to make best use of the social media sites. Many people believe that criminality on social media is on the rise as a result of a lack of clear norms, laws and awareness among the people.
They are in illusion that they can hide their identity and get away with it, which encourage them to commit crime. Before using social media, we must be aware of its advantages and its consequences, if we misuse it. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the way of working and reading was changed. For the students, they were able to take their online classes and continue their education through the social media sites. The government should make proper laws, create awareness and increase digital literacy in the country so that people can make best use of it and use it responsibly.