Social Media: Is It A Trap?

For almost everyone today, a big part of their daily routine is similar. Get up, check your social networking sites, work, check social media, eat, check social media and sleep. And then repeat the same procedure all over again.

Living in a generation of smartphones, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat are all on almost everyone’s cell phone. Your’s too, right? Gone are the days when people used their laptops or computers to check these sites. And this is almost like a double edged sword in some ways. While technology has made our lives easier and communication much faster, it has also made for avenues and content platforms that keep us hooked.

The 5 minutes that we promise ourselves are never really 5 minutes. It is always one more scroll, one more video, one more reply. But then again, can we really blame it? Because as much as we know it is stealing away our precious time, it also the only way to stay in touch with everyone without having to physically meet them.

We watch others’ life from afar, envying the vacations they take, their eyebrows that are on fleek, their friend circle and their life in general. But guess what? The same is for you. People look at your posts and envy what you have as well. The real reason behind this is the fact that the life we are living online can be quite dissimilar to the life we are actually leading. Online, are we seeking attention or trying to make an impression?

No one uploads pictures when they put on weight or when they have pimples or when they are not on a vacation. You don’t want to share your bad times with the world online, do you? Those are perhaps only shared with the closest of friends offline, it at all. Makes you wonder what is real, and what not. Uff this reality!

Social Media Isn’t All Evil

No one’s saying social media is not essential. It certainly is. Social media is the basis for several different industries. It keeps the ‘Aam Aadmi’ up-to-date with worldly affairs. And it also provides major platform for advertising and sharing talent. You can see tons of young people writing poems or articles or sharing their music or varied tutorials online. It helps maintain connectivity, increases awareness among the population and even helps building communities. It also helps us get educated about a variety of topic ranging all the way from academics to hobbies. A very common example can be how Instagram and YouTube is being used as a learning platform for musicians. And let’s not forget Twitter – a tweet once helped a girl from a harasser in a train.

Yet, just like every coin, this also has two sides. Social networking has given rise to incredibly huge number of cyber-bullying or online stalking cases. Data or accounts get frequently hacked. It opens a huge window for Scams or Frauds – as if SMSs about winning lotteries weren’t enough.  

And then the bigger issue, it creates this illusion of how others are leading their lives and how I should be leading mine. Hopping onto a bandwagon has become risky now more than ever because its foundations are usually made up of lies just to impress everyone else. It gets people hooked so much so, that we cannot imagine our lives without our smartphones.

Guilty As Charged

You do it, I do it. Guilty as charged. And as much as I am addicted to it myself, I know that there are much better things that can be done. Who wouldn’t choose to actually spend time with the people they care about over chatting with them? And although there is a trend of sharing every event you attend on social media at that exact moment, most of the majority would actually prefer to enjoy the moment when it is happening but social influence and a certain need to conform kicks in.

However, thankfully, we now have events for disconnecting. We now have events that encourage people to switch off or logout off the online, virtual world and indulge in real human interactions. Be it poetry slams or stand-up comedy events. Yes, there are people who still choose to remain glued to their phones, but at least it gives an outlet to a few people. There are friends who’ll drag to a sports pub for a game. These outlets enhance human interactions which are extremely crucial for our existence. Haven’t you heard, ‘Man is a social animal’.

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