(Anti) Social Media

I bumped into an elderly co-passenger in train the other day who was struggling to manage his contacts on phone. Sensing that I am a technology guy (due to my laptop, I guess) he asked me for help. Now for any of us who have grown in the word of technology, this is certainly not the most difficult problem to solve. Sure enough, I helped him out and was satisfied to see a smile on his face. In appreciation, he spoke - ‘how wonderful is it that the world has become smaller due to technology!’. Before I could decide whether to agree or disagree, my station was waiting for me and I stepped out of the train.

Has technology made the world smaller? Or bigger? Earlier in villages, away from technology, everybody would know each other well and share their joys and sorrows together. Today, yes, we can talk to our friend on the other side of the globe, but do we know or care to know who is our neighbor? Haven’t the distances with our neighbors, with our family members, with each other, increased?

Search for “social media depression’, “social media loneliness” in Google and you will see tons of scientific studies and news articles telling how anti-social the social media has become. Here is a sample:

…the list goes on.

lonely cartoon

We are people. We need people. How wealthy you are, is determined by number of things you have that money can’t buy. It is relationships that make us happy. People are to be loved, objects are to be used. Unfortunately, we have come far, so far, that objects are being loved and people are being used. Our capacity and willingness to deal with inter-personal differences has got so reduced that we prefer texting over calling, we prefer Facebook friends over real friends. Social media began well, with a lot of promises, but has only ended up leaving many lonelier than ever before. Of course, social media in itself is not good or bad. When one realizes that life is bigger and more real than social media, when one recognizes ones spiritual identity, one is able to use technology as one’s servant and doesn’t end up becoming its slave!

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Vishal Kaushal
Research Scholar | ML Consultant

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