As time has gone by, we as a human race are progressing more and more by the day. But is this progress only for the good? Everything has pros and cons, without exception. We cannot say that progress is only for the good; there are some major drawbacks to today’s way of life and technical trends.
With the advent of the technical-era that we live in today, the biggest loss to humankind is of human connections. Today, social media has taken precedence over real life. It’s no longer about quality of life as it’s about its appearance on social media. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social networking site, a person’s value changes based on their hold on a social media platform. ‘Popularity’ is what everyone seeks; having a 1000 friends on these virtual places, but not even one in real life.
It has made people lonelier than ever before and they are yearning for the kind of human connections shared by people before social media took over their life; where people would talk to their friends in person, go to a theatre to watch a movie, where children would jump around and play in the mud and get their clothes dirty; where quality of the spoken language held a certain amount of class and there was no S.M.S. language.
Social media is not bad, obviously. It connects people the world over. You could have friends in any part of the world and stay in touch and be involved in their lives. But what we have done is let this take up the best part of our lives and in a way letting it control our life rather than us controlling it. It is good to be connected to people living halfway across the globe, but can we let those relationships define us? Can we let the virtual contact exist as the only contact, or do we also need physical contact with our fellow human beings, living around us; sharing our living space? Do we really know these individuals; do we really know these so-called people we live with; be it family or friends or relatives?
The internet has opened up new realms for us and made the world a smaller, more compact place, breaking cultural barriers and introducing us to the lives and traditions of different people the world over. As wonderful as this is, it is also a reason for mimicking and merging of different lifestyles which have affected the population negatively in many ways. In a country like India, exposure to the Western world is more of a setback than anything else, because a majority of the country is still living in the yesteryears; they are people with a strong etched rural background and a sudden blow of modernity is not something they can handle. This is also a major cause for rape in the country.
With more than half the population having their roots in the rural backdrop, when they are exposed to the diversity present in the current world view, most of them are lost. Some eventually learn to adjust to the new ways of life, while others fall prey to the original animal-instinct from which they can’t even rescue themselves. When they move from villages to big cities like Delhi or Mumbai, it is a cultural shock for them as they encounter women not only openly speaking, but also arguing or fighting with men and dressed in ways, which to their eyes is provocative and disturbing. These men are not as well educated or rather, don’t have the kind of exposure that the current world is experiencing and leads to molestation and rape and yet they are unaware of what they have done wrong.
With the current rush to be a part of the most popular social networking sites, most people are losing the human connect. It is one thing to portray a happening and colourful life on a place like Facebook or Instagram, but a completely different thing to be living that life in real. Truth remains that if what we portray is actually true, we would not really have the time to update it all on these platforms or care what people think about what we are doing. These desires are a result of loneliness and the absence of real people in life. The ‘show-off’ attitude is kicking in, which is nothing other than, ‘I am bored and would like some interaction with my social media friends’, which would fill in the absence of real friends in the real world.