ESSAY: CHINA PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR (CPEC)

CHINA PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR (CPEC)

OUTLINE

❑ Introduction ❑ Development of Gwadar ❑ Previous project: Silk Road ❑ Projects ❑ Fruits for Pakistan ❑ The Concept of One Belt and One Road ❑ Different routes ❑ Agreement of bilateral trade and economic ties ❑ Geostrategic location of Gwadar ❑ Challenges for Pakistan • Internal • External ❑ Counter Indian influence ❑ Economic gains from this project ❑ Removal of social problems due to CPEC ❑ Balance of power in South Asia ❑ Effects of the projects ❑ Conclusion

Introduction

ESSAY The CPEC is a 3,000-kilometre network of roads, railways, and pipelines to transport oil and gas from Gwadar Port to Kashgar city, northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, China Daily reports. China and Pakistan have agreed to build the One Belt One Road project more commonly known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is expected to bring about both peace and prosperity in South Asia. This corridor will link between Kashgar in north-western China to Pakistan’s Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea near the border with Iran via roads, railways, and pipelines. There are many internal and external challenges for the Pakistan government to implement this multi-dollars project. However, it is a game-changer project which will transform the fate of Pakistan and will help Pakistan modernize. It will improve the economy and trade, enhance regional connectivity, overcome energy crises, develop infrastructure, and establish people to people contacts in both countries. Proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Pakistan in May 2013, the CPEC will act as a bridge for the new Maritime Silk Route that envisages linking three billion people in Asia, Africa, and Europe. The project links China’s strategy to develop its western region with Pakistan’s focus on boosting its economy, including the infrastructure construction of Gwadar Port, together with some energy cooperation and investment programs. It also involves road and railway construction including an upgrade of the 1,300-km Karakoram Highway, the highest paved international road in the world which connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountains.


The CPEC will reduce China’s routes of oil and gas imports from Africa and the Middle East by thousands of kilometers, making Gwadar a potentially vital link in China’s supply chain. With the support of China, Pakistan has gained significant importance not only in the region but the entire world. In recent years, both China and Pakistan have been making concerted efforts to revive the historic Silk Road which is one of the oldest known trade routes in the world and will provide a route for trade from Kashgar (China) to Gwadar (Pakistan). The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor plan will help Pakistan to become one of the most strategically important countries in the region. It will also provide an opportunity for China to build a naval base on the Gwadar port that will increase the influence of China in the region and also counter US influence in the Asia-Pacific region. The CBS News quoted some Western diplomats on the Pakistan-China partnership. According to them, China’s increasing economic engagement with Pakistan should be seen in the context of Beijing’s “efforts to counter the US efforts to deepen alliances around the Asia-Pacific region.”

The “One Belt One Road” concept has international strategic importance. The One Belt One Road initiative covers countries and regions with a total population of 4.4 billion and a total economic volume of US$ 21 trillion, 63 %, and 29 %, respectively of the World. According to the assessment of the Corridor, the plan is involved in laying the foundation for regional cooperation, improving economic growth, offering trade diversifications, investing in transportation, mining, and energy sectors, and creating political flexibility.

It is a vision with the world-. changing implications, an unfolding plan that would weave much of Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania, and the Middle East much more closely together through a patchwork of diplomacy, new infrastructure, and free trade zones. The “One Belt One Road” Project consists of three routes, southern, central, and northern route. The southern corridor begins from Guangzhou, which is the third-largest city of China in South Central China. This route moves towards western parts of China and connects Kashgar with Pakistan at Kunjarab — a point from where China wants to link to Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea.

It is the shortest and the most feasible option for China. The second Chinese option is the Central Corridor that starts from Shanghai and links the country to Tashkent, Tehran, and onwards to Bandar Imam Khomeini Port of Iran on the Persian Gulf. One of its branches goes up towards Europe. This is the longer route but could be an option if Pakistan does not deliver on the timelines of completing its road network to become a beneficiary of the New Silk Road Economic Belt. The third Chinese option is the Northern Corridor that starts from Beijing, passes through Russia, and links it to European cities. Recognizing the fact that regional integration is an inevitable measure to meet the demands of an economically globalized world, the notion of Silk Road was reformulated and rephrased by China in 2013 under the ‘one road, one belt’ initiative, i.e., economic belt along the Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road.

Pakistan is a significant partner for China as it links China to Central Asia, the Southern Asian region, and the Middle East, and its major deep-sea port Gwadar offers direct access to the Indian Ocean and beyond. Both countries have been working on enhancing their coordination and strategic communication to safeguard common interests. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) represents a new model of Pakistan and China cooperation which will serve against the backdrop of complex and changing regional and international situations. China and Pakistan have developed strong bilateral trade and economic ties and cooperation over the years. China has gradually emerged as Pakistan’s major trading partner both in terms of exports and imports.

Bilateral trade and commercial links between the two countries were established in January 1963 when both signed the first bilateral long-term trade agreement. Both countries signed the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on November 24, 2006, and implemented it from July 1, 2007. Later on, both signed the FTA on Trade in Services on February 21, 2009, that became active from October 10 that year. CPEC is an under-construction mega-project that will achieve the political and economic objectives through trade and development and will also strengthen the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. This corridor will also be helpful in creating regional stability in South Asia. After completion of the corridor, it will function as a primary gateway for trade between China and Africa, and the Middle East. It is expected that this corridor will help cut the 12,000-kilometre route which Middle East oil supplies must now take to reach the Chinese ports.

This project will run through most of Pakistan starting from Gwadar in Balochistan and ending in Kashgar in western China while passing through parts of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan to reach the Khunjrab Pass and beyond to China. Pakistan has prepared a plan to construct three corridors after active consultation with the Chinese authorities; these are the eastern alignment, the central alignment, and the western alignment. The eastern alignment of the corridor originates from Gwadar, travels parallel to the Makran Coastal Highway eastwards (towards Karachi), and then after passing through parts of interior Sindh, and southern, central, and northern regions of Punjab, it reaches Islamabad. From Islamabad, it extends to Haripur, Abbottabad, and Mansehra districts of the relatively peaceful Hazara Division in KP — this

part of the corridor will also run through Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir — and reaches Khunjrab after passing through Diamer and Gilgit areas in northern Pakistan. The corridor will also run through the Pamir Plateau and Karakoram mountains. A link from Taxila through Peshawar and Torkhum will connect the eastern alignment of the corridor to Jalalabad in Afghanistan. Regional connectivity with India through the eastern alignment is designed to be provided through the Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas-Kbokhrapar-Zero Point link and the Wagha border, Lahore.

The western alignment was the original alignment which the government says has been deferred until the eastern alignment of the corridor is completed. According to the western alignment plan, the economic corridor (highway and railway) starts from Gwadar and runs through some southern and eastern districts of Balochistan (Khuzdar and Dera Bugti, respectively), and some districts in south Punjab to reach D. I. Khan in KP. From D. I. Khan, it further extends to Islamabad and Abbottabad, and from there onwards, the route is the same as in the eastern alignment. The western alignment will have an additional regional connectivity link to Afghanistan through Chaman and will connect with Iran through the Quetta-Kho-e-Taftan link.

The following are the challenges for Pakistan. Pakistan faces several challenges in the implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. These challenges can be identified as external and internal. The Vice Director General of Policy Research Office at the International Department of the Central Committee Communist Party of China, Dr. Luan Jianzhang is of the view that political unrest, security situation, and administrative issues are some of the greatest challenges in the way of successful completion of the corridor.

