Facebook and other social networking sites have become a very integral part of our life these days. It is definitely one of the best ways to unwind and connect with friends at the end of a gruesome day. For most of us, social networking is about reconnecting with lost friends, discussing work and useless banter with close pals. These platforms are alsoÂ utilizedÂ for product marketing by ad-gurus, filmmakers and professionals for promoting their work. More than anything, Facebook also provides a voice and a platform to those obscure, reticent and learned people who can finally get heard amongst the cacophony of millions.
But beyond that, there also seems to exist an entire sect of people on these networking sites who forge their identities in an attempt toÂ socialize.Â These are people who put on profile pictures of models and actors, change their names and attempt to make themselves acceptable by impersonating a fake individual with a personality which is an absolute contrast to what they are in their day to day lives.
So, the question that automatically arises is why do they have to resort to taking up a fake identity? The foremost reason is that most of these people seem to be ashamed or insecure about the way they look. Hence, every other guy or girl puts up a picture of a hunk or a model to increase their dating prospects. Then there are these nerds who keep suffering from social anxiety and are all shy and reticent in their real lives. But when the same person creates an account in a networking site, they inevitably use the platform toÂ fulfillÂ all their suppressed desires, desires which are natural and normal but unfulfilled due to their absolute lack of social skills. There are even people who create fake accounts just to get a few friends and compensate their lack of any social life whatsoever.
But does impersonating really put an end to their agony? The answer in most cases is a big NO. In reality, these accounts do more harm to them than good. Online chatting becomes an addiction to these people who seem to get a fresh lease of life, but only, temporarily. Once they switch off the computer, the world of their dreams comes crashing down and they are again brought back to the stark reality. The reality where they are often ridiculed and humiliated. The reality where they cannot really hold their own amongst their peers. Online chatting turns them even more reclusive and gradually they become more and more detached from the reality, finally becoming victims of depression.
In these circumstances, parents need to play a pivotal role and take control of these situations. Children, teens and young adults should not be allowed to access the internet too often. Networking sites should immediately take measures to block fake profiles. Children should be forced to take up group activities like sports because then only will they learn to interact and develop a chord of connect with the real world. Its high time that we bring a change and nip the flower in the bud otherwise the best ofÂ counselorsÂ or therapists will not come to any use while dealing with these patients of depression.