Look at the number of Cell phone users round the world today. These amount to billions. Blogs on the Internet more than 200 million over 120 million YuTube Videos and over 500 million Facebook users. Other Social Media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Printerest, Digg and so on make up the world’s arena of people in constant interaction twenty-four hours of the day.
Come to think of it! People are living more in Cyber Space than down to earth, than ten to twenty years ago. Harnessing nature’s abundant resources in the use of man resulted in the use of tools and new industrial and agricultural inventions. The concept of greater efficacy in the use of these led to revolution in technology, developments which has zoomed to such bizarre heights that man never dreamt of a few centuries ago. ‘Cyber Space’ is one of creations in technology storing kinds of data. A realm that is beyond the control of known physics or mechanics. This ‘Space’ as in all other inventions can be used as a tool for the preservation or destruction of man as in the case of the Atom bomb and kinds of armory, used for war or devices to promote peace. To sustain man in the fulfillment of his temporal needs, such as food clothing and shelter; the eradication of poverty and human misery or bolstering up of riches of the affluent.
The question arises, is man the master of technology, or technology the master of man? When God created man, he gave man power over nature. How is man going to exercise power over nature? Obviously he should be able to control nature. As man could not control nature solely with the help of his hands, he was given the ability to think. Logically it follows then that man could control nature only when he could control technology.
Needless to say that if man was possessed of the present day Social Media, disasters of two world wars of the past may have been avoided. So let’s reflect on the tremendous advantages we are equipped with today in the various devices and Social Media if they are utilized in the work of peace building rather than war.
Look at your Cell phone, turn on your Computer, check your Facebook page or Twitter and others, you are using tools that can build peace, this, besides the TV, Radio, and Print applications and Internet surfacing accelerated by technology.
These devices can be utilized to create awareness in groups and communities, of trouble spots than are in urgent need of being reached, to educate and empower them with wholesome impact of peace. To gather data as to ways and means to reach tem and help find viable solutions to conflicts. As in the case of all new inventions, there is its positive and negative impacts. It can be used as a negative force to incite hatred and violence or muster forces to foster peace and harmony between rival forces.
In Pakistan for instance a Taliban leader used videos and Cell phones calling for suicide bombings. In Columbia a Facebook Group drew millions to join in protest in a march against rebel groups trying to destroy the country. In Dubai and Detroit University students signed up for Skype based inter-cultural dialog. In Iran the Green-Movement brought protestors to the streets, using Twitter to stay ahead of the government crackdown. In Nigeria producers used TV and Radio dramas to model peaceful problem solving as alternatives to tribal violence.
Social Networking has an enormous impact on human interaction, which affects the minds and behavior of young people. Many young people like to spend their leisure hanging out with friends. Last but not the least is the prime importance of education for peace, channel students and young peoples energies and enthusiasm to work for peace, by bringing ‘Peace Education’ to the Classroom. Stories appeal to the mind and imagination of children more than any other peace of literature. As a part of educating children to become Peace Makers. Read A Collection Folktales Retold from Cultures. Peace Tales from Asia:Building a Culture of Peace.
PEACE TALES FROM ASIA: BUILDING A CULTURE OF PEACE: By Chandrani Warnasuriya (ISBN: 978-1-60976-827-0) A Collection of Folktales from cultures Re-told for youth and children is a product of much study and research. It can be purchased from the publisher’s website http://sbpra.com/ChandraniWarnasuriya or www.amazon.com for $11.95