The construction of the corridor has been defined by many as a strategic moment such that Pakistan has assumed the position of economic pivot for the whole region. This paradigm shift in circumstances is a cause of great worry for the enemies of Pakistan both within and outside. India, Israel, and the US are unhappy. For India, CPEC is a thorn in its paw. They have put their heads together to work out new strategies to block the project forward march. RAW has opened a special office in Delhi and has been allotted $300 million to disrupt CPEC.

Already one can notice a sudden upsurge in the acts of terror in the three restive regions and the activation of certain NGOs and think tanks all trying to air misgivings and create a fear psychosis. In Pakistan, some political parties like ANP, Baloch nationalists, PkMAP raised serious objections to the CPEC project. Even PTI and JUI (F) showed inclinations to climb the bandwagon of anti-CPEC forces. Objections were being raised despite assurances by the government that this project will provide equal opportunities to all the provinces. Security concerns have been the most critical challenge to the CPEC and both Pakistan and China have been trying to meet these.

An arc of militancy stretches from Xinjiang to Gwadar consisting of groups like the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Daesh (ISIS), Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) and the militant wings of some political parties. Most of these groups may not have enmity with China itself but rather intend to attacks the Chinese interests like the CPEC as a means to deal with the Pakistani state. Gwadar is the tail of the Silk belt, which will connect at Kashgar through different communication networks. The security of the whole corridor and Gwadar is a real concern for China. After the military operation in different parts of Pakistan, the terrorist infrastructure still exists inside and outside of the borders which will continue to pose a threat. The support of the American CIA, Israeli

Mossad and Indian RAW has continuously been assisting the militant groups and sub-nationalists in all the provinces to conduct subversive acts — and using terrorist elements in the whole country to threaten the Pak-Chinese plans of developing the CPEC. In the past few years, they kidnapped and killed many Chinese nationals in Pakistan despite Pakistan’s efforts to provide the best possible security. The army has announced the creation of 10,000 men special force for protecting the development projects. The new force, named the Special Security Division, will comprise nine army battalions and six wings of paramilitary forces, the Rangers and the Frontier Corps.

As an economic enterprise, for the CPEC, the greatest challenge comes from competitors. The most significant is the Iranian port of Chabahar. India intends to invest significantly ($85 million) in the development of Chabahar, which lies a few miles away from Gwadar and is part of its efforts for access to land-locked Afghanistan and Central Asia while bypassing rival Pakistan. Chabahar will effectively be a way station for energy imports coming from the Gulf region and destined for Afghanistan and Central Asia. It will also be a gateway to the Middle East, and possibly Europe, for exports originating from Afghanistan and Central Asia.

While the Chabahar project has not yet been started due to the ongoing talks on the Iranian nuclear issue, the Gwadar port has already become functional. However, there is no need for contention between these two ports. Iran has a stake in the CPEC through the proposal to link the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline with China, which has been described as a “common interest” between the three countries. Indian involvement in Chabahar is linked to Pakistan’s refusal to allow India access of transit to and from Afghanistan, so India sees Iran as the next-best option. if Pakistan extends transit facilities to India, and then India may not be interested in building up Chabahar. In recent years, India has been particularly active in engaging Central Asian states for the sake of pursuing energy deals. India can be easily accommodated via the CPEC itself through the eastern interface in Punjab and Sindh and transformed into a stakeholder in the success of both Gwadar and the CPEC.

The dice of connectivity loaded by China has left India confused and bewildered. India is also concerned about China’s huge investment in Pakistan, particularly its recent decision to fund for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. China is also helping Pakistan in producing plutonium at the Chinese built Kyushu reactor and will also sell eight submarines worth $5 billion, which will give a quantum jump to Pak Navy’s sea capability. After the completion of CPEC, Pakistan may become a trade hub in the region after Gwadar Port starts functioning fully and duty-free economic zones are set up. Many Central Asian states have also expressed interest in becoming part of the corridor.

This strategic partnership between Pakistan and China has upset India that openly voiced its opposition and even premier Narendra Modi pressed the president of China during his visit to Beijing to drop the plan of developing the corridor. However, China did not cave into the pressure and vowed to push ahead with work on the project. India is also not happy with the handing over of Gwadar Port development and its operations to China. There have long been reports that Delhi is fuelling insurgency in Balochistan, which is rich in oil and gas resources, but poor law and order conditions have halted work on exploration activities there. Experts believe the India-UAE nexus will try to fail the Gwadar Port development project and create hurdles in the way of exploration activities in Balochistan. With Chinese clout growing and Russia flexing muscles to regain control over Central Asia, India is struggling to make some headway and spread its sphere of influence in the region. Delhi has bet on Iran and Afghanistan to reach the Central Asian states via land route as Pakistan and China have control over many land links that provide access to the resource-rich region. India hopes it will be able to reach Central Asia through the Iranian port of Chabahar and build a north-south corridor that will run to Afghanistan and eventually stretch to Central Asia.

Pakistan has been playing a significant role in South Asia. After the completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor economic, commercial as well as geostrategic environment will improve in Pakistan. It will help Pakistan in dealing with the problems of poverty, unemployment, and inequities of undeveloped provinces. During his meeting with President Xi Jinping, President Mammon Hussain said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would prove to be a game-changer in the whole region by generating massive trade and economic activity and opening new vistas of progress and prosperity for the people of the two countries and about three billion people of the region.

CPEC from all counts will prove a game-changer and will make China a real stakeholder in Pakistan’s stability and security. It is a win-win situation for both. It will greatly expand the scope for the sustainable and stable development of China’s economic development. Investments by China will boost Pakistan’s $274 billion GDP by over 15 %. Corresponding progress and prosperity in Pakistan and China’s patronage will help Pakistan in getting rid of the decade-old labels of ‘epicenter of terrorism’, ‘most dangerous country’, and a ‘failing state’. Pakistan enjoys a more favorable financial situation compared to India by reducing its budget deficit to 4.7% of GDP in 2014 (as against India’s 7%) and Pakistan is both competitive and cheaper as an emerging market.

China’s economic and military assistance will help Pakistan a great deal in narrowing its ever-widening gap in economic-military-nuclear fields with India and in bettering its defense potential. Ambassador of China to Pakistan Sun Weidong while talking about the corridor said that the setting up of energy, transport, infrastructure, and industrial projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would benefit all the provinces of Pakistan. He said that the CPEC was not limited to just a road but it will connect the country with a number of motorways and infrastructure projects. He explained that infrastructure projects included Gwadar port, the second phase of the upgrading project of Karakoram Highway, the motorway project between Karachi and Lahore, the Thakot-Havelian motorway, Gwadar port expressway, Gwadar international airport, and Karachi-Sukkur motorway, adding further that the project will increase collaboration in areas of energy, finance, commerce, banking, industry, and education.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will help build a robust and stable economy in Pakistan and will create a significant opportunity for Pakistan to revive its industry and advance its economic interests. It will also help in overcoming the psychological barriers to flows of foreign investment from other sources. Despite its restrictive economic regime, over 150 private equity funds, foreign and domestic, are active in India. Only three or four such funds are dedicated to investing government, with the participation of the private sector, to encourage foreign direct investment in Pakistan is indispensable. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said war phobia can also be defeated through economic development. Peace and prosperity can be achieved with economic advancement. This project will go beyond regional ambits to bring about enormous changes not only to the national economies of the benefiting states but also to the economics of the people at the grassroots level. CPEC is the crown jewel in the new Pakistan economic paradigm because Pakistan has the opportunity to act independently of western influence especially the US influence as it has proved of late, an irritant factor. CPEC project will also bring an opportunity to Pakistan for normalization of ties with India, Iran, and Afghanistan which will keep balance, strengthen prospects of peace and improve the socio-economic status of the people of the region.

