Living in the digital age

This is the way that the world ends, not with a bang, but with a “Twitter” or “Facebook.”digital-age

ROFL, OMG!  BTW, FYI. Dylan Thomas would definitely not “go gently” if he could see the future of today’s global youth. Certain experts even argue that culture, tradition and morality are withering away as a result of the rise of the digital age especially in some western countries.

There are also reported instances of the new media or social media having a bearing on the social health of young people as they spent countless hours interacting with it. The trend is gradually picking up in Bhutan too. More youth are aggressively getting into social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

And as such, there might be a lurking danger too if the trend goes on to mutate the identity of Bhutanese youth. Violent movies and video games are already popular among the youth. A group of young boys forming a gang in Thimphu earlier after watching the movie ‘Crows’ is a testimony of the trend.

And given the limited local content for youth, most of them are exposed to global content – A sole national channel against a whopping 70 channels – both regional and international. A censorship bureau as such may be pivotal here, but it should exist to review what is being watched albeit not to the point of being too draconian.

Perhaps, we can also take respite in the fact that the implications of digital revolution’s entrance to Bhutan may not necessarily be a negative one. The situation presently isn’t grave, but it certainly raises the need for being cautious and vigilant, and educating users of the content in these media.

World Wide Web and social media are transcending borders, and there is no denying the fact that media exposure and content do influence young people’s health, development and behavior.

The majority of youth in the developed countries, the heart of the digital revolution in many ways, is bereft of their bond to the tangible aspects of daily life, culture or morality, according to reports. They have rather become “Facebook zombies” and cerebral slaves to the latest game released on the Xbox or the Wii. Books seem to be a thing of the past, replaced by blogs, Wikipedia, status updates, and WeChat.

Regardless of any governmental endeavor to reduce the impact of these media on the Bhutanese youth, the real efforts will ultimately come in the form of diligent parental guidance. Awareness of the media to which each child is exposed to, involvement in education and control of exposure to various mediums is up to individual parents.

Technological advancement is inevitable. It, therefore, becomes more important that great care is taken, and the mediums and technology employed are used in moderation. More importantly, enabling the young people to separate the wheat from the chaff is what should be more imperative.

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