Are you reading this piece of article in front of your PC, or a Smartphone? Look at the amount of time you are utilizing on the internet and social networks. Most of the teenagers and youths are addicted to Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. 24×7. Is this impacting their social lives? Not the virtual social life, one may be connected to a cross-nation friend regularly on Facebook but doesn’t know the new neighbor in the next block. This is how our life has become. That’s true!
In a recent report in the Guardian, the novelist, Jonathan Franzen criticized social networking, arguing that it is creating an exceptionally trivial and insignificant way of life, making kids powerless to socialize face to face. Then the American comedian Louis CK proclaimed on TV that he wouldn’t give his daughters Smartphone for the panic they wouldn’t build up sympathy and empathy type of feelings.
Clive Thompson, author at the Guardian, suggests that there’s nothing to worry though as this is the phase that every generation faces with technology. In 1930s, radio was a new technology and parents were worried that radio was “having invincible control of children.” Similarly, when Sony launched Walkmans in 1980s, there was a panic button among previous generation that teenager “throbs with orgasmic rhythms.” The trend of panic is still continued today. The subject is internet and social networking sites in particular. Pew study found only 15% of teens said someone had been mean or cruel to them online in the last 12 months, but it didn’t matter them.
Tavi Gevinson, a 17-year-old student who founded and edits Rookie, a website that features articles by and for adolescent women. She says online socializing is “the contrary to isolation – it’s all about connection. I’ve made a few of my closest buddies online, through blogging communities.”
However, that is just one view. Many also believe that social networking sites make us isolated in person.
IndiaBix states, “Influence of social networking sites on youth has more demerits than merits.” Their report also suggests the examples, which suppose in a train, a person sitting near you won’t bother speaking much to you but can’t afford to miss the conversation with that virtual friend which he has not even met.
SocialMediaToday says that Facebook is “just a waste of time for marketing” and counterproductive for the young generation. When a student opens up internet for collecting some information, he is tempted to just check the notifications of his account. The moment he logs in, the information-collection takes a back seat and replying to “Hi” of a friend becomes priority. Thus, he tends to end up precious time on Facebook doing futile chatting.
Well, technology has its faces and facets. Every coin has two sides; social media too have the same. It is connecting you from the far away world, but making you distant from your near vicinity.