The contemporary world is proud of its technological development, especially in the field of IT and communications. The form of communication that we often use nowadays is social networking. It is the law of nature that everything in the world has positives and negatives. Social networking is no exception. It facilitates relationships and promotes what is good for society, but it can also lead to polarization and division between individuals and groups. It is a meeting place where we can either encourage one another in a meaningful discussion or demean one another through unfair personal attacks.
The internet can help us become better citizens. However, access to digital networks entails a responsibility for our neighbor who might seem invisiblebut is nonetheless real and has a certain dignity which must be respected. The root cause of many contemporary situations is a kind of radical loneliness that so many people feel today. Social bonds are merely for satisfaction. Today, consumerism determines what is important.
Facebook gives us the opportunity to communicate with our friends within a mere fraction of time. But we also encounter people who block their family members and relatives on Facebook just because they have an alternate opinion. Personal attacks, racial comments and rumors form the soul of the material present on social networking sites. Just take the example of the recent rumors about the polio vaccine. People became mad and damaged public property worth lakhs of rupees.
The interesting thing is that many people become popular by propagating false information. This has led to an illusion wherein people think they are more important than they actually are. A few years back, people used to spend their spare time reading novels and other stuff. But today, they only read Facebook. It has become the elixir of life. Phones have become our life partners. If we lose our phone, we become restless.
We cannot imagine our addiction to the internet until our internet connections are cut off. A sense of restlessness was in the air during the recent internet restrictions. Children were depressed and dejected. People were consoling themselves by spreading rumors that internet will be restored today.Netizens got paralyzed. Young people were seen playing cricket on roads. But once the service was restored, they logged on over virtual space and logged off from their real surroundings.
We have many people who have got a lot of accounts – Real, fake, semi-real, semi-fake etc. They display their creativity differently on these accounts. The irony is that they wont have a tinge of regret if they are using all these accounts. Some people become IAS officers while others become engineers on Facebook, even if they dont know anything about that very profession.
Apart from morality, it has put our health at risk. Students usually suffer from depression and multiple personality disorder. Absent-mindedness and insomnia are common problems ailing our students. It is impossible to predict the kind of things these social networking sites would be used for in the future. But social networking, as the name suggests, should have been a force for socializing and not an anti-social element. Otherwise, it just defeats the purpose for which it exists.
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