Monday, October 11, 2004

The Other Side of Chatting

Chatting as a medium of communication has gotten loads of attention. It is, perhaps, an activity undertaken by all netizens- surpassed only by our familiar friend, the email. It is, however, unfortunate that most people in Pakistan use chat as a means to satisfy their lust or, as they say in the local lingo bachee set karna. Don't get me wrong. I have probably tried to catch a girl's attention once or twice over the chat. Personally, I feel that there is nothing wrong with trying to find that one true love over the net. However, I do desist the fact that chatting has become akin to a singles' bar to most Pakistanis.

All chatting is not bad. As the world gets digital by the second, and a Net connected PC become synonymous to owning a TV, chatting can serve as a good tool to groom the Pakistani students' communication skills. Why not teach students how to provide top-notch customer support by means of IRC (Internet Relay Chat) - afterall, the future would demand our IT graduates to know the digital etiquettes. More and more web sites now offer customer support via the chat rooms.

The problem, in my opinion, remains on the academic side. Most of the universities in Pakistan ban chatting in the computer labs. By banning something, we force the students to put on their rebel's hats and do what they shouldnt be doing in the first place. We need to change our education system to accomodate the latest Internet technologies in the curriculum. After all, in order to prepare students for the future, we need to make use of tools that are for the future. And, what better tool than the massive Internet.

Are Prime Minister Aziz, Dr. Atta-Ur-Rehman and stakeholders of major universities listening?

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