Posted in modernization, New age, technology

Reality or Virtuality? Where do you live?

Hi to all the entities of the web out there! It has been quite some time since I last updated my blog, thanks to my 3rd year engineering exams, which I thought I’d finally study for, since I had so religiously bunked most of my classes in the past semester.  Over the period, I have experienced quite a number of incidents that I think should definitely be discussed on my blog.

So well, the issue at hand in this post is whether the advent of social networking, so highly popular these days in the form of Facebook, Twitter, BBM, WhatsApp, Skype blah blah, WORTH IT? Is it a boon or a bane? For most people especially of the current generation, including me, the question would seem ridiculous. All of us would jump up and defend our beloved social apps we are always hooked on to.

However, whether we like it or not, there are many concerns being raised by parents and teachers regarding the use of social media especially by children and teenagers. It affects them physically and psychologically. If not used under supervision, it makes them vulnerable to the big bad world out there.  Statistics prove that average time spent by a visitor on Facebook is 6.75 hours. To be very honest, I used to belong to the league.  Thankfully, I got bored (I get bored of stuff very easily, in this case, it sure has proved to be of my advantage). But the point is, it’s a whole lot of wastage of time. And from my experience  as a user, 99% of the time, I used it to just like random posts by people I did not know, stalk people I did not even care about and stare at photos of all those whose sole purpose of life is take a picture of themselves whenever possible.  So well, a lot has been debated about this and parents have been advised to supervise their innocent kids, and their not-so-innocent, moody, depressed teenagers who live in the virtual world.

But what about those addicted adults? Are they justified in using social networking?  Agreed, they know how to tell the difference between right and wrong, but is the time spent by them texting, posting statuses via their blackberries, androids really worth it? My mother recently got an SIII and has successfully joined the WhatsApp and Skype community. She uses it to communicate with her mother, sisters and brothers living in India. Frankly, I’ve never seen her so happy in life. She used to miss her siblings a lot and thanks to Skype, she can see them, hear them and talk to them from a thousand miles away.  But things have surely changed at home. I and my siblings have definitely noticed how less time we get to spend with her these days.  Sure, she is at home physically but we do not get to talk much since she is so busy texting her sister on WhatsApp.  So you see, I think the main culprit of the lack of communication at home these days is the excessive use of social networking sites. I had a talk with my mom about this and she got embarrassed and laughed it off. Next day, she kept her cell in her room to avoid Skype. And that was the end of that phase, thankfully.  I’m glad this has happened because now I really understand why my parents always had an issue whenever I used my cell constantly, and this incident has made me leave a few annoying habits I possessed . 

I am not here to discuss the Pros and Cons of Social networking. Everyone knows about them. We all know that it has served to fulfill the concept of Freedom of Speech and freedom to express ourselves. On the other hand, we all have also been reading  newspapers reporting incidents of lovers taking their lives because of betrayal over Facebook, or young girls being raped by strangers they met on MySpace and many more horrendous incidents I do not want to think about.  I just wanted to convey one simple message. 

And that is: Social networking is really good for keeping in touch with our family and friends all over the world, but it really isn’t worth it if you lose the people you live with, for those who are far away. I do not want to sound selfish and hypocritical but all I am trying to say is, I agree that people who matter in our life, whether they are near or far, deserve to be loved always but there is a difference between loving them and destructing time which needs to be utilized for other purposes of life as well.  Everyone has a life of their own, the REAL one, and it is better to understand the difference between the real and virtual before it is too late.