16 February 2014

Zimbabwe: 'Social Media Erodes Values'

Youths have been advised to utilise social media wisely and revive their cultural values for the benefit of the nation and future generations.

The massive influence of Western cultures on the Zimbabwean scenes largely visible among youths, has been blamed by traditionalists for the apparent moral and social decay that has seen teen pregnancies, drug abuse and divorce among other social ills that have soared in recent years.

Cultural values have been defined by some scholars as those things that came from one's culture which are important and should be upheld. They may be religious practices, rituals or anything else that one values.

Simon Chidziva, the reigning Chief Chinamhora, bemoaned the abuse of social media by many youths that he said was contributing to the erosion of culture and traditional customs.

"I am not against social media, it has brought about positive changes and has made life easier for many. What I am most worried about is its misuse by most youths in the country."

"Traditional values have also been lost while accommodating Western cultures," said Chief Chinamhora.

He added that parents had a bigger role to play in shaping and preserving cultural values in their children.

He advised parents to monitor their children when they were on social platforms.

"Many parents no longer spend enough time with their children; it's wiser for parents to sit down and talk to their kids rather than for kids to search from the internet things that their parents might be able to teach them."

"Children are keen to experiment and by so doing, they need to be supervised so that they use the social media wisely," added Chinamhora.

He said that he had dealt with numerous cases of moral decadence involving not only the youths but adults from his community and attributed this to the misuse of social media.

"Actually, I have dealt with a number of cases of even married people whose marriages have been drawn to the ropes because of the abuse of social media platforms. Couples are using the social media to cheat on their partners," Chief Chinamhora said.

Youths were advised not to imitate what they saw in other cultures but to hold on to their tradition and to preserve it for future generations.

The media has been awash with incidences of immoral acts disseminated on social media platforms.

Last year popular actress Tinopona Katsande, featured in a self-made sex video shot with her boyfriend. But before that, then Big Brother star Pokello Nare and rapper Stunner Desmond Chideme's sex-tape had also leaked into the public domain.

Zimbabwe is considered one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world.

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