Islamabad – Pakistani youth have made a remarkable move in social media interaction but the urban and rural digital divide keeps them far from making any collective progress in society. The participants at a seminar held in Islamabad on Thursday concluded that the popular use of social media has turned urban Pakistanis into internet activists, but the benefits of the new media have failed to reach the masses.
Matiullah Jan, a noted journalist, observed that “there is a disconnect within the society where the reform process is urban-based while the political process is rural-based.” Broadcasters and internet activists have failed to reach the rural majority which elects the leadership, he added.
An advocate of social media, Dr. Nadeem Omar noted that social media still remains a weak tool to connect and bridge the gap between rural and urban societies. Recounting three particular cases in which the social media has successful roles in Pakistan, he mentioned lawyers’ movement 2007-08, in response to emergency and natural disasters. A blogger from Karachi, Noman Qadri asserted that “proper use of social media can trigger a quick and effective response as against street activism.” He advocated the promotion of social media for positive development of society in general.