Saturday, 3 June, 2023

Extensive Use Of Digital Media

Dixya Poudel

Months after the emergence of the coronavirus, the threat of this pandemic still overshadows the world. And Nepalis celebrated Dashain even amidst the fears of infections. This year's Dashain was instead observed by the Nepali community with adherence to social distancing. And it turns out digital media is a blessing in these harrowing times.
The world today runs through the threads of internet with people carrying out meetings, conversations, shopping and learning online. At this time of pandemic, the usage of digital technology has increased at an exponential rate. As such, digital media is a form of media that incorporates electronic devices and gadgets to communicate or broadcast information. Digital communications through the social media and virtual media have become indispensible. Virtual media further signifies the effects of reality produced with the aid of technology. As seen in Nepali community, the general population followed through the precautionary social distancing measures and connected to their loved ones virtually to observe the recent festivities. The social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were filled with pictures and posts of people celebrating Dashain. They marked the auspicious festival within their homes and prudently opted to exchange festival wishes through technology. At the start of 2020, approximately 3.8 billion people used social media. Since then, the social media usage has increased unprecedentedly.
Globally, more and more people are relying on the digital technology to not just communicate, but also to conduct necessary activities such as shopping, learning and sharing. For human beings, connection and communication are a vital part of life. Humans have always been a social being, only the medium of communication has shifted. Our ancestors may not have had advanced science and technology but they still had tools of basic communication through language. As humans evolved, so did their nature of communication. Today we send emojis in our text messages to express our reaction. We constantly take pictures and share them with our friends and families in the digital platforms. Both the old and the young generations pursue the social media to connect, share, learn and inform. News passes through retweets, reposts and shares that unfold through the digital platforms.
Imagine how limited our communication would have been without the advanced technologies during this ongoing pandemic. Critics decry over the misuse of digital media, especially the social media. But it is through digital platforms that humanity has sustained a semblance of stability today. Without technology, the world would have been severely restricted in communication with the global citizens having to minimise mobility and practise social distancing. Digital media may have its demerits but there are limited or next to none options to such platforms in prevailing climate. People are now working from home, e-learning and telecommunicating. And e-commerce sustains the economy that is bearing the brunt of the pandemic. It is often argued that social networking sites increase misinformation, propaganda and fake news. But we have come to point where living without digital technology means a step backward. To thrive in the current world means to be fluent with technology and its various subsidiaries. Digital media has empowered its users, given voices and platforms to people and helped sustain human connection. Thus, as the world fights the current crisis, it is in our best interest to utilise digital platforms to our advantage.