Human Rights, Science & Tech, World

Facebook Isolates and Liberates Women in Pakistan

Social media has become the voice of our world today. Facebook has surely made the world a smarter place. It is a free tool to share your personal information. It’s not wrong to say that it has changed the way we share our lives with the world. Whether it is your thoughts, photos, videos, your favorite movies, books or anything that is supposed to be personal is now smartly plastered on your social media profile. For women in Pakistan, however, things like Social Media aren’t as straightforward.

Facebook Changed the Way We Interact Online

  • Facebook has changed the way we consume content. Be it political news, funny videos, sports scores or anything else. Your news feed shows everything that is happening around and you never feel disconnected from the world.
  • Facebook has changed the way we view privacy. Every day, Facebook collects lots of data from users around the world. It knows what school you go to, what’s your favorite sports team, what brands you like and what kind of music you listen to.
  • Facebook has changed the way businesses today interact with their customers. Instead of running typical TVCs, companies are now running Social Media campaigns on Facebook and other social channels.

Social Media: Liberating Women in Pakistan?

With Social Media, women in Pakistan have become liberated. By using Facebook they feel connected to the world from the comfort of their own home. At least that’s what the bigger picture show. If you examine closely, Pakistani women are not making the most out Facebook. They have fears, they have cultural norms that they have to abide by, which stops them from using Facebook the way it should be.

Although it is the 21st century, Pakistani women are still not comfortable with using Facebook or Social Media in general. Surely, women today feel more empowered than ever as they now have access to mobile phones and can readily connect with the world via the internet, but are they making the most out of it or are they still victims?

Facebook is too Open

As per a survey, women in Pakistan prefer using WhatsApp as compared to Facebook. Why? Because they feel safer sharing pictures and other media on WhatsApp groups with friends and family rather than uploading pictures on Facebook. WhatsApp lets them administer privacy better than Facebook, or at least that’s what it feels like. It is not just people who stalk you on Facebook, Facebook itself is collecting your personal data. That’s one of the reasons why females in Pakistan don’t have a profile picture or a real bio. They are reluctant to share their pictures because cyberbullying is spreading like fire. If any of their personal information is compromised, it means their dignity and respect is compromised.

Just like most Pakistani females practice wearing a veil or burka, their social and religious norms restrict them to share their thoughts or any form of media on Facebook.

Isolating Restrictions

Although domestication in the form of family restrictions stops them, the threat of cybercrimes has them more concerned than ever. Slowly, they have started to isolate themselves from Social Media. They hesitate to have male friends in their Facebook profile because they fear of becoming a victim of cybercrime or may imply connections that aren’t there. The practice of a digital veil surely protects women from the humiliation of unknown men, but it isolates them from the digital sphere.

Whether it is a Pakistani woman or any other female from around the world, they may seem liberated, but they are in fact isolated from Facebook because many of them fear hackers and online predators.

About Fariah Salahuddin

Fariah is a full-time freelance writer and blogger. Although, she's a business student but still likes to explore new horizons of learning of various educational disciplines. Fariah spends most of her time researching and writing. Outside the web, she loves practicing calligraphy. Music, movies and outdoor activities are what keeps her entertained and her mind refreshed.

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