Internet usage and Pakistani youth

The usage of the Internet is increasing in the world but its utility is still debatable. The Internet has two possibilities: one it is providing opportunities for the users and the second internet is producing dull and idle users.

They are becoming a liability to society. According to a Joseph Johnson survey, it has been learned that the world has around 5 billion internet, active users. Among them, many of the users are using the internet for social media. About 4.7 million people use the Internet for social media. About 2 billion people use WhatsApp.

Similarly, social networking site is increasing throughout the world. Pakistan is no exception and the number of internet users is increasing constantly, for example around 83 million people use internet in Pakistan and out of them about 72 million people use social media.

The largest use of internet in Pakistan is for WhatsApp. Interestingly, about 72 million are using WhatsApp. It means those who use internet, are for sure using WhatsApp in Pakistan. The second usage is for YouTube which is also about 72 million. The third usage is for Facebook which is about 43.6 million and the fourth use is on Twitter which is very less.

Twitter users are about 3.5 million. Online users are between the age of 18 till 29 throughout the world but Pakistan has even underage users of the social media Internet. Interestingly, it is not limited only to the urban spaces and its usage is about 60% around 40% of people use it in rural areas. The majority of people use internet for 3 to 4 purposes. One of them is communication. The second use is connectivity and the third is entertainment.

Internet usage for education is the fourth big usage. According to an assessment of the Department of Sociology Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, the Pakistani youth is using the internet for entertainment that is on average four to six hours per day internet usage. Meanwhile, this youth is using only 5-to-30-minute internet for academic purposes. Many of these youngsters are using it only for entertainment. These active users are becoming a liability for the country because this figure is reversed in the rest of the world. For example, on the global level, four to six hours of usage of the internet is for study but in Pakistan that is just 5 to 30 minutes. The rest of the world uses the internet for about 5 to 30 minutes for entertainment.

What can be done for the effective uses of the internet technologies for the growth and for the development of the young people? For example, young people can earn money through freelancing, content writing, data entry, blogging, and article writing for newspapers and for online writings. They can also earn money while using different search engines for their earnings. It is understandable that every user is not up to the level that he or she is earning money effectively by using internet technologies. They do not have adequate skills but these skills can be learned effectively while using those technologies. A number of search engines especially YouTube is one of the big sources of academic learning. A person can enhance skills he or she is able to manage effective earnings as well as they can earn money. Rich people around the globe have to earn money by using online sources or internet technologies or affiliated industries. For instance, Amazon is one of the global seller websites that’s rich in growing rapidly throughout the world.

Even locally Daraz is an important website in Pakistan or Alibaba that can provide a lot of avenues of opportunity for young people. They can earn money while using all these Internet technologies effectively. They will be able not only to build their capacity while learning all these technologies but they can also earn money by selling online. With the online business, they are able to earn a lot of money. The online business has the opportunity to read to the global citizens. A person can earn money across the globe by using the internet. They just have to put the advertisement online and then they provide the quality and quantity of the product.

This would be reaching every corner of the world through the internet but unfortunately, many Pakistanis have not used it for productivity. This has led to make dull users of the internet. Rather than effective users of the internet, the young people are just wasting time and resources. It is the right time that these people must learn how they can be an effective learner and productive internet users.

Once they are the effective learner of the internet user, they would be creating opportunities for themselves as well as for their fellow citizens. They would also be able to earn money not for only themselves but for the country as well. A huge foreign revenue would be coming into Pakistan through online business or online freelancing content writing. This money will not only be used by the individual him or herself but they would also be contributing towards the economic growth of the country. The business volume of the country would be steadily going up. This is high time that the youth should understand its potential and try to learn effective and productive usage of the internet. Internet usage is an opportunity and this opportunity must be used in a productive manner.

The writer is teaching at the Department of Sociology at Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad.