Red, White and Black

The evils of chatting
25 January, 2006, 10:05 pm
Filed under: general, social

Stumbled across a talk show today. The topic of the discussion was ‘the internet and the youth’. It featured a showdown between a group of teenagers and a panel of parents, teachers and adults of the society. The crime of the youth was that they over-indulged in all internet-related activities – be it research, surfing, downloading or chatting. The youth of Pakistan is just spending too much time in front of the box called a computer. These activities are not only ‘anti-social in nature’, but implied an ‘overload of information’ that the youth is not yet ready to absorb.More often than not, the discussion gravitated towards the ‘evils of chatting’. The parents were irked by the fact that their children were making ‘cyber’ friends – they were concerned about the influence these ‘cyber’ friends would have on their kids. Interaction with the opposite sex, came up repeatedly. And so did the possibility of exposure to porn and the likes (but of course in minced words) . Some of the young adults asked why would you want to be friends with someone you can’t feel or see?

Come to think of it, ‘chatting’ is looked down on in our society. Over time it had become synonymous with seeking out ‘girlfriends’ and ‘boyfriends’ – a concept largely taboo in the Pakistani society. And it is also true that it is the prime means for ‘making friendship’ amongst the boys and young men alike. It has become an addiction of sorts.

This raises two important questions for me.

One, why is the interaction between opposite sexes such a taboo matter? Why is it still the forbidden fruit which the youth is tempted to test? More than debating the evils of chatting, the elders of our society need to address the constrictive nature of society. There is nothing wrong with the intermingling of genders – it is but a natural part of our lives. So why do we have to make such a lot of hue and cry over it? Why do we curb the interaction between the two gender from the tender age of 10? Why is it just so taboo?

Two, what are the other modes of entertainment for the youth? There is not much for the young to do with their spare time. Either they have the option of sitting at home watching TV and cable (which is considered equally bad an addiction) or of becoming the slaves of the computer machine. Cricket is probably the only game that is played on a somewhat organised level. But that’s about it. Where would you go to hang around with your friends and mingle with others, if there are no other avenues available? Can we really blame the youth over this count? Is it not the responsibility of parent ans society to ensure they are able to spend their time in a constructive yet fun way?

Having said all of this, I also think that the concerns of the elders of our society are also a little exaggerated. Their concerns about being exposed to too much information (and inappropriate matter too) at young ages is total crap. If they deem it to be so bad, then is it not their responsibility that they become part of their children’s world? Forget the concept of becoming a ‘friend’ to the child, ought they not to do it jsut for guidance. Maybe through such efforts they will be able to find some common ground and discover that the world of the internet is not so evil after all.


5 Comments so far
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we’re gonna be elders too! what are we gonna do? boo hoo 😥

Comment by BD

Yes our elders have exaggerated a lot in many regards on many issues. I have no doubt in my that the genration of our grand parents was the one which actually created ‘Pakistan’ and the generation of our parents is the one who actually destroed it. So its our or perhaps the generation upcoming now in 18-22 years of age will be the cause of renaissance. Normally parents/elder want us to be like themselves, if it were to be so , we could have never been born or created and they could have been blessed with an extended stay. But still I agree with most parents about that porn stuff and making an opposite sex your friend. On the whole our nationa’s youth has not come out of it yet.

Comment by Haroon Saeed

It’s a choice that the youth of today make. They choose to interact with friends and strangers over the internet and the cell phone rather than interacting with their parents and other loved ones. There is a message in there for the adults. You are no longer the enrichining or dynamic source of intellectual/sensual stimulus for your children! Parents and other adults, we need to clean up and recharge our batteries before we can point fingers at what our offspring does wrong! What is it that we have to offer to our children?

Comment by Id it is

i beg to differ, while not true in all the cases, the concerns are not completely baseless either. majority of young people do use chat or shoudl i say abuse chat? and admit it that apart from a very few people who manag e to and want to make friends with whome they can converse about something, most of our youth belongs to some degree ‘to frandshippers’. this has to be a concern for the parents and the like, cuz 1- man they r paying huge phone bills and internet bills 2- the kids are alwwwwaaaays chatting (i have witnessed you myself on the pc at 3 am *grin*) anyway jokes apart, this is something serious for sure.
same goes with the internet, i for myself have huge doubts that most youngsters have ever bothered visiting anything which is productive in anyway, the misuse of internet and chat is whats causin all the concerns, and the problem is that majority of the people in pakistan do misuse both chat and internet and hence, taboo they areee!

Comment by Maria


Comment by nadia

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