Rabin Prasad Kalita
“If you don’t start in the right spot,
you are going to lose the game before
you even get started.” Mike O’Neil
The internet has been a boon for its massive role to bring people together. Social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Weibo and Tweeter etc. were created for the sole purpose of helping individuals for communication. Social media is indeed a mirror, on which one can reflects his/her all type of interests and ideas. A sufferer has been given a platform that previously had none. For example a stranger also had moved to tears by the image of a drowned Syrian toddler who had been washed away on the shore of Turkey. Even the Nirbhaya episode was completely sized over by the Social Medias to reach every home around the world. It was just because of social Media, which spread like a bush fire within no time and the world seemed so small. One can upload audio-visual post regarding any kind of abnormality found in the society or in the government machinery so that it reaches to the mass. It has also amplified the existing personality characteristics of persons who were earlier not known by many. It has removed all the communication barriers. Now one can communicate his/her opinion and thoughts over a variety of topics. Another positive impact of this huge platform of social networking sites is to unite people for the achievement of some specific objective.
Someone said, “Social networks are not about the exploitation of technology but service to community.” The increasing popularity of social networks has gained attention as the most viable communication choice for the bloggers, article writers, content creators and advertisers. It has connected people from the different parts of the globe allowing them to communicate in real time. Whether I’m in India or in America, it hardly matters, only a click away from all of my friends staying in different time zones. Not only these networks allow communication between friends, but also allow meeting new people and thus one can expand one’s social circle. There are many situations that the social networks are preferable by many than to use of telephones. Social sites have been a foremost venue for business people to promote their products and services not only locally, nationally but even on a global level such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra, Jabong, Naaptol and many more.
The more we have learned about its behaviour, it becomes more apparent and thus this very viable mirror has now been distorted. We are all now information creators, through these platforms and not remained like simple TV viewers or radio listeners. These rising social networks and websites are on the verge of replacing our traditional interactions. This is high time to realize its effects particularly in communication, self- expression, intimidation, isolation, friendships, and even our very own sense of humanity. The technology for sharing information has been increased rapidly from the day of the inception of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter etc. Billions of people are the instant users of social networks around the world every day to post videos, share images, and send out messages. There are millions of million smartphone/computer users today. Everyone is using this or that social networks as per one’s convenience. These social networks allow an individual to have thousands of friends. We invite friends abruptly without knowing about that individual fully. However, these friends are no more than strangers and allow them on to our page without any haste and hesitation. Why do we create connections with people who we don’t know, or even care a lot about them?
We spend more time with these people chatting online, and discard spending time with our real life friends who are known for years. These tools can change our very sense of reality. It cannot be our main form of communication with whom we passed our cherished life once. Most of us are using Facebook and Twitter as our primary news sources, but there is a big question of its legitimacy. Social media has also unlocked new avenues for unusual violence, conflict and cruelty. Uploading inflammatory speeches, videos in YouTube by the terror groups have achieved an extra mileage of their premeditated plan. Social media has been weaponized for spreading well-orchestrated fear-mongering propaganda. It has been a gateway to extremists’ through which they share operational and tactical information to the youths. Most of the radical groups are using social media to start engaging people around the world, hoping to gain sympathy by brain washing who in turn act on their behalf. Hot blooded youngsters get attracted easily.
Accidents ranging from minor to the life-threatening happen due to the use of smartphones while driving. This act is considered to be distracted driving which covers texting, surfing the web, video chats and taking selfies. Streaming live on Facebook by the youngsters has been a matter of alarming concern while they are on a long drive. An involuntary sneeze is a sort of excusable distraction. However, if you wilfully look down at screen of a phone, reading or punching letters for a reply while your other hand is at the steering and meet with an accident is not at all excusable.
Social sites divert the focus and attention from a particular task as its users gets addicted by spending countless hours on it. It drops the motivational level of the people, especially of the youngsters and students. Students mainly rely on the internet instead of learning the practical knowledge. Kids live in the 24/7 digital playground today with no parental supervision which affects virtually in every aspect of their lives. Social media that contains shared photos, immoral material, violence and sex, can damage the behaviour of kids and teenagers, who may leads them to indulge with crime related activities. Thus, it has a negative impact on a progressive society. Perhaps, the most intriguing part is that we feel less loneliness at home connecting people all over online. Observing one’s action, navigating interaction, knowing a person and developing a relationship becomes the new reality these days. Those happy moments like watching shows together, spent some time talking each other, engaging in active activity were the habit of past. Now, every one of us is lost in our own world of screen stimulation and that is what, every one of us now feeling disconnected and dissatisfied without really knowing why. The globe has become too small today to be fitted in a fist owing to the great invention of social sites. Users are to decide of its judicial use for the benefit of mankind.
Rabin Prasad Kalita