CPEC is a game-changer project which will lift millions of Pakistanis out of poverty and misery. The project embraces the construction of the textile garments, industrial park projects, construction of dams, the installation of nuclear reactors, and creating networks of road, a railway line that will generate employment, and people will also take ownership of these projects. Fully equipped hospitals, technical and vocational training institutes, water supply, and distribution in undeveloped areas will also improve the quality of life of people. CPEC is not only the name of road, port, and railway system but a multi-dollars mega project which will bring peace and prosperity in all the provinces of Pakistan. The chairman of the Gwadar port, Dostain Khan Jamaldini said that the CPEC would not only benefit Balochistan but also prove beneficial for the country’s three other provinces.

Courtesy World Times.

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Child labor in Pakistan

Child labor refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labor. It is the full-time employment of children under a minimum legal age. The practice of child labor is considered illegal by many countries and exploitative by many international organizations. (Child Labor at Distrcit Level, 2009)Child labor is one of the problems that occur as a result of the responses to the economic problems faced by vulnerable children. In most developed and emerging countries, use of children as labors is considered as violation of human rights and is outlawed, while some poorer and developing countries do tolerate and allow child labor.

In Pakistan, a country where almost half of the population lives below the poverty line, child labor is deeply entrenched and pressing phenomenon. Child labor in Pakistan is prevalent in all sectors of the economy, thought it primarily exists in the informal sector of employment and home-based industry. Pakistan’s high population growth of around 1.6% poses multiple challenges and threatens to constrain limited resources and social and economic development of the country. According to the survey of Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) in 2002, the number of working children in Pakistan was approximately 3.5 million or 7% of the total workforce in Pakistan. However, the children under the age of 10 and those working in small and family businesses that are not registered with the government were not the part of the survey. So the actual figure is deemed to be much higher than the official figures.

In Pakistan, children aged 5-14 are around 40 million. The survey conducted by UNISEF in 2003, estimated that 8 million children under the age of 14 are engaged as labors. Most of them are engaged as labors in brick kiln factories, carpet weaving centers, agriculture, small industries and domestic services. The survey also indicated that rural and urban ratio of child labors was 7:1. The province with most number of cases of child labor was Punjab with nearly 60% of the total child labor population.

HISTORY AND IMPACT OF CHILD LABOR IN PAKISTAN

Child labor has been prevalent in Pakistan in all the sectors of the economy, though it mostly exists in informal sector of employment and in the home based industry. In late nineties, the matter of child labor emerged as a serious consideration due to international exposure. In 1996, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto acknowledged the problem of child labor in the country and announced the plan to eliminate it. In his speech in April 1998, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stated that the problem of child labor occupied a prominent place in the agenda of government of Pakistan. In 1999, Federal minister for labor and manpower, Shaikh Rashid announced a four point policy for curbing child labor in Pakistan. In Jan-99, government announced the draft of the labor policy. The policy envisaged that the government is committed to end child labor. It was also promised by the government of Pakistan in 2000, that the law to eliminate child labor and bonded labor at an economic level would be implemented in 2002 and till 2005; there would be no bonded labor or child labor in Pakistan. Even after so much regulations and promises by the government of Pakistan, the attempt has not been successful till now. Though the issue has received international attention and various organizations at international level like ILO and UNICEF are participating in the issue, still the improvement in this case is very slow.

In eradicating and creating awareness against child labor in Pakistan many communities are having a stake. Some of these communities/autonomous bodies working for the cause are:

Government of Pakistan

Children Parliament Pakistan

International Labor Organization

UNICEF

Other NGO’s, Society and Media

All the above government and private bodies are actively working for the eradication of child labor in Pakistan. The issue has been seriously addressed by the above bodies either individually or in conjunction with any other body. The role of each of the above mentioned body in the eradication of child labor in Pakistan is as follows:

GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN: Government of Pakistan has been actively working for the eradication of child labor in Pakistan. Activities of government towards the issue have been gaining considerable attention since late 1990’s, when the matter of child labor emerged as a serious consideration due to international exposure. In Jan-99, government announced the draft of the labor policy. The policy envisaged that the government is committed to end child labor. It was also promised by the government of Pakistan in 2000, that the law to eliminate child labor and bonded labor at an economic level would be implemented in 2002 and till 2005; there would be no bonded labor or child labor in Pakistan. Though the government has not been able to deliver on the promises made due to the increased political weaknesses in the company, still there have been continuous efforts made on their part. Government also identified poverty and lack of education for children as root causes for the child labor in the country

National Child Labor Laws:

In Pakistan a child is defined as a person younger then fifteen. The legal minimum age for employment of children is 14 for normal businesses and 15 for railways and mines. The constitution of Islamic republic of Pakistan prohibits forced labor, slavery, and employment of children below the age of 14. The government of Pakistan asserts that the labor inspectors are empowered to carry out regular visits to all employment places covered under employment of children act 1991 to check the compliance of the law at that places.

Education Laws:

Articles 37 (b) & (c) of the constitution of Pakistan declares public policy to “remove illiteracy and provide free and compulsory secondary education within the minimum possible period [and to] make technical and professional education generally available and higher education equally accessible to all on the basis of merit”. Despite a law in 1962 requiring each province to designate areas where primary education is compulsory, none of the provinces have complied. As of now, the present government in Pakistan has made elementary education compulsory for children. Along with that, the government has also made the policy of distributing free books in primary schools.

International Conventions:

Pakistan is a party to ILO convention concerning minimum age of employment in the industry and UN convention for rights of the child.

Through above legislatures and laws, and to some other timely regulations, the government of Pakistan is acting as an active community stakeholder in eradication of child labor in the country. Though in present scenario Pakistan is suffering through political weaknesses, but still government is committed to take the work one step ahead.

CHILDREN PARLIAMENT OF PAKISTAN:

The children’s parliament for Pakistan was launched on 14-Nov-08, by Society for the Protection of the Rights of Child (SPARC). The main aim of this parliament is to create awareness and promote child rights in the country. The members were elected from different schools of Peshawar, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Karachi, Lahore etc. Besides providing basic rights to every child in Pakistan other objectives of this parliament are:

End child labor

Educate every child

Provide medical facilities to children

Protect the children

In addition, children parliament serves as their voice to convey the difficulties and problems faced by the children to government of Pakistan.

INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION:

With the matter of child labor in Pakistan gaining international attention, ILO has fastened its steps to address the issues. ILO does timely surveys within various industries in Pakistan suspecting large amount of child labor. (International Programme for elimination of child labor)Based on the survey they come out with survey reports addressing the issue and recommending ways to deal with the situations. Some of the latest surveys conducted by ILO in Pakistan are:

Survey on Child Labor in Kasur Tanneries in 2004

Survey on Child Labor in Glass Bangles industry in Hyderabad-2004

Survey on child labor in surgical instruments manufacturing industry in Sialkot

Survey on child labor in coal mine industries in Chakwal, Noshera and Shangla

ILO has also been working with the government of Pakistan guiding them from time to time on this issue. It is also acting as a watch dog, inspecting the ways in which government is addressing the issue.

UNICEF

The name UNICEF needs no introduction. United Nation International Children’s Emergency Fund, a UN organization has consistently working towards the development of children in underdeveloped countries. UNICEF conducts timely surveys to see the improvement in the case. The survey conducted by UNISEF in 2003, estimated that 8 million children under the age of 14 are engaged as labors. Most of them are engaged as labors in brick kiln factories, carpet weaving centers, agriculture, small industries and domestic services. The survey also indicated that rural and urban ratio of child labors was 7:1. The province with most number of cases of child labor was Punjab with nearly 60% of the total child labor population. UNICEF also set-up centers in the Pakistan, helping destitute children get home. Pakistan is also amongst the countries that get funding from UNICEF to promote the steps in eradication of child labor.

