Not everyone is happy with social media. The latest to show concern is the current Chief of Air Staff (CAS) of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne also known as “Charlie” Browne. His concerns lie over invasion of the Internet and social media in the lives of young air warriors. This is threatening to affect them physically and mentally in critical situations.
The Air Chief Marshal’s remarks came after the inauguration of the 53rd annual conference of the Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Bangalore on Friday. While advising the young Air personnel, he insisted upon building a good old interpersonal relation and to learn to balance social media habits along with professional lives.
“Today my biggest concern is the increased usage of and exposure to cyber social space as well as the increased demands it places on the aviator and how he balances it with his professional space,” he said and further added that hopefully this stress is not carried into the cockpit.
The Air Chief Marshal further stated that today’s youth is highly individualistic and the new mediums like the Internet and social media are making matters worse. However, Browne didn’t stress upon controlling the medium; instead he emphasized upon getting back to the basics of developing relationships and team spirit.
The India Army has been pretty much hesitant opening up to the new medium under the threat of national security. In January, 2012 the Indian Army had issued orders asking all personnel — both officers and other ranks — who had joined social networking sites like Facebook or Orkut earlier to immediately quit them, and also directed those who had not joined such sites not to do so in future.
The decision was made by the Army on the grounds of security and internal threat. In fact, the decision was followed just after two days when a Naval Board of Inquiry (BoI) had recommended for action to be taken against four senior naval officers, who were in alleged possession of highly classified information and leaking them through social networking sites.
However, the Indian Army made a cautious move once it realized that it can’t ignore social media. After creating a presence on Twitter Indian Armed forces created a presence on Facebook too. It would be interesting if the Indian Air Force would walk the same path.
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