Prior to the internet, the adage was ‘Think before you act’…But now it’s ‘Think before you upload’, ‘Think before you tweet’ and ‘Think before you click’.
Looking at the present day scenario and the havoc it is causing. I am compelled to say that social media is a curse. It is becoming inordinately obvious that man has become a tool of his own tools. Sir Albert Einstein was indeed an intellect to foretell years ago that our technology, gizmos and social networking will lead us to a catastrophe.
There are over seven billion people on this planet and they are all connected. But how real is this connection? How is it that we have forgotten face to face interaction and easily replaced it by online conversation? Feelings and emotions are transformed into emoticons which are incapable of expressing the entire bundle of emotions. The rise of social media made the world smaller but at the same time, it pulled us further apart.
Social networking sites like facebook, twitter, Orkut, LinkedIn, MySpace etc. are constant distractions. People especially teenagers are tempted to check these sites 10 to 20 times a day.
When you post online on these sites you are engaging yourself in an informal contract that what you put on there will be permanent and will leave its digital footprints. With clutter of applications, friend requests, follow requests and more it is becoming harder and harder for us to differentiate from a friend versus a foe.
Cyberbullying, hacking, celebrity stalking and being the victim of trolls are some of the worst nightmares come true. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of teenagers have witnessed some form of unkindness on social media. Therefore one can say that privacy is dead.
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The most recent and alarming repercussion of the social media is the deadly blue whale challenge. It is a twisted suicide challenge that appears to goad vulnerable teens into killing themselves. This incident is a proof that how life-threatening social media can be.
Social media is a great way to spread misinformation especially for the youngsters who are enamored by the virtual world and not the real world. Once any information enters into social media echo chambers, it is highly amplified. The facts become lost in the shuffle of competing for information, limited attention or both.
The fact of the matter is that human beings have created the internet so it should be a slave to our commands but sadly it has started ruling our lives. So, I strongly oppose that social media is a boon but is surely leading us to transform ourselves into self-obsessed users.
Think it over.
Shreya Jaggi is student in DPSG Palam Vihar who presented her views on Social Media during a debate competition held in the school.