OTHER NGO’S SOCIETY AND MEDIA:

This is another group of very important stakeholders in the issue of child labor in Pakistan. NGO’s like ACM Apostolic Charismatic Ministry and Child Reach International has continuously worked towards the development of children in Pakistan to eradicate child labor. Though the NGO’s in Pakistan don’t get proper funding from government of Pakistan neither from any corporate bodies, still the work they do in crating awareness and providing elementary education to children is quite appreciable. Society and media as a whole has a major role to play in the eradication of child labor in Pakistan. These two stakeholders are still dormant in the issue, but for the development of children in Pakistan society and media have to play a major part.

Poverty levels in Pakistan appear to necessitate that children work in order to allow the families to reach their target take-home pay. The lack of economic opportunity for adult employment in Pakistan needs to be studied and taken under consideration; the government also needs strict to inspect the strict implementation of laws made by it. Lack of education is another reason for the high rate of child labor in Pakistan. Thought government of Pakistan has made policies for providing free elementary education to children, the policies need strict implementation to address the issue. Also, other stakeholders of the issue specially Children parliament, ILO, UNICEF, Media and NGO’s have to work in tandem to create awareness for the rights of the children in the country.

Essay Topic: Social Media, Youth, And Pakistan

SOCIAL MEDIA

The recent trend clearly shows a shift of business users and youth from traditional communication advertising such as television, radio, newspaper, and magazines are no longer appealing to them. Social media refers to web-based service that allows individuals for sharing, collaborating, and taking an insight into each other without any geographic barriers and with the help of new media tools of the internet. Elliot (2012)

DIGITAL MARKETING MARKETING:

“The growing importance of social media websites particularly YouTube, Face book and LinkedIn and their penetration in the country cannot be ignored by corporate managers who for the most part do not have an effective social media team. A host of local as well as multinational companies operating in Pakistan now see social media as an important marketing tool to promote their brands” Baloch (2012)

In 2010, business professionals took social media seriously, Social media growth immensely increase by personal users and businesses adaptability. This year Face book has 600 million users and they are heading towards one billion marks. 20 million people become fans of pages per day, 60 million status updates per day, The average time for users’ spend is more than 55 minutes. Over 2 billion videos are uploaded on YouTube and 46% of internet users are interacting with social media on a daily basis. Schrum (2011)

As our chosen topic depends on exploratory research so these articles encourage us to determine how social media are effective to target youth of Karachi. Social media’s uniqueness is to target a mass audience individually and looking to meet the new potential consumers. In social media Face book, YouTube and LinkedIn have major growth and it reaches a mass audience and youth as well.

SOCIAL MEDIA, YOUTH AND PAKISTAN:

In the last 10 years Pakistan’s social media sector growth increase unexpectedly. With the population exceeding over 180 million there is 20 million users connected to the internet which is 12% of its population which are much bigger than India 5% of internet users in total population. In Face book, there are over 5 million Pakistani users which are 15% of Face book total users, and more than half of them lie age between 18 to 24. In the 2010 Flood strike in Pakistan than with the help of social media youth of Pakistan utilize social media platforms by minute to minute updates in the stricken areas and motivate the whole population to contribute in relief efforts so there are a huge revelation and impact on social media in the youth of Pakistan. Inam (2011)

Social media’s impact on youth marketing:

Now social media plays an important role in youth lifestyle and companies targeting youth by social networking because it becomes a culture in youth to use Face book, YouTube, and LinkedIn on a daily bases. Usage of smartphones is also very common in youth to reach social networking because in universities and colleges there is a policy to limit social networking within class timing or working hours so youth now have a Smartphone to reach social websites easily by their pocket phones. In Face book and LinkedIn, companies develop pages and put an advertisement on it and it has options of like and comment which gives them an insight of youth liking and disliking, and they collaborate with each other as a result of that companies create a huge brands image even before its product launch. Blogging is also a very effective social media tool to target youth in which companies create discussion sections in order to get opinions about brands and services and platforms become the source of research, marketing strategies, and development. Misa (2011)

RESEARCHERS THOUGHTS

Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn come with unbelievable techniques to communicate with family, colleges, friends and also market your product in that effective manner that the users of that site can like your product. All the previous researches that have been done on social media as an effective medium to target the youth has come on that conclusions that social media can be a very handful tool for the companies to market their product.

Murdough (2009) has positively agreed on the potential of social media but like any other marketing tool, it is difficult to gauge the kind of impact that it lays on the masses. Through many research surveys the results that came out that identify that many young people’s age group (18-25) are the more users of networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin) than any other age group and due to that these social networking sites are experiencing dramatic worldwide growth. Moreover, researchers have contended that the perceived benefit of the use of social networking sites achieves network externalities in which positive feedback produces more and more users, thereby increasing its social platform (Powell 2009).

Most of the researchers have agreed on Facebook as its statistics indicate that its members are swiftly increasing day by day because it provides a new method of communicating employing computers as a collaborative tool to accelerate group formation and escalate group scope and influence allowing users to present themselves, connect to a social network, and develop and maintain a relationship with others. Facebook is being widely used all over the world as it stats tells as compare to the other social networking sites so many types of research are giving positive comments about Facebook. As the social media marketing is increasing day by day as many types of research have identified in their research so the companies are likely to be taking social media component for their product promotion and marketing very seriously because enhanced engagement in social media has features such as the increased speed with which information can be gathered and transmitted, a greater volume of information that is easily accessible, more flexibility in how and when information is accessed and much great opportunity to interact with others I a range of context using text, audio or video. However in my opinion social media have has altered the media marketing paradigm by defining the new set of relationships between young people and organizations in which marketing and organizations have become pervasive, creating new hybrid forms that blend communications, content, and commerce.

Common Theories:

Well, there are most of the things that are common in every previous research that has been done on social media marketing as an effective medium to target the youth. As social media being a very popular medium among the youth so it has an influence on the purchasing decision. In today’s digital-focused marketing environment, the internet as a communication and transaction channel adds two more inputs and influencers of buying behavior to the model. The first one is the online marketing mix, which basically represents the controllable online experiences provided by the corporate. The second one is the social media experiences which are by and large beyond the marketer’s control. In my opinion, the social media has a very good impact on the purchasing decision of the users because due to various techniques that many companies are using to promote their product on social media can attract users and they like d that product and ultimately buy it.

Various researches have established framework s for social issues that have been discussed by most of the researches in their respective research. Social issues like In (health, education, environment, politics, safety, etc). Many researchers have described in their social marketing campaigns however, the model of communication for social change describes this interactive process best whereby a social change in a community improves the health and welfare of all its members, driven by dialogue and collective action.

Current scenario:

According to the researchers, Pakistan is a developing nation where digital networked technologies and new media platforms are just emerging (Yusuf 2008). Although many concluded that that availability of digital technologies and social media platforms facilitates democratic practices and participatory behavior, whether this is equally true for developing countries like Pakistan, is debatable. Most of the researches argue that the ability to use digital technologies and new media meaningfully impacts participatory behavior and civic action, which is often overcome through the combined use of different technologies and concludes that new media platforms are increasingly effective as tools for community organizing and information dissemination.

According to the different stats, Pakistan has quite a significant number of users of social media that have an active account on different social networking sites so they can be targeted through that medium. Our study is based on the topic “social media as an effective medium to target the youth of Karachi” as Pakistan has quite significant of users on social networking sites and especially Karachi has been among the largest city in Pakistan and majority of users resides in Karachi according to the study more then half of the users lie between the age group of 18-24 can be targeted through social media and most of the companies are now working on that.

