We have moved far away from the early days of civilization. The modern people with modern gadgets are a long awaited destination to be realized. Remember the childhood days when we were imagining so many kinds of scientific achievements wherein most of the science fictions described the voyages in other planets to discover the possibility of life there, the aliens or the wonder pills which will not require us to consume food!! The discoveries about the other planets are still going on, the wonder pills are still to be found out but the discovery of internet has changed the human lives. The computers, the smart phones and the internet connectivity can take you to anywhere you wish to be. You can have the visuals of a place like the pyramids in Egypt or the colosseum of Rome or the beautiful views of Switzerland with a click in the mouse. You can know about the lifestyles and food habit of any place on the world, you can have the beautiful clothes or accessories in your wardrobe, you can have plenty of knowledge about health, fitness or disease and its cures through internet. Actually speaking, you can do anything of your choice if you have an internet connection. Having said that, I want to emphasize on ” Your choice” as the use of internet can be in a positive or negative way and I guess all of us know that “negative side”.
Internet has given us the opportunities of various sites like Google-the encyclopedia as well as the social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and so many. It started with a website called Orkut which took us to the world called “social networking”. I still remember the day when my Orkut site was opened, literally forcefully by one of my favourite student who could convince his orthodox mam about the benefits of social networking. Then all the younger people of my life, mostly students encouraged me to do the networking. And today I am very happy and thankful to all those children for I could remain connected to them till now and so many people through Facebook as Orkut no longer exists. The pleasure, joy, happiness or any other word can’t express the feeling of getting connected to the old long lost friends after two decades. The friends/ seniors/ juniors of school, college and University, the neighbours, the elders all came back to my life. With time, we all moved along with our own lives, the days have seen the worries for career, weddings, jobs at other cities and countries, retirements and the people of my life moved apart and far apart. There were absolutely no easy connectivity to know the whereabouts and the well beings of the people with whom I spent more than two decades or more!! Isn’t that pathetic? And then I got a tool which can bring them back to my life, I now know about them, can have their mail ids, phone numbers, home address. I can speak to them, can see their transformations, troubles or happiness. shouldn’t I feel grateful to the internet and social networking?
There are plenty of articles written on the “pros and cons” of social networking and when I go through them , I found, drawing the conclusion is quite intriguing.
Hence let me share my experience with the social networking.
I feel that the human race, in general, is selfish. It cocoons itself in the shell of ‘wealth creation’ to lead a comfortable life. The city life has seen the apartment culture where the nuclear families are busy with their own duties. Hardly anyone speaks to other persons in the neighborhoods. The lives of people staying in a remote place, small towns and villages depend on the local environment and the culture of that locality. People do interact with each other but with that limit of ” like minded” or having a will to be in the close proximity of the ‘powerful’. The lives of poor people remained same with all weathers. With the advent of the social networking I have the advantage of getting more people in my life with whom I can share my feelings- whether it’s about hobbies, politics, studies, knowledge or let it be anything but I have different sets of friends for different interests. I have allowed a huge number of people to be there in my friend list and they are not strangers of my life. I can follow their thoughts and interests in various subjects. I can keep a touch with the trending things- let it be fashion or food or books or travel. Sometimes when I see my friend is visiting Amazon forest or Zurich or Bali , I get an idea about those places, I get an idea about the hotels, the interesting places over there and in how many ways I can enjoy the fun and frolics of the place. If I wish to visit a place, I know which friend of mine can guide me properly. It is not always that I need friends only to visit me when I will be lying on a ICU bed. Friends are for my happiness, friends are for my strength when I am in need. The door which has got opened to me due to Facebook only is a huge and a curious one. My life has changed when I saw others there to follow. Its my learnings of life, my ethical values which kept me exploring the positive sides of the internet and thereby utilizing the opportunity of social connectivity. I knew when a child is lost, I knew when a person is in need of blood donation, I knew how people struggle in their life, I knew how many homeless people are there in this world and who is working for them. I came to know about the societal values going up or downward, I knew the richest selfish and the kind hearted poor, I knew the great selfless social workers through many of the Facebook posts. I am connected with many groups which posts old stories, nice photographs or trending fashions. I go through the latest news of the whole world, still I feel I don’t have enough time to utilise the benefits of social networking sites. Access to Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp has brought the world at my feet as if my outlook has taken a paradigm shift from ‘sectarian’ to ‘cosmopolitan’ or ‘conventional’ to ‘liberal’.
One concern which is stealing the attention nowadays is the inauthenticity of the matter posted in social media or the fakeism. We are not sure of the truth of any incident which can spread hatred or anger leading to destruction of lives and properties. The tall claims of achievements or the incidents of atrocities must be verified by searching through net, watching news or reading newspapers. It is better to remain apolitical on social media by not expressing personal views on crucial controversial matters. If we have air conditioner at home, we should avail its benefits but at the same time should be aware that it causes pollution!! Hence control your mind when you use social media, do not get tempted, do not get jealous, do not feel low, do not feel over achieved or proudy when you are going through any site of social networking. Be normal, humble human being that you are and be concerned only with your subject of interests. Teach your children about the pros and cons of these sites, allow them to grow naturally with more connection to nature and natural life. Spend a healthy family time, travel, eat good food and post your mindblowing pics on Facebook or Instagram- your children will learn photography this way!! The positives are many, feel the “power of positivity”. It’s you and only you, who can control your own life !!