by Father Mayank Parmar for BISMumbai

The COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown has forced all to rethink traditional ways of thinking and learning. To address this, a 02-day Webinar 'Social Media: Advantages and Disadvantages' for Gujarati Catholic youth was organised on 08-09 May, by Amrutdhara Don Bosco Animation Centre Kapadvanj, Shalsesh Christie SubEditor DOOT, Father Mayank Parmar-Rector Don Bosco Kapadvanj and Umreth Deanery Youth Director, with Dr. Narendra Vasava were the resource persons. Father Dinesh Vasava-Director Amrutdhara moderated the webinar.

On 08 May, young people, Felix Macwan (Ahmedabad), Ripal Dabhi (Jol) Vijay Parmar (Lasundra) shared their personal experiences of the good and bad of social media, detailing how they are exploring all the educational aids, while bemoaning the fact that it eats up the majority of their time unnecessarily. They stated, "it is however a boon if one focusses more on the positives." On 09 May, another set of young people, Ankita Parmar (Karamsad), Jignesh Christian (Ahmedabad), Keran Macwan (Karamsad), Anand Christie (Umreth) and Cyber Macwan (Anand), shared their experiences of Social Media. They were unanimous that, "for all those who want to fly, the sky is the limit and social media provides that platform to share, perform, showcase one’s hidden talents, but yes, it is a major worry too since it takes up most of the time, leading to serious addictions."

Father Parmar said, "social media can be well used only if one is firm and equipped with good values or else we will be carried away by the swing." Christie posed the question,"are you tied up by social media or have you tied down social media?" Dr. Vasava said, "each one should use social media as per their need." Moderator Father Vasava wound up the webinar proposing the vote of thanks.

Arpita Fernandes in her Facebook post said, "it was a great experience," while Ankita Parmar tweeted, "it was a good experience to be part of the webinar. These kinds of webinars should be organized more often and more youth should participate in it." Ripal Dabhi was of the opinion, "social media is a platform, an opportunity, and how one makes use of it depends on the person."