In many previous types of research, most of the researchers used Exploratory research approach because this is a developing theory we just have to identify whether it is effective or not we just have to testify that so exploratory approach can be used and in my opinion, it’s the correct approach that is being used. The qualitative methodology being used commonly in previous researches. This is survey research so the Questionnaire being used as an instrument to collect the data because in this type of study you have to gather the thoughts of different users who use the social media network sites so, in my opinion, this is the best instrument for collecting the data because on the basis of the user’s opinions you can improve your promoting techniques to promote your product on social media.

Conclusion:

Analysis of the previous researches and related articles have indicated that social media is a very important tool for networking among youngsters. As they are using these websites and their numbers are increasing day by day. In Pakistan, the users are also increasing day by day and these are the good signs for the company who are working in Pakistan. These websites are helping the users to build their professional contacts and provides the users with various networking applications that make them hooked on to these social media websites. There is also an increasing trend among youngsters to buy products online through these websites so that makes marketers to realized the importance of social media websites as an essential component of integrated marketing communications. So many companies are driving different research methods to target the youth effectively on social media. Promotion on social media can actually encourage constant interaction with the customers, gaining an insight into their likes and preferences and problems associated with the products. So through analysis of all the previous evidence, it assures that social media marketing is an effective tool to target the youth.

Problems of Social Media and Strategies to Develop Safety

The internet has many positive uses, however, there is a growing trend of it to be exploited negatively. Discuss some of the problems associated with internet and social media usage and how it can be made safer, especially for young people.

essay contains some unwanted words

Technology has been increased significantly. The young people use these technologies like mobile phones, laptops and personal computers (PC) to make their life easier and quicker. With the modern advancements continuously increased incite generational freeze nowadays. There is a range of definitions for the internet and social media, but in this essay ‘Internet’ is a network that connects people into the digital world. Social media are those websites or mobile applications that allow people to interact and communicate. These applications such as Facebook and Twitter are the most vital part of today’s young people. Social media and the internet are being used by all ages of people in the world. Some make its usage useful or in a positive way else adopt a negative way of surfing the internet. Social media is also a part of youngsters and elders as well. This essay will examine the positive aspects and the uses of the internet, in addition, this essay will also focus on the negative aspects of the internet and social media. The essay is structured as follows. The first section presents the situational problems, focusing on problems associated with internet and social media. The second section presents some of the possible solutions to tackle the friction, and the final section considers the implication of the result.

Using the internet has become a risk for the young generation. It is more often risky than their thoughts. The internet world opens the entry-door for trusting youthful individuals to connect with virtual outsiders’ individuals they would usually cross the road to prevent in genuine life. Furthermore, the internet has become an essential part of young people’s lives. over the previous two years, the internet has become difficult to overlock. Even the people who do not own a personal computer (PC) and do not have the chance to “surf the net” could not have missed the internet news stories, many of which speculate about their effects on the ever-increasing number people online.

The most dangerous drop into various categories such as: cyberbullying, online harassment, and sexting. Moreover, young people need to understand the importance of online protection issues. On the internet, cyberbullying takes various forms, the cyberbullying involves sending derisive messages or even that sending death threats to youngsters. Similarly spreading lies approximately among them online, making terrible comments on their internet profiles even though making an online website to bash people’s reputation or looks. Although “online harassment “is regularly utilized operated with the term “cyberbullying”. It is a distinct entity. Cutting the edge data to endorse that online harassment is not always as not unusual as offline harassment, and involvement in social networking sites does not put most adults at risk of staying online harassment. On the contrary, side, cyberbullying is very common, it could be happening to any youthful individuals online, and may motive profound psychosocial effects together with depression, anxiety, extreme segregation, and appallingly suicide (Lenhart A. 2007).

In addition, transmitting (sending and receiving) sexually explicit messages such as photos or pictures through mobile phones and computers is the sexting.it is thought to be a negative thing but, Additionally, incorporate college suspension for culprits and passionate trouble with associated mental health circumstances. However, the sexting incident is not shared in many circumstances beyond a little peer group or a few and is not found to troubling at all (Lenhart A. 2009).

The internet promotes electronic transactions, each day for millions of individuals and companies, and orchestrates their financial work through the net. The foremost common trick is the strategy of Phishing. It arises from combining the words password (code) and fishing (fishing). Typically a specially keen procedure for financial misdirection through uncovering both the individual information and in specific data concerning monetary exchanges. Misleading unsuspecting clients may uncover individual data to a fake shape on the web. Double-crossed evidence of the fake victim is used to gain access to private information. As a matter of reality, navigation on websites that includes transactions ought to be performed with extraordinary caution and with certainty that they have been taken into consideration and the compulsory transaction about private information has been taken into consideration (Jøsang. A, et.al. 2007). Finally, some ways where young people can make safer their lives. Individuals should never share their e-mail, internet accounts, and password to anyone. Similarly, if youngers tried to be harassed or bullied through messengers, those should be “blocked”. It is advised to youthful individuals not to post a full name, address and phone number, and other information that seems to help a stranger to discover them.

There is a range of definitions of social media and the internet, but in this essay social media are in the categories of such social participations and social-generated content websites. These sites included Facebook and LinkedIn as well. Young people are most often use these social sites in their spare time as well as in daily routine life. Over the last five years, the number of preadolescents and young people using such sites has increased significantly. Since of their restricted capacity for self-regulation and vulnerability to peer weight, children and young people are at a few hazards as they explore and explore with social media. According to a recent poll, “22% of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day” (Common Sense Media 2007).” seventy-five percent of teenagers now own cell phone, and 25% use for social media, 54% use them for texting and 24% use them for instant messaging.” (Hinduja S, and Patchin J.2007).

Fake characters are a tremendous issue that individuals witness every single day on social media. The individuals on social media are creating false or wrong identities. These identities are seeming to be real but unfortunately are not. They are not simply confined to only on Facebook and dating apps like ‘Tinder’ and ‘Muzmatch ‘. People will utilize fake pictures to form themselves see superior, making an untrue representation of who they are. It can assist with an individual’s self-esteem on a social media location, but it’ll do nothing for them in real life, and it will not assist the others. The sufferers subject to fake identities are ones who assume that they are talking to their desired person who they want, after-words which found it’s far an entire lie.

Today’s youngsters’ most common activities are using digital (social) media and the internet. The website that enables social interaction ‘is regarded as social media, for instance, counting social organizing destinations such as Facebook, Myspace and twitter. Gaming locals’ virtual universes for example club penguin, Moment life, and the Grand theft Auto (GTA).as the time spent on these types of games and social platforms the youngsters do not want to spend their time with parents and in real social life. It locks in different shapes of social media might be a scheduled movement that investigates has appeared to benefit young people by upgrading communication, social association, and indeed a specialized talent. Facebook and Snapchat offer numerous day-by-day openings for interfacing with companions, class fellows, and individuals with a shared interest Researchers have proposed a modern phenomenon called “Facebook depression.” It is known as discouragement that creates when adolescents and preteenagers surf their time on the social worlds, like Facebook and other, and after-words commence to represents the discouragement. (Davila J, Stroud CB, Starr LR, et.al.). in addition, a recent survey revealed that 20% of teens have sent or posted nude or seminude photographs or videos of themselves (O’Keeffe, G. and Clarke-Pearson, K. 2011). In the end people who are the major part of fake characters or make bad comments on someone’s profile are warned from the social media platforms. Parents focus on building a high and good model character and behavior as well.

