What kind of social defence do we have for the social media? It socializes and influences to an increasingly greater extent. And its impact seems to become bigger compared to “real life” social relations. It seems impossible for parents and teachers to monitor their children online. I was watching a televised debate on National Television DD News this week about a news story published in a Daily news paper: “Close Facebook accounts now, Bangalore school tells its kids”.
It was interesting to see how the decision of the school triggers a national debate in the best interest of the child. Questions raised during the debate were for instance: Should we just leave it to the child and let him/her decide? When does a virtual boundary cross the social boundaries and harms the child?
Teenagers in India (and across the world) increasingly live in a virtual and socially disconnected world of their own without realizing that any act of theirs on facebook has real consequences outside the virtual realm.
On this televised debate all the panelists felt a strong need to debate, discuss and counsel the peers at school and family.
I think it’s crucial to improve teenagers media literacy to empower them and make them informed that online behavior has impact on their personal life in the real world, too.
A related recent event from Gurgoan Delhi NCR comes to my mind immediately, where more than 100 school kids were caught using alcohol at Gurgaon pub:http://www.iogt.org/indiaupdate/117/social-media-and-best-interest-of-the-child/