Over the years the forms of entertainment have changed significantly. Old types of entertainment hardly attract people these days. It is obvious that once playing football, hearing radio and watching television were the common forms of entertainment. In the agrarian society our traditional festivities used to provide ample scopes to entertain people. Different types of traditional folk songs were the special attractions for the people in their leisure. Apart from this, traditional games and sports including boat racing, horse racing, playing kabaddi and so on were the great source of entertainment.
But in the age of digitization the newer forms of entertainment what we call digital entertainment floods the country. People of all walks of life are finding entertainment through internet-based digital devices. Especially the youth are being highly engrossed in online platforms and exposing their addiction to these. Gradually, they are being isolated from the real touch of world. They are found behaving in artificial taste leading to the verge of extinction of moral values.
Many youth have developed an addiction to playing virtual games. PUBG and many other harmful games are reigning over the youth causing a great despondency amid them. This loss is enormous not only for the family and society but also for the state.
Entertainment through social media not only promotes the decline in mental health for many teens, but it can also negatively impact existing relationships with their peers and family members. Studies claim that the addiction to social media can impair physical, emotional, and psychological ability of the users exposing depression, anxiety, somatic complaints and many others.
On top of that, some internet-based apps such as TikTok, Likee and Bigo have caused a great blow for the youths. The youth have developed a great fascination to use these apps to show them special in the virtual world. They are found involved in unhealthy competition to display them using these apps. Experts opine that these online apps are nothing educational, rather these are sending wrong messages to the society and culture in the name of modern entertainment.
It is obvious that amid the Covid-19 crisis, teens have got scopes to spend more times on social media due to the shift of education paradigm online. Most students have access to use smartphones during the new normal learning. But many times the young learners misuse the opportunity and get involved in creating short videos using TikTok, Likee and Bigo. They not only kill their valuable time but also be habituated with unhealthy entertainment.
Being negatively influenced with these apps many youth expose themselves coloring their hair in strange styles and create videos following foreign subcultures. Not only that, they are derailed from the moral values and involved in many more immoral practices which lead them to astray. Many who use these apps create vulgar videos with a view to hunting millions of viewers of the youth ages. The TikTok, Likee and Bigo users expose themselves as celebrities as each of them usually manages huge followers. Mostly the youth are being misled by watching such cheap videos which is really alarming. Such unhealthy practices in the guise of modernity is really frustrating.
Different media sources have exposed that these video apps have developed the fertile ground of many social maladies such as human trafficking, prostitution, sexual harassment, drug trafficking and gang building apart from leading the youth into mental despondency. Behind using TikTok, Likee and Bigo the ring leaders of women trafficking are active across the globe running their ill activities. They grow a good affinity with those girls and women fond of exposing themselves through these apps. Mainly they lure the youth of the relatively poor financial background, promising to give them high paid jobs in other countries and in most cases the girls and women are promised to make them models with fame and names.
It is regretting that in the guise of modern entertainment sexual harassment has been rampant across the country. Raping and many forms of digital sexual harassment have been in an epidemic form. Sexual harassment may be formed in different ways such as hacking, cyber-pornography, and blackmailing, etc. A recent study conducted by a non- government organization shows that seventy percent of the people subjected to online harassment in the capital are women whose age range is between 15 and 25 years. The ratio of harassment may be the same across the country.
Certainly, the severity of these virtual apps would not have been exposed unless a recent video footage of a Bangladeshi girl faced sexual abuse by a group of people in India went viral. Following this clue police made an operation and arrested at least 11 people involved in trafficking women to different countries. Police have found the connection of this syndicate with international human trafficking.
With the arrest of the culprits, many more horrifying unknown stories have come out in public. In most cases, this ring used to trap the youth using the social media platforms, luring the girls with various promises to change their fortune. But instead they trafficked the victims to many countries including India and Dubai in the Middle East and compelled them to be sex workers.
In these days TikTok, Likee and Bigo are exposed in the country as an agency of unhealthy entertainment paralyzing our youth community as the users are doing many things which are contradictory to our own culture and tradition. The situation reveals that the youth and their guardians hardly have any time to ponder over the concern.
Experts are worried about the dark side of these technologies. They claim that the use of online platform for the youth and teens brings a little good except leading them to the state of wrong doing as in many cases they are becoming the victims of misuse of virtual platform resulting in a dire threat upon the nation. It is time to ban all these harmful games and apps in the country to save the young community from further decay and ensure the healthy entertainment which is the key to healthy environment.
Writer: Alaul Alam teaches at Prime University. He is also research scholar at the IBS. Email: [email protected]
BDST: 1228 HRS, JUN 20, 2021