In conclusion, it has been discussed about the negative exploitation of the internet and social media in the young generation. It is suggested to make some rules and regulations behind the network. In this essay, it has been noticed the main problem that is associated with the internet and social media such as cyberbullying and sexting, and the way where or which parents of adolescents and govt should adopt to make individuals’ life safer. Some major suggestions are advised in the essay that is necessary for all age of people. Youngsters should engage in healthy activities or encourage them to make a strong circle of socializing in the real world. The fake character should be spotted and should be in jail, so the rate of farad will be decreased automatically. The organizations of the social platform must restrict people who violate the rules of society. Govt should not allow the unwanted advertisements of social interactive or dating sites on the social platforms, these are only to use for sharing informative knowledge and success stories that inspired or motivate the young generations. Instead of spreading hate speeches of social media through the internet. Excessive use of anything is bad.

Essay Topic: Teleschooling in Pakistan

Under the current situation due to Covid-19, the first reason will be instrumental in filling the gap and help students learn during the period when their institutions face closure. The second reason is, indeed, a long-term ambition of government as it intends to expand this project for the betterment of the education system and literacy rate. However, achieving these goals may prove to be a herculean task due to a host of issues. Here are some advantages and the flip side of the idea of Teleschooling.

Advantages

The first and foremost advantage of teleschooling is that it will create awareness about the importance of education and learning from home. Secondly, children would start taking interest in learning and they will get into the habit of doing productive things. Thirdly, the channel would assist those students who cannot afford hefty private tuition fees as, by this method, they can learn free of charge. No doubt, connecting technology with education would have a great impact on our education system. But there should be favorable circumstances such as a sound and functional education system and good governance, to achieve the desired results. Otherwise, it would not be possible to revolutionalize the whole education system, especially improving education standards and uplifting literacy rates.

Challenges

In Pakistan’s case, this initiative is the icing on the cake. It is an effort towards improving educational standards which seems good, but the conditions in Pakistan in the context of flawed educational systems and poor governance will hardly allow this ambition to become a reality. An estimated half of the children of Pakistan will not be able to get the full benefit of this initiative. It is because of the following reasons:

  1. Pakistan’s education system is in shambles as a huge body of research has concluded that millions of children of school-going age are out of schools. It is a sad reality that we find more children at workshops than in schools due to the abject poverty owing to which their families send them to work to earn some money. How can we expect that these children will have time to watch these teaching-learning channels? Or if we believe for a moment that they have time to watch, the second question arises, do they even have a television set at their homes?
  1. Another reason is the shortage of electricity due to which power outages are common in almost all parts of Pakistan. There is an average 8-10-hour power breakdown in most urban areas, and the situation is even worse in remote areas where people are experiencing more hours of power outages. How can we expect that students would get the maximum advantage of teleschooling if cities remained to reel under long hours of load-shedding? No doubt, it would be difficult for students to watch their scheduled classes on time.
  2. It is important to say that this initiative will work better only under a sound, functional, and well-organized education system. Getting benefits from these channels is almost impossible for the students from Balochistan and Sindh provinces where most of the government schools are deserted and contain zero facilities.

School is the foundation and an important prerequisite for the promotion of telechooling, we cannot get the desired result when the doors of schools are closed and teachers are nowhere to be seen.

Reforming the education system has hardly been a top priority of successive governments. At present, initiating teleschools to reform the standard of education is a long jump. Teleschool will not yield significant results unless the government puts in all efforts to reform the country’s rotten education system.

In a nutshell, teleschool is a good step and can bring meaningful results but only under a sound and functional education system. This is the area that needs urgent attention.

Essay: Impact of Technology on Social Skills

Introduction

 Is technology taking us away from having normal face-to-face conversations with people? Are our social lives being affected by constantly having our heads buried in our phones and other electronic devices? Can we develop health problems because we are addicted to our phones? In this paper, I am going to try to persuade people, especially teens, to put down those phones and devices even for a short period of time and be attentive to the world around us. Technology is ruining us socially. Technology can cause health problems and can become an addiction. I have some solutions on how to limit our time on our phones and devices.

Addiction

 First of letting me describe what addiction is all about. Addiction is the chronic use of a substance or compulsive activity in which to stimulate the brain no matter what the consequences. I believe that according to James Williams, “Technology is hijacking our brains” (The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 2017). Internet and social media addiction can be a serious problem. Research indicates that Internet addiction may be linked to changes in brain chemistry associated with the rewards of Internet use. Just like with other addictions, technology addiction presents the problem of habituation or tolerance. Tolerance means that an addict grows accustomed to the “high” received from technology use and therefore must do something more extreme to achieve the same high the next time that technology is used (Rosen, 2015). Addiction is the dependence on something that you eventually cannot control. An addicted person is forever trying to reach a higher level than when they first started using whatever they started with. I personally know many individuals that are addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, and the Internet.

The ubiquitous use of smartphones in modern society has created a new psychological malady: nomophobia, the anxiety or fear experienced when one is unable to access technology. The term nomophobia was originally coined from a 2010 study by YouGov, a United Kingdom research organization that wanted to take a look at anxieties suffered by mobile phone users. Dr. Chuck Howard, a licensed psychologist says, “Nomophobia can be a symptom of a possible addiction” (Rahim, 2016). I like the term “nomophobia”, it makes the addiction to phones sound like any other phobia, that could cause serious health problems. I have seen many people that could not function mentally if they could not find their phone or had access to the Internet. Just last night at my job at Pathway to Recovery, I had to reprimand a resident for being on his phone during an A. A. meeting. He was very upset that I called him out on it, and it leads to a somewhat heated conflict.

 When technology does everything it is easy to become dependent on it. Scientists are beginning to wonder if our tech addiction is giving us a leg up, or putting obstacles in our path. In any addiction, there is a chemical in the brain called dopamine which triggers the pleasure center of your brain. When people hear their phones or other devices buzzing or beeping it triggers that chemical and it makes them excited and pumped up just like a drug (Kaminski, 2015). I am a recovering addict and know exactly, from experience the effect that alcohol and other chemicals have on our brains. Extreme degrees of the Internet and electronic use are increasingly recognized as Internet addiction, a disorder with symptoms that are compared to those of substance use and gambling disorders. Internet addiction in youth varies from less than one percent to 38%, and some may be more vulnerable than others, including those experiencing other psychological symptoms such as depression, ADHD symptoms, or hostility (Shapiro & Margolin, 2013). I see people all the time, that cannot quit checking their cell phones every few minutes. A few months ago, some friends of mine had a get together to watch a Pay-per-View fight in which the host paid about one hundred dollars for us to see it. There were about ten adults and four adolescents in attendance. As we were watching the fight about 80% of my friends were not even paying attention to the television. They were on their phones, texting or taking photos of the people at the party and posting them on social media. They basically missed most of the fight, which is one reason that I am doing my paper on this topic. What are we teaching our children? They see us all wrapped up in our phones and nothing else in the world matters.

 A growing backlash against social media and technology is on the verge of the full boil. Bill Gates made headlines by declaring that his children were not allowed smartphones until the age of fourteen and he banned them during dinner (Wilhelm, 2017). This is Bill Gates, the Co-Founder of Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest software company, realizing the dangers that could result from too much time spent on the Internet. Teens’ use of social-media amplifies the notion that our current generation of youth is uncontrollably hooked on these new technologies and unable to control their lives. Addiction initially was referred to drugs and alcohol but the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the American Psychiatric Association differentiates chemical dependence as substance disorders and behavioral compulsions as impulse-control disorders. In 1995, psychiatrist Ivan Goldberg coined the term internet addiction disorder (Boyd, 2014). Therefore, with what I have covered to this point, I truly believe that using our phones and other devices, and being able to not be connected to the Internet, is an addiction.

