Current location: New Delhi, India
Time: 0730 hrs
Broad daylight. A mouthful of breakfast and he’s ready for the night’s sleep.
No, its not a jet-lag. Neither it is a nightwatchman job at a call center or an off day at work. Its a routine that 18 year old Ajay follows. Updating statuses, changing profile pics, posting “haawt” comments, playing pool games and chatting with friends, Ajay tweets his way through the night; leading a lifestyle addicted to social networking.
Dwelling in the virtual world of emoticons, he along with many of his peers, likes to rock to the beats of ‘hooting owl music’ at night.
Rejoicing in the currency of “likes”, the nocturnal youth of today suffers from heavy eyes, dizziness, headache and low concentration by the morning; raising a deep sense of concern among parents and academicians. Where recent surveys show soaring number of high school grads flocking social networking websites for long duration, institutes are trying to take necessary steps to curb this addiction. Lately, two of India’s prestigious engineering colleges: Indian Institutes of Technology, Delhi and Madras have implemented restriction on the WiFi connections in campus hostels between 12am and 6am. The reason, according to Shashi Mathur, dean, students, IIT-D, is to ensure that the academic performance of students does not suffer. He says, the internet connection, which was available to students during the midnight hours earlier, would disrupt their studies. Students would watch videos or be busy on social networking sites till late in the morning. Hence, waking up late and getting delayed for classes.
Facebook, the addictive virtual world where “friend requests” come easy and ”likes” come free, has become more of a “hangout” place where people find it interesting to “check in” other persons life. Sarah, 22, a Canadian student at Kings College said, “I want to know what is going on in my friend’s life. It’s not only a curiosity with Facebook. I like to feel like I’m part of their life.”
Every time you log onto Facebook, friendship invitations await you.
David Smallwood, head therapist at Priory’s Addictions London told a daily journal that at least 10 per cent of the Facebook population is vulnerable to “friendship addiction”. This means that many people take their Facebook friends list seriously. The focus and time they spend on creating a brand on these social networking sites is a standing testimony to the awakening of the narcissist in today’s society.
Paulo Coelho, best selling author of ‘The Alchemist’ , says
“Technology is not an alternative to real life.
Facebook is not an alternative to friendship.
Enjoy both, but don’t forget you need real people around”
Facebook, therefore should be used to connect, stay in touch easily, share views and not waste time on.
P.S.- Try experiencing the world outside Facebook, it’s beautiful.