I USED to have a Twitter account. I don’t have a Fb or Instagram account. I take advantage of Google and spend time on YouTube. The one social media platform I’m utilizing now could be WhatsApp and even that’s restricted to members of the family and pals. I’m a member of 10 WhatsApp teams.

Malaysia ranks within the prime 5 globally in social media penetration, the best within the area. Out of a inhabitants of 31.eight million, there are 25.08 million Web customers, or 79% of the inhabitants. There are 24 million lively social media customers within the nation, or 75% of the inhabitants.

I’ve nothing in opposition to the Web or social media. The truth is, I used to be one of many first board members of the Multimedia Growth Company (MDC) appointed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he mooted the concept of a Multimedia Tremendous Hall (MSC) within the early ‘90s.

The reality was, the 14 member-strong board of the MDC chaired by the late Tan Sri Dr Mohd Othman Yob Abdullah was grappling with the brand new realities of the Web, which was nonetheless in its infancy on the time.

Dr Mahathir believed the Web would change every thing. The aim of the MSC was to unlock multimedia’s full potential. It was to combine groundbreaking cyberlaws and put together the proper ecosystem to draw potential gamers of the trade.

We have been taking a look at telecommunications companies as a key supporting trade for the longer term. Dr Mahathir’s imaginative and prescient was to maneuver from the Industrial Age to the brand new, daring, unchartered Info Age.

I now have reservations about how developments in telecommunications expertise have developed and impacted us. Social media, essentially the most celebrated consequence of the Info Age, is a creation that has modified humankind without end, for higher or for worse.

The world is totally different now. Social media is defining us. There is no such thing as a escape from its onslaught. And it’s only the start. We aren’t positive what the longer term will maintain or what sort of additional developments will rewrite humanity.

However one factor is for positive – we’re creating digital zombies. People are spending outrageously lengthy hours on social media. Simply take a look at us.

In accordance with a report by YouGov, social media customers spend a mean of 5 hours and 47 minutes a day throughout varied platforms. One in six (or 17%) customers spend greater than 9 hours a day on social media platforms. Solely 7% spend lower than an hour on-line.

Once I stop Twitter, which I signed up for in June 2012, I had 37,600 followers and adopted 237 others. My 4 years on Twitter taught me many priceless classes. I joined the platform as a result of I believed in sharing, however lots of the postings and responses shocked me.

Immediately, there are just too many irresponsible folks utilizing their social media accounts as a weapon of mass destruction. Nothing is sacrosanct anymore.

What’s worse is that many individuals imagine what they learn and ahead damning supplies with out regret. Some care little in regards to the affect of their posting on others. Social media is seen as a licence to insult, slander and humiliate.

It takes one individual to submit one thing vicious which works viral very quickly. Nobody, no establishment, no firm, is spared.

The rule of the sport is to simply be a part of the bandwagon on any difficulty with none want to know something. Even cowboys had guidelines within the outdated days.

A former vice-president of a significant tech firm famously argued that social media is ripping aside the material of society. The short-term, dopamine-driven suggestions loops that we’ve created are destroying how society works, he stated.No quantity of monitoring by any authorities apparatuses will save this society intoxicated with its new toys. Individuals might be charged for distributing faux information or worse. Submit and be damned! The irresponsible utilization of social media will go on. We aren’t a disciplined lot, some would argue.

Maybe we’ve but to turn into mature customers of technological platforms. Except and till the advantages outweigh the negatives, Digital Malaysia, social media-wise, is a harmful world to be in. It’s time to take inventory.

The concept that Dr Mahathir and his band of visionary pioneers had at MSC throughout its formulative years was to catapult the nation to a developed-nation standing. Sadly, considered one of its by merchandise, social media, is quick turning into a cesspool of nonsense and a harbinger of hatred.

Maybe we’d like extra than simply digital cleansing. It’s about time that we reclaim our lives.

Johan Jaaffar was a journalist, editor and for some years chairman of a media firm, and is keen about all issues literature and the humanities. And a diehard rugby fan. The views expressed listed here are completely his personal.





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