Health

 I am going to explain some of the health hazards that come with be addicted to our devices and technology. Americans are becoming increasingly addicted to their cell phones. Talking on one’s cell phone while driving is a dangerous practice that should be banned. Several recent studies have claimed to have found a link between the frequent use of cellular telephones and cancer. Studies have shown that motorists who talk on their cell phones while driving—even those that use “hand-free devices, display noticeably slower reaction time and are more prone to get into accidents. In 2006, psychologists from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City published a report that drivers who talked on their phones showed approximately the same level of impairment as drivers who operated a car while drunk (Cellular Telephones, 2017). How many times have you noticed someone driving while on their phone and not paying attention to the road? I know in my 58 years that I have seen a lot of crazy and dangerous driving by people texting or talking on their phones while driving.

 Sleep patterns are often totally disrupted by technology addiction. Technology addicts use their devices or the Internet 40 to 80 hours per week, or they might go on “net binges” in which a single session can last up to 20 hours or more. Given that there are only 168 hours in a week, using technology this much will nearly always result in sleep disruption. Being sleep deprived can impact academic or work performance and even weaken one’s immune system (Rosen, 2015). Adolescents’ use of the computer, including the use of computer-mediated communication, has been related to disruptions in sleep. A study of computer use in relation to adolescents’ sleep quality, perceived health, and tiredness upon awakening found that for young adolescent boys, intensive computer use was associated with less sleep and more irregular sleep, which in turn related to poorer perceived health (Shapiro, 2013). One of the reasons that I wanted to do my essay on this topic and how it is related to health, is a technology game that came out in 2016. The game was called Pokemon Go, and there were many incidents that involved people getting hurt or getting killed because their attention was more focused on “catching” various Pokemons. People were walking out in traffic, walking into walls, and there was even an incident where two men were killed when they accidentally walked off a cliff even when there were warning signs posted. I believe that being addicted to your phones and devices can have a major impact on your health. I can say that I have indulged a few times at playing Internet games over a long period of time. The result was just like was stated above, I was tired and cranky the next day and it was hard for me to keep focused while at work and school. Internet and social media addiction do play a part in how our health is affected.

Socially

 We live in a technological world in which we are always communicating and yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection. We turn away from each other and toward our phones. But to empathize, to grow, to love and be loved, to take the measure of ourselves or of another, to fully understand and engage with the world around us, we must be in the conversation. Our passion for technology tempts us away from face-to-face conversation, but the conversation is a cornerstone for empathy as well as for democracy; it sustains the best in education, and in business, it is good for the bottom line. A face-to-face conversation is the most human-and-humanizing-thing we do. Fully present to one another, we learn and listen. It’s where we experience the joy of being heard, of being understood. But these days we find our way around conversation. We hide from each other as we’re constantly connected to each other (Turkle, 2015).

 For us as a society, less contact and interaction-real interaction-would seem to lead to less tolerance and understanding of difference, as well as more envy and antagonism. As has been in evidence recently, social media actually increases divisions by amplifying echo effects and allowing us to live in cognitive bubbles. We have evolved as social creatures, and our ability to cooperate is one of the big factors in our success. When interaction becomes a strange and unfamiliar thing, then we will have changed who and what we are as a species. Less interaction, even casual interaction, means one can live in a tribal bubble-and we know where that leads. We’re a social species- we benefit from passing discoveries on, and we benefit from our tendency to cooperate to achieve what we cannot alone (Byrne, 2017). I believe that without communicating face-to-face we are missing out on getting to know people personally. I know for myself that I would rather sit in front of another person and talk to them so that I can see their expressions and mannerisms and how they act when others are around.

How can the youth of our generation hold their own in a conversation, I mean an actual face-to-face conversation when all they do is bury their heads in their phones? How are they going to handle face-to-face conflicts when all they know how to do is squabble through social media on Facebook? We as parents need to teach them how to put down their phones for a while and actually learn some interpersonal skills. I am not saying that I am against technology or cell phones, but I believe that our youth are missing out on the joy of personal relationships by constantly being on their devices. I just want to add a personal experience that I had about school and on-line classes. When I first started college, I enrolled in two online and two face-to-face classes. Guess which one’s I passed and which ones I failed? Yes, you probably know that answer. I failed the online classes. I am the type of person that needs to have a real interaction with a person to teach me what I need to learn. I am sure that there are many, many others that feel this same way.

 Another aspect that I want to examine is how technology affects social change. Does technology really cause positive social change? Consider poverty in the United States. Its rate decreased steadily for decades until around 1970. Around 1970, the decline stopped. Since then, the poverty rate has held steady at a stubborn 12 to 13 percent- embarrassingly high for the world’s richest country- only to rise since the 2007 recession. Over the past four decades, real incomes for poor and middle-class households stagnated. During the same four decades, the United States experienced an explosion of new technologies. Therefore, during a golden age of innovation in the world’s most technologically advanced country, there has been no dent in our rate of poverty. All our amazing digital technologies, widely disseminated, didn’t alleviate our most glaring social ill (Toyama, 2015). We think that technology is the answer to all our problems, today. But as you can see it cannot solve our poverty or many other problems we have in our society.

Solutions

 So what can we do? Consider this scenario: Have you ever stayed up late grappling with a tough problem? You go to sleep and the next morning you’re groggy. You hop in the shower, and miraculously- somewhere between the shampoo and conditioner- you find the answer. Is it magic water? Yes and no. Showers are a great way to wake you up, but they also force you to put down your phone. And when you’re finally free from the phone’s feedback loop, your mind can wander- often to find the answer you were looking for. “Technology is very addictive and very distracting,” says Dr. David Greenfield, “When you’re using it, [it’s keeping you from] doing something else.” And whether that “something else” is homework, hang time with your friends, or anything in-between, it’s important to realize that your phone could be getting in the way- even more, than it’s helping you out.

Take Back Your Life (Kaminski, 2015). Coping strategies are a good way to start. Resist the urge to constantly check your phone. Try limiting your number of social media networks and consider joining more in-person professional networking groups or sports clubs. Set aside some time to leave your phone alone, such as dinner, with friends, or going to sleep. If it becomes an addiction and begins to strain your relationships, consider asking others around you what they think. Be open to a sort of intervention where friends and family may candidly tell you their thoughts. No need to go cold-turkey, just take some small steps at a time to disconnect and enjoy the world around you, without looking through a smartphone screen. And lastly if can’t do it alone, then seek professional help (Rahim, 2016). I am in a 12-step program and a few of our slogans are, “Easy does it”, or “One day at a time, even one minute at a time if that is what it takes for you”. Another good one is, “Slow and steady wins the race”. Addiction is no joke, it takes time and effort on an individual’s part to overcome the obstacles that are keeping him from getting better.

 As far as the solution for using your phones while driving. Brenda Wiederhold states that “So what are solutions to these seemingly hard-wired responses? One that’s in the works is eye-tracking hardware and software– cameras backed by algorithms that can tell whether your eyes are on the road. Other possible solutions include smartphone/vehicle hardware integration, a smartphone app combined with a car insurance incentive, or integration of no-text admonitions in the driving school curriculum. Meanwhile, we urge our readers to keep your eyes on the road-and your thumbs off the phone (Wiederhold, 2016). I do not believe that anything in this world is so important that we cannot at least take the few seconds or minutes to pull over on the side of the road or into a parking lot, to make or answer our phones. The lives of others and of yourself is in your hands, so put away the cell phones, until you can safely answer them.

Conclusion

 In this paper, I have presented my research and opinions on the effects that modern technology may have on us as a society, our health, and how it could lead to an addiction. I have given you examples from my personal life about experiences that I have had. As I have said earlier in this paper, I am an addict in recovery and have knowledge of what addiction can do to a person’s life. It can affect you socially because, at a certain point in your addiction, you just want to be alone. Also, people do not want to be around you because of your problem. Addiction can affect your health. Most addicts are depressed and lonely and try to fill that void in their life with something that will take that pain away. Addicts will try harder and stronger things that could make them very ill or even cause death. But there is a way out if the person has the willingness to ask for help and wants to lead a productive life. Not all is lost, just because we are addicted to something. There are all kinds of organizations out there, for all kinds of different addictions. If you think you have a problem, seek help.

