Young people and adults have been urged to be responsible when using Social Media through the application of their common sense.
This inherent truth was left by students from Caritas Technical Secondary School, Boroko, during their conversation on the topic ‘Social Media and its impact on Young People’ on the Chat Room program of Wednesday 14th July 2021.
The four vibrant young women focused their discussion on a brief definition and history of Social Media, the general impact it caused in society and more specifically on young people, recommendations for responsible use of the various social platforms, the duty of parents in monitoring their kids’ activities online, and a strict call for the government to enforce the laws set out in the Cybercrime Act of 2016.
Currently doing her Grade 10, Gracelyn Magatu, said the successive growth of the different social media platforms within less than three decades was achieved to improve methods of instantaneous communication. “Human beings are social beings and we will always need to interact with others, and these different forms of social media platforms have been created as a way of freely expressing ourselves to connect with those around us,” she said.
She added, “Social Media allows people to freely express their opinions and it is the responsibility of users to consider very carefully how they choose to use it when expressing themselves.”
Athalyah Paissat, also in Grade 10, highlighted the significant impact of Social Media in society and said just like everything else, it also had its pros and cons. “It is used to build relationships, express how we feel, and promote business growth. However, the effects are extensive and are not just positive but also negative. It does not just affect a person’s physical wellbeing but their mental and emotional state as well,” she said.
“It also encourages the use of abbreviations and memes that is a common practice among many people and this can lead to poor language development, use of slang, and poor expression of self.”
Grade 10 student, Jabura Barara, explained that Social Media was developed as a way of appreciating and respecting the views of others and educating oneself about the need to improve the social skills of building solid relationships. “Let’s not abuse it by trying to impress, but by starting to inspire people through the posts we make and the messages we share. This will ensure the development of our social life to a much more appreciative and higher level where there is always a mutual understanding that benefits everyone,” she stressed.
Final speaker and Grade 11 student, Rebecca Ruambil, cautioned how certain posts made on social media tend to be heinous toward another individual and said laws were provided for by the Cybercrime Act of 2016 but only lacked enforcement. “Social media is a tool to improve our communication and cooperation to work together in building society. If it is used for anything bad apart from its intended purpose, people have to be reminded that there are laws and penalties in place that hold people accountable for their abuse of it,” she said.
The next round of Chat Room on 21st July will have students from De La Salle Secondary School Bomana, emphasizing the crucial role of the Independent Commission Against Corruption in fighting corruption and restoring PNG’s dignity and pride.