Internet and Morality of Pakistani Youth

The technological evolution has been going on side by side with the human evolution for ages now, from advent of wheel to the invention of printing press, electricity, automobile, telephone, television and internet to modern weaponry, Internet of Things, genetic engineering, and space technology show the extraordinary evolutionary process of technological advancements, creating a better world to live in. But with all these progressions and innovations another thing that has been constant in the society is the meager attempt to keep pace and align technological advancement and morality.

Fire is a good servant but a bad master, so is the internet

The most exciting breakthroughs of the 21st century will not occur because of technology but because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human.”

It is true that splitting of atom and advent of internet have brought dramatic changes into the world but at the same time both have forced human race to evaluate the moral consequences of their use. Increasing use of internet has been a good influence in the domains of education, personal relationships and economy and has undoubtedly provided numerous opportunities to the people but at the same time it has also invited potential for deceit and irresponsible behavior. Technology is a manmade modification which can be either used for good or bad depending upon the person who is using it. Therefore, it is imperative to create a moral code for its regulation and use.

Increasing use of internet has been a good influence in the domains of education, personal relationships and economy and has undoubtedly provided numerous opportunities to the people but at the same time it has also invited potential for deceit and irresponsible behavior.

Internet and its effects on morality has been a hot topic of debate for many years, especially in third world countries like Pakistan where literacy rate is quite low and religion is misinterpreted with conflicting social values, internet seem to be the only place to release frustration. Internet has no doubt provided a platform for interaction and communication but it has also created insensitivity towards other human beings and their sufferings and feelings.  Children play violent games, full of murders and human mutilation that now they have forgotten the sanctity of life and what it means to be compassionate. The absence of physical presence in the virtual world of internet has removed all fears from the mind of people so that they can say and do things that they can’t even imagine doing in reality. Intolerance, use of obscene language, hostility, aggression, conflict and irritability are common traits found in the youth of this internet world. People have also found ways to make money on the internet which in return has given birth to other types of immoral activities such as identity, theft or hacking into personal accounts, selling of illegal stuff and goods, fraud among other things.

in third world countries like Pakistan where literacy rate is quite low and religion is misinterpreted with conflicting social values, internet seem to be the only place to release frustration.

Another alarming issue with regard to internet immorality in Pakistan is the news that Pakistan is among the top countries that access pornographic websites on internet. Chairman PTA Ismail Shah recently stated that 64,000 websites have been blocked so far, of which 50,000 pertain to pornography and the remaining relate to blasphemy. On the other hand, there are numerous terrorist groups’ propaganda websites that contain misinterpreted verses from the Holy Quran, jihadi songs, statements in support of sectarianism and propaganda material against the security forces. These websites are being used for expansion in Pakistan by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda through brain washing innocent youth of Pakistan. It is strange that blocking YouTube, Facebook and Google was easy for the government but not these websites that are potential threat to sovereignty of our nation.

It is strange that blocking YouTube, Facebook and Google was easy for the government but not these websites that are potential threat to sovereignty of our nation.

Fire is a good servant but a bad master, in the same way if internet is beneficial but if not used properly and let it rule our minds the result would be disastrous. The benefits of internet are countless but if left unregulated it can have negative impact on the society. Firstly it is the responsibility of parents and religious institution to impart right teachings and core values in the children and then it is responsibility of government to design laws and moral codes under which process could be regulated without any hitches. Although National Response Centre for Cyber Crime is quite active but no still proper law has been introduced in the country, 2007’s Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance” was the last effort that was made to tackle the issue but after that no worth mentioning step was taken, even that ordinance that was in effect for just two years and was not renewed. A new cybercrime bill is currently under debate titled “Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015”. The civil society activist and experts from the telecom industry has raised its concerned regarding the bill stated that unclear and ambiguous language of the bill could he used by the government for its personal benefits and impede the freedom of a common man. So they are demanding an open debate on the laws before the laws are passed. Hopefully both sides will reach an arrangement soon so that much needed laws could be introduced in the country.

With the advancements in technology it is imperative that we impart the proper education in our children about right and wrong, it is our responsibility to behave in a dignified manner. It is high time that we grab the bull by the horns instead of showing it our back and getting a lethal strike. As John Naisbitt has wisely said, “The most exciting breakthroughs of the 21st century will not occur because of technology but because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human.”

Rizwana Khan

Dreamer by nature, Journalist by trade.
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