The days are long gone when somebody asked whether somebody is awake or asleep but in today’s modern world the only thing people care about is whether one is online or offline. Today everybody is on Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Hike and many other social networking webistes and mobile applications.
It is quite difficult to remain aloof and lonely with so many ways for people to connect with you. The truth is while some people are enjoying these facilities the life of introverts have become really difficult. The social media has provided people with a massive platform to share ideas, knowledge, feelings and possibly anything. Earlier you had messaging services and chatting applications but slowly photo sharing came into existence then music then videos and today what not from PDFs to PowerPoint presentations anything can be shared at an instant.
But there are always two sides of a coin and while there are the good and pleasant things there is also the negative side where the social media can be misused and have atrocious ill effects on people. Let us begin on the positive side and then trot on the negative side because beginnings are expected to be attractive.
The main idea behind the social media platform was to connect people from around the whole world at just the price of a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile and an internet connection. This target of the basic idea of connecting people has been reasonably met not fully as people who cannot afford both of these still have to use the conventional ways of letters and phone calls to remain connected.
But common people are greatly engrossed in this virtual world where you can have a completely different personality from your real life personality. There has been a popular mindset nowadays that the family which is connected by Whatsapp or Facebook stays together. Though families who are not there also do stay together but it is a trend nowadays to ask somebody if you use this particular app or not before even exchanging numbers with somebody. Nobody wants to spend a whole one rupee to send a 160 character long text message anymore. They would prefer their apps to do this job.
People do not need to have those long telephonic conversations anymore after a movie or a date or provide those long stories about their vacation trips. They first let you know where they are by checking in on Facebook or with a tweet and a selfie at the airport or movie theatre with multiple hashtags or just simply setting their status. “The world is a small place” has been a popular saying from long but after the penetration of social media in our lives with so deep roots even the poles of the earth look much closer to us.
Now while the world is one happy place for some there are some other people who are using social media as a tool and a potent weapon to satisfy their vested interests. It is almost a daily affair where violence and cultural problems arise on a controversial tweet or even a small quote. Terrorist organizations and extremist groups use the social media to propagate their beliefs and instill their mindset and thoughts among people. The problem is that because of the audio visual power and the spread of social media these unsocial elements are being successful in doing this and spread their poison across countries at large. Even recently the terrorist organization ISIS claimed that social media is their most important need.
People with sick mindsets are using social media for stalking people and also cyber bullying this has led to an increase in crimes all over the world. People resort to fake job offers and investment schemes to dupe people of their money. Social media has also caused many marriages and relationships to break because some people have used dating websites and apps to seriously and misuse them to have illicit affairs.
In conclusion, social media has its pros and cons and the power of social media can be dangerous at times so we ought to be aware and careful to not let the negative side of the coin shine brighter than the positive side.
-BY SAMRAT BANERJEE