THE advent of the worldwide web (www) has brought with it unbridled access to information, regardless of a person’s geographic location, once there is Internet connectivity.
THE proliferation of and easy access to mobile phones today has added to the ease with which information is accessed, regardless of a person’s age.
THIS places an enormous social burden on the country, considering the immeasurable quantum of information on the Internet which embodies a mix of positives and negatives.
UNLIKE other forms of media where control is possible, the Internet and social media remain uncontrolled and are, therefore, subject to abuse, especially by the youth.
THE wave of modernity blowing in the area of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has placed mobile phones even in the hands of children.
PARENTS for the sake of easy communication with their children while away at work, buy the children mobile phones which can be used to access the Internet.
BUT the bigger questions are: Do parents monitor what their children do with these mobile phones?; How often do they investigate the sites that their children visit on their smart phones and the Internet?; and do parents care about the kinds of social groups and platforms their children sign onto and the calibre of friends they make on those platforms?
OBVIOUSLY, most parents, confronted with the pressing challenge of having to work extra hours to cater for the needs of the family, tend to neglect these pressing issues.
BUT it will be counter-productive to work all these extra hours and be so consumed by the quest to make ends meet and as a result leave children at the mercy of dangerous elements who are always looking for unsuspecting victims to exploit on social media
THIS also brings into sharp focus the thrust of our communications policy that takes into account the interest of the youth who must be guided to grow to become useful adults.
CONTROL may be a farfetched or improbable option, but possibly some form of regulation can be instituted to check excesses and ensure that the future of our children is not jeopardised by the power of technology.