Come on Samoa, we’re better than that!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 25 June 2017, 12:00AM

Technology, especially the internet, is a wonderful tool. 

We don’t need to tell you how important they are. Suffice to say, they have transformed the way we live, the dynamics in our communities and the behavior of the people upon which it has found an unbreakable bond – or bondage. 

Take the mobile phone for instance. For most of us, it’s impossible to live without it. And that’s because just about everyone has a mobile phone on these shores. Even the street vendors begging on the streets boast some of the flashiest phones in town.

Come to think of it, technology makes our lives so much easier. Who would’ve dreamt that one day you’d be able to check your emails on your phone from anywhere in this country?

But there is a downside which is why it’s worth remembering today that all that glitters is not gold*. The line from the William Shakespeare play, The Merchant of Venice, immediately comes to mind when you take a look at the growing number of disturbing videos being filmed in Samoa of fights all over the place. 

During the weekend, one more video of a fight involving three or four women in Apia had emerged. As this piece was being written, it was making rounds on social media.

It is not known when the fight occurred but it appears it took place just outside the S.N.P.F Plaze on Beach Road. The video shows women being separated as they were fighting in a very crowded place. Swear words are being hurled back and forth as bystanders struggle to keep them apart.

What’s alarming is that this is not the first video of this type of thing that has emerged.

The trend of videos of fights in Apia seems to have reached an all time high. The latest video follows another video of a fight between women behind the R.S.A Nightclub. This was one showed one woman being set upon by at least three or four women and a man. 

As if that was bad enough, it wasn’t that long ago a similar video surfaced about two women beating each other inside the old Agriculture Store next to the Savalalo Market.

What these videos all have in common is extremely disturbing. 

It is the fact that instead of people jumping in to help the person being beaten, they are pulling out their phones and videoing it with such glee. These videos also show others encouraging people to fight. 

Some are just standing around egging on the fighters.

Since when did we become a nation of heartless individuals who would allow someone else to suffer for the sake of a social media video? What happened to our humanity and our responsibility to help each other? Where did this idea that it’s okay to let people fight as long as we are filming it for pleasure?

In some videos, grown women and men are involved. It’s a disgusting sight and yet one that has become so common in Samoa these days. This is not normal and as a community that cares about each, we should be alarmed.

We are better people than that. Surely. 

Just because similar videos of fights being filmed in other countries doesn’t mean we need to follow suit. 

And here therein lies the challenge about how to handle such technology.

What we’ve got to remind ourselves is that in life, there are always positives and negatives. 

Technological advancements are no exception. While they make some things easier, they introduce a new dimension of problems. 

There is always a price. We’re talking more than just dollars. We are talking about the moral fibre of our society, the influences that are changing our people – especially youth - for the worst. 

This is the real cost. And it’s only going to get tougher. 

Which means we must tread carefully.

Wake up Samoa, our humanity is a lot better than that!

Have a wonderful week, God bless!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 25 June 2017, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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