With the increase in technological development, the people have become closer to each other. Various platforms have been released to the public which allow them to remain connected 24/7. They are a sort of window to the world.
Social media is a must-have for people in the modern era. Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Twitter etc. are some of the most widely used social media platforms now-a-days. Men and women, children, adults and even elders use them to stay in contact with one another. Where Facebook provides people with a lot of freedom in socializing and connecting with people at the other edge of the world, other platforms like Snapchat and Instagram can prove quite hazardous and destructive for the Pakistani teens and the Pakistani culture and traditions.
Excessive use of these social media platforms distracts the teenagers from their much-needed education. They waste a lot of time surfing through the post and taking weird pictures which could actually be spent in studying. The same teenagers who were the future of this country, waste their potential and minds in useless things. An average teenager spends about 8 hours a day on social media. It is so addictive that teens have begun to use them in colleges and schools as well, wasting their time and their parent’s hard-earned money.
Wasting time on these things make the teenagers lazy. Those who can do a lot of productive work, sit around the house all day just surfing through the posts. Even when they grow up, this laziness remains a firm trait and they remain unable to do anything in life. Facebook, being a more social platform, tends to censor the content that appears and warning or banning those who post immoral, racist or sexist posts. Instagram and Snapchat, however, have a different set-up.
Instagram, almost as social as Facebook, works with only pictures and videos. Unlike Facebook, it does not censor the content which appears on the platform. The teenager girls in our society post their picture and sometimes in shameful poses in order to gain followers. This attracts and the minds and many-a-time lead them to commit grievous sins. The pictures, when discovered by the girl’s family, also lead to quite a lot of domestic problems.
There are a lot of pages on Instagram which post pornographic photos or videos. Pakistani teens, being brought up in our society where such topics are considered a taboo, are usually new to the concept of sex. Nudity and sexual content, not being filtered on Instagram appear quite often and teens are also pulled into such acts in hope of gaining fame or recognition. Harassment and rape are some of the social problems which appear as a result of such content.
Similarly, in Snapchat, people send pictures to each other with various filters, deforming their face and bodies. This in fun to some extent but humans have the capability to ruin the best of things. Even Snapchat is used for such things. The so-called role models of the modern age also post their pictures on these platforms, resulting in teens trying to copy them and their “fashion”. This promotes the negation of Islamic laws in our society. Another problem which the teens who use these platforms face is the use of their pictures for wrong purposes even against their ownselves.
Consider a girl who in her teens, posted quite a lot of pictures on her Instagram and Snapchat. Anyone can screenshot them and keep them for blackmailing or to ruin her life. The adventures of her teenage might cause her to lose all respect in the eyes of her parents, siblings and may even cause problems in her marriage. The culture of boyfriend/girlfriend is also spreading because of such posts. The teenagers, who begin to have extreme sexual desires, turn towards sinning which can not only destroy their religious values but also ruin their character in their own eyes and those of the society. The rising trend of feminism is also due to these social platforms. The women, especially teenagers, consider it their right to do whatever they want with their bodies.
This may not seem too much of fuss to the liberals in our nation but being Pakistanis and above all, Muslims, it is our duty to follow the tenets of Islam. The same girl who has been ordered not to show a single strand of her hair to unknown men now posts pictures which attract the hungry predators in our society. This not only affects the women’s character but also attracts the men towards sin. Instagram and Snapchat make us think that Islam’s rules are outdated, that they were for the past. That we are free to do what we like but, in fact, they are merely a way of trying “modernize” the Muslims and leading the teens away from their cultural and religious values.
It is not rare that the pictures of teenagers have been used by the wrong people. Sometimes, the teens are taken into “trust” by their Instagram and Snapchat “friends”. And when they meet, it usually ends in a tragedy for the family of the teen. Appropriate use of these applications, however, can make a teenager more social and have realistic approach to life, after getting a glimpse of the real world.
The teenagers, particularly those whose minds are still developing, should refrain from the apps so they cannot be taken advantage of or fooled into committing crimes or sins. The parents should keep a strict watch on their children, who they befriend or follow and what kind of content they have access to. The Pakistani government should also censor the content being posted on social media. It is the only way to protect our new generation of teenagers and to make them productive individuals.