THE wonders of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) must be described as the technology of the modern age, because of the revolution that it has brought to the ways in which we currently communicate with each other. Its wide-ranging components, that continue to evolve almost every day, have caused the wider world and its distant parts to be a global village. Now, at the touch of a button, distant shores are brought into the privacy of our living rooms, as we communicate via our computers and our smartphones to friends and relatives; and even seeking information on any person, anything, or place that we may wish.
But it is the aspect of Social Media that is the wondrous centrepiece of this communication revolution. Whether via Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram,or the ever popular Facebook – ground-breaking events, wherever they occur, are instantly transmitted; messages, greetings relayed; and friendships are formed. In short, they allow for the creation and sharing of information, ideas, and career interests. This is networking, the heart of this system.
Fundamentally, New Media (Social Media) has changed the world irrevocably, influencing the way we conduct our daily affairs, hitherto, the way we live.
However, there is the very dark side to Social Media and it is this aspect–one of them– that we wish to highlight, in the current context of Guyana.
We refer to the daily use of social media, particularly Facebook, to make racial slurs about a section of our multi- ethnic society. There is no doubt that this is a politically motivated strategy that forms part of the broader plan of furthering ethnic divisions in our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society, creating racial tensions, with the objective of destabilising our society, and even the coalition government.
We deem those attacks as evil and wicked, since they are meant to be personally demeaning and degrading, as they make judgement on an ethnic group’s capacity to govern, manage the important aspects of daily existence, even to live, based on the colour of their skin. Those of us who are open-minded and have read well, will know that such a narrow and offensive interpretation of human kind based on ethno-cultural interpretations of the evolution of man, has ever since been proven entirely false and without foundation. Yet, we still observe its disgusting persistence by those whose only agenda is to promote and foster the idea of domination by race: all in the name of political power.
To the intellectual authors of such a disgusting and dangerous practice and their followers, for we know who they are, we say to them the following: that their category is not a boon or credit to the current or future growth and development of this multi-ethnic society, with such a distorted view of the world, narrow too; from time immemorial, ethnicities have continued to make their contributions to the development of mankind, inclusive of this beautiful land of ours in so many ways, as their forbears would have done.
Rather than use social media for such odious ends, employ it towards the better good with the exchange of ideas as to how we as Guyanese can understand each other, foster social cohesion, and in the process evolving a better land which we can bequeath to our children and grandchildren. This ought to be our legacy to the future heirs of this country – a united Guyana where everyone, irrespective of ethnicity, has a role.