59 Chinese apps were banned, stating that these apps were posing a threat to our country. Our integrity, defence, and security were tempered with by these applications. Immediately after this, the Indian technological stalwarts started to present alternatives to the banned apps. What makes me wonder is the audacity of introducing alternative applications.
The question is, will these alternative applications not pose any threat? Will these apps be not used by the government to intrude into our privacy? What is the guarantee that the Indian technology companies will not share any information about its users to anyone in India or that matter to other countries? Well, the government may not be keen on giving us these answers, but we need to act prudently.
The banning inevitably encourages Indian technology companies to provide the best to the people. The hardly noticed applications will now be utilized widely and have their own identity. The users of Chinese apps have already taken their followers to different other platforms. But when it comes to technology, anything can be fishy given the times.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) must now see that the applications that the Indians use presently do not pose any threat. It should also notify if there are any loopholes that we need to be alert about. Technology can always falter and is bound to, as it is man-made. We could be forgiving for once, but not at all given occasions.
The Chinese applications especially the TikTok app will lose $6 billion. Along with it, the Indians who vehemently used the applications for advertisement and other monetary gains will find themselves at crossroads. TikTok has been famous for over 611 million downloads in India for its lifetime. It has also been known for the wrong reasons too in India, for Cyber-bullying, application addiction, and privacy concerns. Don’t these problems exist in other apps? No doubt they do, but in TikTok, it was considerably more.
Cyber-bullying has hiked due to increased internet use. Cyber-bullying is the harassment and mental torture that one goes through when using computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. The bullying happens over social media usage, in chat rooms, and on gaming platforms. The online classes that are taking place during these testing times are not far from it. The teachers from certain schools complained that their images were morphed and made fun of. The students too face similar mocking especially about the status of their lives. This could hamper the students as well as the teachers leading to their mental, psychological, and emotional breakdown. Cyber-bullying thus is a constant that needs to be tackled. The banning of the Chinese app will not be enough to wipe it off.
Application Addiction is another concern. Indians undoubtedly were addicted to TikTok because the second person you knew would spend time making and sharing videos on TikTok. The gaming applications or generally the social media can be addictive. Because we are all Homo sapiens who want to know what is happening around us, who like creativity, and who like people around us. The virtual reality gives us that option, to though being alone in our rooms be surrounded by our friends. It gives us the option to just relax and not do anything difficult. That’s the easy option to choose from. We can so addicted that we forget to be present in the reality that we are in. We want to be with people who are far off rather than the ones who are near.
Sometimes we get addicted to these gaming applications and lose the purpose of our lives. We depend so much on them that we are ready to give up our lives even. We have examples of the same in the recent past. The Blue Whale Challenge or even the PUBG game gets you addicted to it. These could be tempting and giving us a certain target to complete but they prove fatal to life. These applications have devastated the careers of the youth.
The privacy concern is the major issue that needs attention. All of us have secret and private lives. We have the right to our personal lives, whether intentionally or otherwise, nobody has the right to tamper with our personal information without a prior permit. Tampering with private information would leave us vulnerable and make us slaves to a group of people who have our private information. Thus, it is necessary that these applications maintain secrecy and confidentiality.
There have been other concerns too. The applications available to us have at times promoted pornographic content or any other inappropriate content. Because of which these applications came under the scrutiny of many governments. The content could be regulated but at times becomes difficult to censor all of it. Some social media applications do incredibly well to safeguard its users from demeaning content and some fail to. Certain ideologies have also been promoted by and in these applications unawares. These deviated ideologies have ruined the lives of the youth.
Our recent tussle with China has to lead to the development of banning 59 applications that can cause trouble for our security. But the alternatives, that we have at our disposal needs to keep the above in mind to provide a safe and healthy experience to its users.