Internet is often seen as a silent killer, if allowed to invade beyond a certain limit. Its addictive qualities tend to engulf us so gracefully that we see ourselves hooked onto it for hours all together. We soon end up justifying its use and need in our life with reasons such as —
- It is one of the best way to hang out with friends
- To keep ourselves updated
- To stay in touch with the world outside
- To gain quick validation or emotional support
- To establish one’s identity overnight and express ourselves
- To stay entertained and what not…
The bug of net and social media bites not just the adults but even the kids who learn to operate net, you-tube, mobile, i-pad etc much before they learn to speak. Mothers also tend to use it as an excellent baby sitter that can keep kids engaged for long while they finish other chores or can rest for some time.
For a teenager, it is an excellent slave and the most obedient friend who is always available to listen to their tantrums and live with their mood swings at their discretion. It enables them to fake the most popular or cool social image they wish to project. Soon it takes them far away from their real self and puts them into a rat race of gaining as many friend requests and likes as possible on their profile, post and selfie. And yet for some it opens the door for pornography, abuse and net exploitation in more than one way.
Youngsters use it as a way of finding a prospective date and gradually and slowly get engulfed in the whirlpool of dating apps which certainly leave them emotionally even more messed up, highly confused, conflicted and this adds to their sense of mistrust. Soon starts a cyclic chain of getting in and out of abusive relationships which slowly erodes away their sense of self-esteem and self-concept, taking them down the drains of misery, self-pity, anxiety, depression and at times suicide.
It even teaches a family, a new language of communication where family members talk to each other more on a family whatsapp group than in person even when they all live together under one roof.
Amazingly, a tool that was designed by man to serve it, has today made man its slave. We open our eyes with a notification on our phone, spend more time than intended, neglect our relationship, family, school and daily basic needs to gain a sense of comfort with online friends, spend increasing amounts of time to achieve the same level of satisfaction and think about it even when offline and then finally try to use it as an escape to hide from our own self admits the darkness of night.
Internet addiction can affect people of any age, gender and socio-economic status. Reality is that we cannot reframe ourselves from its use as it today flows in our life and body thicker than blood. But we all can certainly become aware of its pitfalls, use it responsibly, keep a watchful eye on self and ensure our safety and security.
The key is–the more informed, we are the more equipped and protected we can be. Remember, Net and social media is both an ocean of opportunities and a whirlpool of danger. What you choose, is purely up to you…
Hope you all have a meaningful relationship with net and social media …
….which enables you to become your MMM—More Meaningful Me….
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