A mid concerns that our people are increasingly losing their privacy in this age of smartphones and improved communications technologies, we have noticed how responsible use of messaging and networking apps can actually help stop sad unravelling of social fibre in our communities.
Social media have both extensive advantages and disadvantages. Much depends on how we make use of them. If we can harness their power conscientiously, they can be important tools to build our communities and inspire and nurture positive societal values. Rather than making use of social media apps for deplorable purposes, we could use them to help people who are in need of urgent support.
What the people of Daga gewog in Wangdue are doing should serve as good example. The people have formed a group called Phayul-Phenday Tshogpa and are using the popular mobile text and voice messaging app WeChat to organise programmes for the benefit in the remote villages.
The members of the group, who live and work in different places, have collected Nu 156,000 seed money for the development of the communities. A few months ago, the group purchased a 100-volume Gyalye-Kanjur-Chhenmo for Taksha-Silli Lhakhang.
Through the messaging app, members keep track of development projects in the villages. They also use WeChat to educate the people of the communities about harmful effects of alcohol.
And like Phayul-Phenday Tshogpa, there are other WeChat groups that are formed for specific purposes. Members keep themselves informed about development activities and share knowledge and information. These are beautiful ways to strengthen our communities and to reach to the people who are in need of support financial and moral.
But people often tend to misuse the power of such useful media apps for reasons incomprehensible. Only recently, we were compelled to deal with pervasive circulation of Bhutanese pornographic materials on WeChat. Such behaviours are despicable and do not help in bringing our communities together. Such disgraceful misuse of media tools should be stopped.
We need to educate our people, especially youth, on the good use of powerful and effective communication tools. In the wrong hands, they can be dangerous.