My first internet experience was in 1999 after my post graduation. I was introduced to Internet through ‘Internet Explorer’ the only browser available that time. We didn’t have smart phones and computers in our hands that time. We used to go to the internet cafes to browse whatever we want to browse. That I am not going to share… 😉
My friend also created an email account for me on rediffmail.com. That’s lost already long back. Soon I left my home land and came to a different city, ‘Kolkata’ the city of joy for job. And my cousin introduced me to a whole new world altogether.
Whoa! What a world! What an opportunity to know the outer world!!! What a way to explore all hidden desires!!! 😉
I spent a lot of money after Yahoo chatting… I made many new friends… I was all alone in the city and there was nobody to control me. I was on my own. Soon my favourite pastime became going to the café and chatting for hours. That was in the year 2001.
Probably in 2004 I was introduced to Friendster.com… then Myspace.com and then came Orkut.com. But I was not addictive to all those because nothing could beat the attraction and allurement of Yahoo messenger.
BUT in 2008…
I was late yet finally get the taste of a new networking site called FACEBOOK.COM. Yahoo messenger became boring and outdated as soon as I started exploring the charm of FB. Life changed literally I would say. The new world of interaction seemed very interesting, captivating and extremely addictive.
I remember in 2006 when I explored blogs and had one for my booklet Candles which was in printed form then. Since then I had few more blogs for writing anything that came to my mind. But nothing was stable till I created the one which made me known in the web world as well as in real world.
This was or is my social networking experiences over the past few years which I explained in brief…
But how does social networking affects our life?
A question I always ask myself whenever I get too addicted to my computer or smart phone… or when my eyes burn literally for too much exposure to the screen… or when my wife shrieks at me for listening to what she is saying… 😉
Let’s count the benefits of them first…
- Helps promoting good works and individual globally…
- Connects family and friends by beating the regional differences & distances…
- Keep us informed and updated…
- Brings about new connections, friends and helps exchanging of new ideas…
- Easy and cost effective or free…
- One of the best stress busters and friend in loneliness…
And the list can go on and on…
But despite of all these benefits there are some adverse effects of social networking sites that had alarmed us over the last couple of years. And the effects are devastating. Let’s look in to them one after the other as under:
1. Lost skill of Face to Face Interactions: This is one of the biggest setbacks which social networking sites have brought in to our lives. People are busier with computers and smart phones than person to person interactions. Sometimes we joke even husband and wife communicate each other through whatsapp inside the same house as both will be busy in their mobile phones instead of being with each other. We can laugh about this but this has killed the effectiveness of personal human interactions.
2. Causes of Break ups and Divorces: Sometimes I talk rudely with my wife when she asks something because she interrupts my communication with others on my smart phone or laptop. That should not be the case. I regret it later but the relationship gets affected. I am quoting an article which I found on web which talks about how FB causes break ups in relationships which reads as under:
“It’s not official until it’s on Facebook,” they say. But keeping it off Facebook could be the best way to ensure your romantic relationship stays strong. Individuals who use Facebook excessively are much more likely to experience Facebook-related conflict with their partner, which can lead to non-digital conflicts as well, including emotional and physical cheating, breakups, and even divorce, a study says.
3. Induces Jealousy and Peer Pressure: My friend Prabhjot once wrote about this in her article on our webzine. She says,
“Looking at all the goody goody pictures of people you are hardly in touch with gives a feeling that – whole world is having fun and living a perfect life but me. It is a very obvious feeling.” She also described the story of a 17 year old boy who killed himself while taking a selfie. He wanted to take a “cool” selfie on a railway track with an approaching train from behind. He got run over by the train.
That’s what peer pressure or being liked by others can make to you. This is how social media induces it.
4. Vulnerable to Criminal Activities: Crimes on internet is when computer networks or devices are used as means to perform fraud and identity theft through social engineering as well as cyber bullying, cyber stalking and cyber warfare. And when we upload all our personal details we get exposed to the danger of being harassed and bullied online by the criminals.
5. Obsession and Addiction to Internet can be fatal: The obsession and addiction of internet makes life worse. Women [64%] are more likely than men [55%] to consider themselves addicted to the internet. In the 13-17 age demographic, up to 3 out of every 4 kids could be considered addicted to the internet. The percentage of 18-24 year olds who would qualify as being addicted to the internet today: 71%. These obsession and addiction can spoil the students as they lose concentration on their studies. It makes the adult neglect their real life by spending more time on virtual world and spend life idly.
6. Severe Health Hazards: There’s an interesting article on ‘whashingtonpost.com’ that I read which my cousin shared once really alarmed me and can really make you worry as well.
The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.
That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours every day, according to research published by Kenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine. The study will appear next month in Surgical Technology International. Over time, researchers say, this poor posture, sometimes called “text neck,” can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery.
Long hours in front of the screen can spoil our eyes, makes us lazy and obese when it is continued as a daily practice.
What can we conclude now after understanding all these alarming facts and information?
Simple!!! Social Medias have more effects of breaking life than building it up. It has more negative effects than positives, more
From childhood we are told, “anything excess is bad“. If we don’t make the social medias our slave today then they will rule over us, destroy us and devastate our peaceful lives. The choice is ours.
(Little bit about the author HERE)