Social media is breaking barriers, providing people an instant way of communication. Social media platforms, including WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook, have slowly become a faster and convenient way of sharing news and communicating with friends and relatives across the globe.
However, there is also a dark side to this revolution, especially how people break sad news on social media.
Although citizen journalism has now become so cheap that anyone with a smart phone can transmit news anyhow, there have been instances where people have come to know of the gruesome deaths of their relatives and friends through uncensored posts on Facebook or WhatsApp.
The social media may be inseparable from those hooked to it, but all this buzz of breaking news by posting shocking photos is heartless and not worth it. We ought to respect human life. The excitement of posting photos takes away human dignity.
Why have we thrown morality to the dogs?
What do we aim to achieve by posting photos of the dead and injured?
Instead of being excited with the social media buzz and ease of being the first to break the news online, let us learn to respect the dead and people in agony.
Citizen journalism is not all about posting unacceptable photos on social media.
What joy does one derive from posting pictures of people in pain?
Even worse, there is a tendency of posting photos of the sick on social media after donating meagre packets and salads.
This is wrong and demeaning to the patients. It is really about taking advantage of the weak which cannot speak their mind.
This social media buzz has not left politically active minds, who leaked WhatsApp messages from their confidantes and political groupings to score some marks. This is breach of privacy.
The most recent example is an audio clip of a phone call in which some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) elites are discussing power struggle for the party presidency.
On another note, this seems to have ignited a heated debate and thoughts that would not have not come out in the traditional media.
Recently, a tweet from British High Commissioner Holly Tett sparked debate over cultural beliefs worth preserving or discarding.
Many have blamed her for the tweet, saying she does not understand the culture of the ngonde of Karonga in which women roll on the ground to express gratitude and mourning.
This is the beauty of social media. It allows people to share news and readers to give feedback instantly.
Some may argue that the social media helps alert people to the news they may have missed, but we all need to be aware of the repercussions of the news we spread and how we do it.
When you post something on social media, you certainly must be able to take full responsibility of its implications.
Technology is good. It bridges the communication and unites the globe into one village. Some have found joy through social media, others have found jobs, suitors and big money opportunities
However, we need to know of the limits.
Some still find this as just a way of wasting their time and internet bundles which are not cheap in this country.
Use social media responsibly and morally.
When it comes to decency, this is the rule of the thumb: Do not do to others what you would not love them to do to you if you were in their situation. n