By Kyal Sin Phu
1st year Honours student (English Specialization)
University of YangonEverything has pros and cons, especially social media. So we should not blindly say that social media is either fruitful or deleterious, because it depends on the individuals and how they use it. In other words, it is beneficial to us if we use it productively, and it can bring undesirable consequences or can put a serious damper on our life if we use it improperly.
Among social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Viber, Facebook is the largest and most popular social networking site in our country. It is prevalent among youths, some of whom use it for more than just posting selfies and keeping up with friends. Facebook offers valuable sources of information on assorted fields such as education, economics, politics, and technology.
Via Facebook, they can gain once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, such as studying at prestigious universities abroad through fully-funded scholarships, information of which probably would never have been seen if not of the popular social media site. Such an opportunity is like a divine gift from the heavens for an impoverished youth with great passion to pursue a quality education abroad. Moreover, through information from Facebook, underprivileged youths can apply for stipends and continue their tertiary education. For some youths, Facebook becomes a place to search for information about free seminars, talks, workshops and online courses. Some of the youths who have a thirst for knowledge read local and international news from the official pages of media companies and keep abreast of the latest developments in technology and hot issues of the world. Some are seeking jobs on Facebook, where various types of jobs in a wide range of industries are disseminated by companies large and small.
On the other hand, the drawbacks outweigh the advantages for some youths who use Facebook in the wrong way. Some encounter cyber-bullying and security attacks. Others become distressed, depressed and discontented when they compare their lives with those of others that they can so easily see on Facebook. Some teenagers allow Facebook to take up too much of their time, and thus have less time to study and to engage in face-to-face communication with their beloved ones. As a result, they often suffer academically, and their physical interaction with others gradually fades away. What’s worse, some teenagers spend their time cyber-chatting with strangers they have never met. All too often, they find those strangers charming and admirable. In some cases, they fall in love with them without considering the potentially disastrous results of committing yourself to someone you have seen only on the screen of a smartphone. This impulsiveness can put them in danger. In these kinds of undesirable cases, social media can be a source of trouble. In a nutshell, the use of social media can result in harmless fun, but also in serious danger. So, being human beings with sapient brains, we should aim to be the masters, not the slaves, of social media, by availing ourselves of the ample opportunities they offer.
By Kyal Sin Phu