 I know there are many people out there that believe technology is a wonderful thing to have, and I am not against technology. I use it every day at school, at work, and at home. What I am trying to persuade my audience, is that we need to take a little break now and then, put down our mobile devices and phones and enjoy the world around us. I am especially worried about the youth of our country. All they see every day is people too busy with their eyes glued to their devices. What are we teaching our children? Are we teaching them how to have a decent interpersonal conversation with another human being or are we teaching them it is alright to ignore people and use our phones, instead? Are we teaching them to have a successful one-on-one interview, so they can get a great paying job? No, I believe that we need to teach them how to communicate with people on an individual basis. We need to put down our devices and lead as an example to our children. We need to take them to parks and have picnics. We need to travel to places they have never seen. We need to show them that there is a world out there and that it is amazing. I grew up in an era that did not have all the technology that we have today. I might be a little biased, but I believe that I have turned out good. I used to run in the park, play outside until the street lights came on. I used to go on vacations with my parents and see things that I have never seen, before. I believe with all my heart, that we need to do these things with our children before we have a generation of adults that only care about who is texting them now. Adults that are too busy to pay attention to what is really going on in this world.

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Essay: The Rise of Social Media and Online Journalism

Abstract

 Social media is still in its infancy, and the world of online media is continually growing. Also, the world of how and when news in the media is being reported in also constantly changing. Each day, television stations, corporate news stations, newspaper outlets, and other sources of news are drifting into the world of online journalism and reporting news. “The ever-growing digital native news world now boasts about 5,000 digital news sector jobs, according to our recent calculations, 3,000 of which are at 30 big digital-only news outlets.”The demand for online journalism and online reporting is there, but a question still hovers over this new era of journalism; “can you actually trust social media news reporting?” Can people trust news that is being reported correctly on social media? How could social media possibly be used in news reporting? Is there an effective way of delivering the news online? There seems to be no clear answer to if social media can actually be considered a credible source for information. One may also begin to wonder if society’s idea of credibility has changed due to the evolution of communication. This study will cover what society desires in news reporting and online journalism, provide support to the recent idea that online journalism and online reporting is a good thing, and support the fact that social media reporting is becoming a newly accepted trait amongst this current generation.

Importance of Social Media and Journalistic News Reporting

 Social media, serves as an entertainment option for people of all ages. It allows people to stay in touch with their loved ones, while also providing fresh and entertaining content for its viewers. But over the past couple of years, the use of social media has gained a new function for news outlets around the world. For some people, this new phenomenon serves as their primary purpose of social media, while others just seem to keep up when in need of it. According to the Digital News Report 2015, “Almost two-thirds of all Facebook users in our sample (63%) use it in a given week for finding, reading, discussing, or sharing news, compared with 57% last year” [Study was conducted from 2014-2015] “Our unique data from 12 countries show that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Google+ are by far the most important networks for news in that order, but for younger users Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr also come into the picture.”This research backs up the idea that social media and online news reporting can be a good thing for journalists and people alike, but again, the idea of social media news reporting is debatable, and whether or not you can fully trust what is being reported is also a common concern.

Literature Overview (Supporting Arguments)

“For American adults under 30, social media has far surpassed newspapers and has equaled TV as a primary source of daily news, according to a new study of news consumption trends by the Pew Research Center for the People & The Press.”(10) “The study found 33 percent of these young adults got news from social networks the day before, while 34 percent watched TV news and just 13 percent read print or digital newspaper content.” This 2012 study from Poynter provides support to the idea that social media can be used for a different purpose, aside from entertainment content. According to the Pew Research Center in 2012, nearly every category of race, gender, and age has nearly doubled in percentage of finding news on social networking sites from 2010 to 2012. The most striking observation is that the people who use social media to find current news are between the ages of 18 and 39. The general public has over 30% usage of finding news on social media, whereas the social networking users obtain their news at over a 40% rate, 10% higher than the general population. This supports the idea that social media is evolving away from being an entertainment site first, but also becoming a reliable news source.

According to a Pew Research Study, “half of Facebook and Twitter users get news on those sites as do 62% of Reddit users.”(10) “Facebook reaches far more Americans than any other social media site – and therefore allows for the most in-depth study. Overall, three in ten adults get at least some news while on Facebook.” From a journalist’s perspective, social media news reporting serves an important use for them and their colleauges. “The most common use of social media by journalists was to check for breaking news — nearly 80 percent said they regularly use social networking sites to stay on top of recent developments. But a full 73.1 percent specifically cited using social media to check in on what the competition is reporting on, and many other uses like finding ideas for stories and staying in touch with audiences were also quite popular.”(10) Also, “over a third said they spend between 30 and 60 minutes each day on social networking sites,” according to Pew research study. Journalists use a majority of their activity on social media to find story ideas, find sources, and check for breaking news, which leads amongst journalist at 78.5%. Some believe that there could be a biased opinion among how social media news is reported, and whether or not you trust what is being posted on social media. People also use those articles that are published on social networking sites to their benefit, and share that news to their friends, family, or their followers.

The thought and use of online journalism is continually on the rise, and many believe that trend will continue. The first true newspaper was considered to be the London Gazette which was established in 1666. Throughout the years, one may notice a difference in not only how the newspapers cover certain topics, but how their numbers seem to have grown.  In 1850, there were a total of 2,526 newspapers in the United States, by 1880; the number had reached up to 11,314.

As the years pass by, we seem to see a decline in the presence of the physical form of the newspaper, but an increase in converting to the digital form. Currently there is both the decline of watching TV for news, reading through a newspaper for news, and listening to the news on the radio. As more people seem to receive their news online, news organizations face the dilemma to reallocate their resources to attract new and old viewers alike, while still trying to hold on to current audiences formed through print and broadcast media. In the same study, you can start to see the change in the ways that consumers get their news. How often do you see news outlets post stories, and end that story with a social media plug to check out more of the story, or leave some feedback for the reporter? That end of story plug is becoming more prominent as social media news reporting continues to develop and evolve each day.

Although the statistics seem to favor the internet more than the traditional forms of media, Advanced Media Institute at UC Berkeley doesn’t quite agree. They say, “while the trend toward online is clear, not everyone is embracing it… at the end of 2007, about 25 percent of people in the U.S. still said they hadn’t ever been online.”  Despite the 25 percent, it seems that several major journalists have also begun to make the switch to social media and online news reporting. In October of 2013, high profile New York Times columnist, David Pogue, switched jobs to Yahoo. Less than a month later, former Times assistant managing editor Jim Roberts, became chief content officer at Mashable’s growing news operation. It may seem that with the decrease in numbers in traditional media and the increase in digital journalism, that a larger percentage of people may be beginning to gather more of their news online and on social media sites, rather than the traditional form of obtaining news. 

Hypothesis/Conclusion

Five hypotheses were generated for this research. Those five hypotheses, along with supporting information, are as follows;

1)     When breaking news occurs, Twitter will serve as the number one source for people to obtain breaking news stories, more than Facebook and other social media outlets.

2)     People generally trust news that is reported on social media.

3)     Social media’s immediacy will be the reason people choose this medium, rather than waiting for their local news to report the same story.

4)     People will prefer social media news reporting, more than television news reporting.

5)     People who use social media more often for news obtaining, will feel more connected with society and with what is happening in the world.