Internet use is increasing around the world, but its usefulness is still controversial. The Internet has two opportunities: one, it provides opportunities for users, and the other, the Internet creates boring and idle users.
They become a liability to society. According to a survey by Joseph Johnson, it has been found that there are around 5 billion active internet users worldwide. Among them, many of the users are using the internet for social media. About 4.7 million people use the internet for social media. About 2 billion people use WhatsApp.
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Similarly, the number of social networking sites is increasing worldwide. Pakistan is no exception and the number of internet users is constantly increasing, for example around 83 million people are using the internet in Pakistan and of these around 72 million people are using social media.
The biggest usage of internet in Pakistan is for WhatsApp. Interestingly, about 72 million use WhatsApp. That means those who use the internet are sure to use WhatsApp in Pakistan. The second usage is for YouTube, which is also around 72 million. The third usage is for Facebook, which accounts for about 43.6 million, and the fourth usage is for Twitter, which is very fewer.
Twitter users are about 3.5 million. Online users are aged between 18 and 29 worldwide, but Pakistan even has underage users of the social media internet. Interestingly, it is not only limited to urban areas and its usage is about 60%, about 40% of people use it in rural areas. The majority of people use the internet for 3 to 4 purposes. One of them is communication. The second use is connectivity and the third is entertainment.
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Internet use for educational purposes is the fourth major use. According to an estimate by the Institute of Sociology at Islamabad’s Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistani youth use the internet for entertainment, which accounts for an average of four to six hours of internet usage per day. Meanwhile, these youth only uses internet for 5 to 30 minutes for academic purposes. Many of these youngsters only use it for entertainment. These active users are becoming a burden on the country as that number reverses in the rest of the world. For example, on a global level, four to six hours of internet usage is used for study, but in Pakistan it is only 5 to 30 minutes. The rest of the world uses the internet for entertainment for about 5 to 30 minutes.
What can be done to effectively use Internet technologies for young people’s growth and development? For example, young people can earn money through freelance work, content writing, data entry, blogging, and writing articles for newspapers and for online publications. They can also make money by using different search engines for their earnings. It is understandable that not every user is at the level that he or she is effectively making money using Internet technologies. They don’t have sufficient skills, but these skills can be learned effectively while using these technologies. A number of search engines, notably YouTube, is one of the great sources of academic learning. A person can improve skills that allow him to manage effective income and make money. Rich people around the world need to make money by using online sources or internet technologies or related industries. For example, Amazon is one of the global seller websites rich in rapid growth around the world.
Even locally, Daraz is an important website in Pakistan or Alibaba that can offer many opportunities to young people. They can make money while effectively using all these internet technologies. Not only will they be able to build their capacity while learning all these technologies, but they will also be able to make money by selling online. They can make a lot of money from the online business. The online business has the ability to read to the world citizens. A person can make money all over the world by using the internet. All you have to do is put the ad online and then indicate the quality and quantity of the product.
This would reach every corner of the world through the internet, but unfortunately many Pakistanis have not used it for productivity. This has left users of the Internet jaded. Instead of being effective users of the Internet, young people just waste time and resources. It is the right time that these people need to learn how to be effective learners and productive internet users.
Once they are the Internet user’s effective learners, they would create opportunities for themselves as well as for their fellow citizens. You could also make money, not only for yourself but for the country. By doing online business or writing freelance online content, huge foreign revenue would come to Pakistan. This money is not only used by individuals themselves, but also contributes to the country’s economic growth. The country’s business volume would steadily increase. It is high time that young people recognized its potential and tried to learn how to use the Internet effectively and productively. Using the Internet is an opportunity and this opportunity must be used productively.
The author teaches at the Department of Sociology at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad.