The highly “productive” youth: the Face book Generation

“Man my strawberries! They must be ready to harvest”

“I am wiser. I did my harvesting before I came here”

“They would wither now; will have to bear a huge loss, I had been saving to buy that new tractor”

“Oh that’s too bad. I have already bought it, it really saves time”

With my ears glued to their conversation; I was making a desperate attempt to figure out who were these fine gentlemen dressed in formal attire, sitting at a wedding in Pearl Continental hotel. Could they possibly be farmers, who harvested their lands themselves? Dying out of curiosity I ended up introducing myself to them; only to find out that they were talking about an online game Farmville on Facebook.

It’s the story of every other individual; for some it is candy crush while for others something else. In fact it had become a ritual, every Tom Dick & Harry had to be on it; and the first thing they had to do after meeting each other at any occasion was to pay homage to Facebook by having 20 to 30 minute nonstop conversation on it and then only to start off with real life but with occasional jumping back to the FB platform.

The undying love and obsession over the past couple of years has earned us the title of being called the “Facebook generation”, who love to peek into each other’s lives and find it to be our duty to religiously update each other with whereabouts of our life; yet if our parents ask “where you going?” we get annoyed because we believe in independence and privacy. Not to forget the status updates that are an excellent source of amusement in our lives too.

“Sarah: doesn’t feel like doing anything at all!”

Umm ok Sarah then I wonder what you are doing on Facebook?

“Ahmed: is having a time of his life!! =D”

Really on Facebook because that’s where you are dude; updating your status or is it me hallucinating again?

“Sana: is so busy that she doesn’t have time to scratch her head”

Yeah but she has time to Log on to Facebook and update her status; I never knew scratching your head took more time than that, I guess I am born with a talent of scratching my head in a second then. Yes they all are true although names have been changed.

More importantly, it’s amazing how due to FB some of us have grown up to be so efficient that we immediately make a fan page and post comments on the wall of the person who just passed away.

‘XXXX you have not been buried in grave as yet but still may you rest in peace’

It’s really touchy since its shows our love for the person who expired. Imagine your friend passing away and instead of consoling his/her family you immediately log onto Facebook and express yourselves on their wall to show your true friendship, as if it’s the first thing he/she is going to check after getting into grave. Honestly, I don’t know whether to be saddened by this sort of care or be touched by the gesture. After all the concerned friend took out “so much of his time” from his daily activities to express the concern.

Okay let’s not be mean. Let’s try to see the positive side. Facebook is definitely more than a simple social networking site. It has indeed grown up to be really effective advertisement source. It provides a very good marketing platform for retail companies with almost always available customers. As us the FB generation might forget to eat, drink or even breathe but cannot bear the separation or even the thought of ever being marked as an absentee in “Facebook log in list”.

Though on a serious note yes it has indeed been a source of some useful information as well; since some of us have been dumb enough to post informative videos and articles. Even though we are aware of the fact that most of us wouldn’t even bother viewing it, until unless it has a very catchy title or flashy image which unfortunately informative stuff hardly has. Some of us are so stupid that we still want to use facebook for productive reasons. To educate people, to aware people or to engage people.

For instance Jawan Pakistan is such an initiative. Jawan Pakistan team is making National Human Development Report 2015 for Pakistan. Yes Pakistan!! Where the last NHDR report was made in 2003 only. Above all their focus is Youth. The same bulging youth that represents 60% of the population of Pakistan. In short for “us” the Facebook generation. I am curious to know why they would want to produce something that would be valuable to us. I mean why we would care if someone wants to put our opinion at policy level to encourage the policy makers to take substantive steps for the progress of youth. Right? Why would we care if someone is actually asking if we face any issues difficulties in getting education, employment or being engaged soci0-economically and politically? No? Obviously we are busy being “highly” productive by expressing and complaining on social media in our own social circle. Why would we want to engage with Jawan Pakistan’s Platform also? Where actually what we say is going to be heard as well. Right? We have so many opinions and suggestions that we might as well communicate them to our friends only in the confines of four walls. No? That’s the right thing to do haina? Why go communicate them on some platform where they might actually make a difference?

Questions to ponder for those who want to make a difference. So that next time we log in on Facebook platform, apart from connecting with our friends we might as well end up doing something productive as well. Food for thought!

Meeran Jamal is Young Professional Officer at UNDP. She has MSc in International Development Management from University of Nottingham and BSc (Hons) Double Majors Economics & Finance from Lahore School of Economics

Submit a Comment