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The use, misuse and abuse of the mobile phone
Technology and a culture of disrespectfulness do not mix
By Rinchen Angmo Chumikchan, Monday, April 20, 2015


Leh: The dramatic rise in the misuse of mobile phone rings alarm bells. There is no doubt that technology has advanced more this half-century than it ever has. 

Technology has made extraordinary improvements in our world, providing endless source of entertainment, bridging the communication gap anywhere, increasing accessibility of opportunities and a whole lot more. However, the negative impact has been just as dramatic, driving home the point that technology is a double-edged weapon.

One of the most insensitive uses of technology is in the sharing of gory images on social media like WhatsApp. Images of bodies hanging are captured and circulated with impunity. The image that I am referring to here has gone viral, but no one seems to be talking about ways to check crime and suicide. Leaving one to wonder, are we going to use technology simply to take sadistic pleasure in someone else’s misfortune?

What is so appealing about the sight of the body of a teenage girl hanging, her suicide note, a body half eaten by dogs in Saspol or the body of a missing boy fished out of River Tawi, Jammu.

Callous circulation of such images not only infringes on the dignity of the dead but also adds to the grief of the mourning family members. It is quite probable that people sharing these images do not know that this act is a flagrant violation of the victims’ rights. Yet, as technology continues to advance, we lose our sensitivity.

Not so long ago, crime was just a word in Ladakh, far removed from everyday reality. Now, it is part of life. The last thing we need is a group of nerds gloating over the morbid images of human horror. With time, people’s response to crime is also changing.

All this calls for restrictions and a system of checks and balances. For those of you who think the practice is harmless, I would like to say it is the reflection of two greater evils.

The first is a lack of respect for human beings and the second is the misuse of technology by people for who life means nothing. It is no wonder that people on social media didn’t think twice before circulating images. The threat of misuse of mobiles is real and should be tackled before it gets out of hand.

It is disheartening that we do not have a cyber cell to investigate such crimes. So questions like how the images were leaked, who are the offenders and whether the offenders will be brought to book remain unanswered.

That being the case, only awareness and education can inculcate a sense of responsibility among people. Where social media is concerned, the golden rule should be, think before posting.

The purpose of this article is not to complain about modern technology. It is only to check the misuse of an important asset. Technology has been tremendously beneficial but we must not lose our humanity in the process of digitization.

 


 
                   
 
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