Friday, September 17, 2021

In virtual world

Editorial 2

Our people are rapidly getting addicted to internet in the form of playing games, spending lot of time on social sites, scrolling over its content, keeping status update here and now, watching videos continuously, etc. Although internet addiction had its grip on all age groups, the most vulnerable category are the children and adolescents. These days we see children highly involved on mobile phones, and not necessarily for reasons of online classes only. Parents in the name of keeping their children busy and calm hands over smartphones to them. A child, who is not mature enough to distinguish between good and bad, is being given cellphone by guardian and parent, and gets addicted. This trend is continuing without considering the consequences. It is taking toll on mind of everyone who is addicted to it. Researchers have defined internet addiction as: “Like spending more and more time using electronic gadgets, seeking pleasure by using phones or internet, feeling touchy when kept away from internet, always moving with thought of these sites.” Take social media, the use of which has now emerged as a new norm in routine activities. It has provided us seamless convenience of being able to communicate instantly to someone across the world, send a quick text to arrange plans with a friend, post a picture for family to see, or the ability to reconnect with someone. Everybody is free to post anything from any place in the world on social media network and in a jiffy people come to know about even small and insignificant happenings taking place at a geographically remote location. If we analyze the posts uploaded on this platform, most of the times we come across such stuff in the form of a rant, a vent, or just a form of seeking validation for thoughts posted by the social media user. We create a lot of ‘friends’, ‘followers’ and ‘likes’ through the content posted on these sites. Unfortunately, we have fallen to a trap of negativity and falsehood while being on the platform, as negative and sensational content lures audience to check our posts. We measure the success of our posts in terms of huge audience. If we go by this theory that our posts attract huge audience on the social media sites, then we seem to be in control of our audience as it’s our discretion to allow them to be our ‘followers’ or ‘friends’. But, actually, it’s not so. It’s the audience which controls us. It’s their judgment and response to our posts which defines us as a personality on this platform. We have become addicts, like a drug addict, to measure our self esteem on the basis of comments, shares and likes we get for our activities on social media. If we don’t get desired attention for our activities, we feel a sense of being alone or left out. And that’s exactly why social media is so appealing to everyone. It’s a simple psychological need to want to fit in and feel accepted. Wanting to feel accepted isn’t wrong; it’s how we go about it in this generation that is damaging. Today the more rapid way we have entered in digital socialization, more quickly we have moved away from direct contact with people. The time we spend with people chatting directly with them has drastically reduced, we spend unlimited time on social media and internet surfing. We are amazed by people being followed on different social sites. The idea of success has completely gone upside down. It is seen in quantity of likes, comments and reactions one gets on social sites – the more the quantity of reactors and followers one has the more he is judged as perfect being. We pay less heed to people around us; instead we are trapped in electronic gadgets. The quick information we receive about the world miles far from us, the quicker we are becoming unaware about the family, friends and people around us. More the electronic gadgets are entering into our lives, more personal problems are evolving. Indeed it appears we have lot of time to spend on social sites but no time for socialization.