In a recent development, Indian Air Force (IAF) has found that social media is posing a serious threat to flight safety. According to Headlines Today, in a strongly worded communication to all of the air force’s combat flying squadrons, IAF’s chief of flight safety Air Marshal P.P. Reddy has expressed extreme concern over what he sees as an over-indulgence in social media by pilots and flying crew, leading to their lack of sleep and erosion in their ability to focus.
In his communication, Air Marshal Reddy states that, “We need to exercise discretion to maintain a healthy balance between our highly demanding profession and distractions like social networking media, mobiles and laptops to name a few. We can ill afford to put expensive ac and lives at risk due to excessive indulgence in social networking media and other distractions.”
The strong message comes from the Air Marshal after investigations have revealed that in the last four incidents of pilots reporting for flying duties who were found of inadequate rest had spent late nights using their mobile phones and tablets to use Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and other social tools.
However, the IAF is aware that it can’t put restrictions on usage of social media but it is trying to make everyone aware of the ill effects and educate them on these issues.
While the IAF is worried about the social media addictiveness it also thinks that the present crop of young pilots might expose themselves on social media to compromising relationships that could unduly distract them from their highly demanding aviation duties.
The Air Marshal feels that, “Self discipline is of great importance because beyond a point no one can monitor and control your life.”
IAF doesn’t want to be labeled as against social media but at the same time it has chosen to communicate on the sensitive issue with utmost maturity.
Recently Indian Army rolled out a similar advisory to its staff. Fearing that national security could be compromised, the Indian Army had asked its personnel not to use social media like Facebook, Twitter and WeChat which may have their servers abroad. The army feels that activity on the social media could lead to identification of the army officers and others and their location.
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