THE SOCIAL MES(S)H.
It is universally accepted that social networking has paved a way for people all over the world to socialize with each other irrespective of many factors that contribute to their barriers. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter etc are the most important, daily duties of many people of all age groups. Several scholars and experts say that Facebook and Twitter are making history with a continuous flow of connecting people worldwide.
Social networking helps people find any possible information they want to know across the world. This makes individuals get fascinated, to be able to connect, share and like whatever they want. The national barriers between countries are of no concern and people from different countries share any kind of information they want to. They enjoy the conviviality of these social media services. This obviously resulted in the major increase of Facebook, Twitter and Orkut users day by day, Facebook alone having 1.23 billion users worldwide. One can browse Facebook and Twitter for hours together without getting bored because of the range of applications, games and tools available. In fact the social networking sites are the virtual places frequently visited by people to share, to spend time, to communicate and to celebrate.
Now, if we look at the other side of the coin, are these social networking sites the real socializing elements? The fact that they help people get together is a matter of debate as too much of social networking makes one stick to the electronic device without actually getting social. Surveys prove that there are unimaginable numbers of Facebook addicts increasing day by day worldwide.
There is a major problem encountered by lakhs of parents who say that their kids are addicted to these sites, mostly Facebook and Twitter. This resulted in an inevitable situation of being social through social networking sites alone! Many people now-a-days spend hours together ‘online’ where the concept of spending ample time with relatives, family members lost its meaning. One can’t say that one is being social while sticking to Facebook and missing a family party.
Needless to say, their day starts with a Facebook status message saying, ‘Good Morning Folks’ and ends with an update on Twitter saying ‘Off to Sleep’. The extent of influence of these sites can be measured by looking at the new-age social media terminology. They say ‘LOL’ (Laugh Out Loud) but don’t laugh and they say ‘OMG’ (Oh My God!) for expressing their surprise. It is also evident that peoples’ preference for always being online, is majorly due to the purpose of social networking. There is also an issue of privacy involved as the personal profile information is open to public unless strict privacy settings are followed. Sometimes, several issues of harassment and stalking also arise and one needs to keep an eye on everything that’s happening in the virtual world.
It would be better if one looks at these social networking sites as connecting tools rather than making them part of one’s life.
Written by: Shalini