Shillong: In keeping with its objective of imparting Christian values and actively engaging with the Christian community, the Department of Theology of Martin Luther Christian University, organized a seminar on “New Media Awareness” in the university premises on Thursday.
The objective of the seminar is to enlighten the participants on how the Christian community can adapt to the rapid technological advancement that is occurring in the 21st century, an era where the whole world is condensed into our pockets.
The resource person of the seminar was Butesen Ozukum, trainer on ‘Church Leadership and Community Development’ in Shillong. He presented broadly on how the continuous submergence of people in social media leads them to be exposed to its various ills, one of them being the creation of disconnected beings; individuals whose habits change radically in relation to themselves, other individuals and their environment.
“A major challenge for people living in this highly digitalised era is the disappearance of boundaries between the physical and the virtual world. This leads to something called an integrity theft whereby individuals’ ethics, moral values, trustworthiness, character and even religious beliefs are at stake. There is also a blurring of lines between what is considered taboo in the real world and the digital world. For example, a person would consider stealing loathsome but would not hesitate to download a copyrighted material from the Internet,” he said
“However, there is a bright side to the utilization of media as can be seen from the examples that were cited of various social media movements like the Zapatista Movement and the Nirbhaya Rape Protest Movement that led to effective tangible social transformations. This is because new media avenues have the potential of reaching a wider number of people and are not as limited as mass media. Another advantage of using media as a channel of change is that it is non-violent in its quest for change. It also helps in democratisation of information as it gives people the opportunity to choose what they want or do not want to see, Ozukum added.
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