Sameer Fida Hussain
He gave me a harsh stare. His vicious eyes were threatening. The gleaming brightness of the moonlit night only enhanced the ferociousness of his eyes. Without saying a word, he slithered into the cozy quilt and apparently began to doze off.
Moments later he was awakened by yet another beep and this time he used his mouth to vent out his vexation, “Naar log ath mobilas” (hell with your mobile). Sensing his soaring temper, I put my phone in silent mode and ignored his occasional glances.
Seemingly, he was feeling uncomfortable with the brightly lit six inch display of my mobile phone. A neatly audible snore came as a big relief to me as it signalled that my brother had fallen into a deep slumber.
This is a vivid narration of one of those nights when my brother who happens to be my chamber mate was overly irritated by my social networking addiction.
Fortunately, the poor chap has now adjusted to my maniac ways. Social networking has revolutionized our lives. Gone are the days when yesteryear Bollywood diva Bhagyashree had to sing ‘Kabotar jaa jaa jaa’ just to send a message of love.
These days the world is at your fingertips thanks to the founders of the social networking sites. Mark Koum and Brian Acton, the founder duo of Watsapp and Mark Zukerbérg the charismatic founder of Facebook deserve a special mention. The popularity of these two social networking sites has skyrocketed beyond imagination.
Though wechat, Instagram, twitter, imo and hike are also in the race but trends suggest that Facebook and Watsapp are galloping unbelievably and maintaining a good lead.
Overall there has been an information explosion and we must thank the developers of these sites for that. Serial production houses like Balaji telefilms, Wizcraft, Pritish Nandy communications, Nimbus Communications, Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network et al must be getting sleepless nights as the TRP's of their daily soaps and reality shows are decreasing alarmingly.
It is quite obvious that social networking has transformed our lives. But then there is a dark side to it the deleterious effect of which has taken a heavy toll on our lives.
We have distanced ourselves from our relations particularly the older folks. Leave aside paying a goodwill visit to our neighbor’s house; we are unable to give ample time to our children and elderly people.
Excessive obsession with social networking has made us dummies. Our mobiles keep beeping and we compulsively pick them up just to have a look at the latest arrivals.
Sometimes our innate voice tells us not to pick the phone but more often than not the temptation to see the message overpowers any sane thoughts that we might be having.
Almost every other day some admins adds you to his/her page and willingly or unwillingly you have to stay in the group's revered member list. Leaving a WhatsApp group/Facebook chat might give heartache to your friend.
Unconfirmed reports, uncensored material and malicious content spread like wild fire on social media platforms.
Memories of wailing parents carrying babies in their laps and rushing to hospitals in whatever transport they could gather when the rumour of children dying from polio drops spread are still fresh in our minds.
Flood threat in Kashmir, massive earthquake to strike Kashmir and other news keep doing rounds in social media. The height of moral backwardness can be seen when an individual is keen in streaming an accident/episode live than helping out the victims.
Students in their high and higher secondary classes become direct victims of net-addiction. Experts will tell you that adolescents develop excessive gregariousness in their teenage and access to social networking at this stage is highly detrimental for them.
Overuse of social networking sites is unknowingly a cause of some health problems. You put too much strain on your eyes and owing to less body movements you are bound to become obese.
Another problem that both WhatsApp and Facebook have is the ‘last seen/online’ thing that is starkly displayed atop the message display board. Some will argue that there is an option under the settings menu wherein you can keep yourself offline. By doing so your contacts will not come to know as to when have you seen your WhatsApp lately. But then you too are unable to see the ‘last seen’ of others. Ideally, people do not prefer to keep their ‘last seen’ hidden.
We have to strike a clear balance between the e-world and our routine obligations so that one may not get affected at the cost of the other.