Sunday, June 23, 2013

A modern day monster (post 12)

While the Internet has totally revolutionized the way we live, making it so easy to do anything really, where everything is  literally a click away, it also has given us one of the biggest monster of our times-- FOMO.
(Click on the link to read a superbly written piece on this)

To quote from the above article:

 We are so connected with one another through our Twitter streams and Foursquare check-ins, through our Facebook and LinkedIn updates, that we can’t just be alone anymore. The fear of missing out (FOMO) — on something more fun, on a social date that might just happen on the spur of the moment — is so intense, even when we’ve decided to disconnect, we still connect just once more, just to make sure.

A joint research study conducted by Berlin’s Humboldt University and the Darmstadt’s Technical University reveals that spending  a large amount of time on social networks leads to negative feelings. There are many more such studies which support this finding.

While social networks are supposed to make us feel connected, the fact is, it causes 'warped friendships'. It is so easy 'to be a friend' on facebook. Someone posts a status saying they are feeling unwell, and immediately it gets responses saying 'Awww..get well soon' etc. I am not for a moment suggesting that the wishes for a recovery are fake. What I am saying is that, it is definitely easy to post a response to this message, in a single line, having felt that 'you did something'. A true friend would call to find out how you were doing, and would probably turn up at your door-step with Khichdi  and Soup.


Users have confessed that they feel good and happy about their lives, until they log into their Facebook Accounts. These are not just teenagers, but also adults. They constantly compare themselves to the pictures which their friends posted (Oh, I had a great vacation in greece. We went to Iceland for a vacation) and then wonder what they are doing with their lives.

Many a time, Facebook also causes intense feelings of 'having been left out' when you discover that all your 'friends' went to a movie, without you, or had a party and you discovered it through Facebook.

Of course, we all only post 'our best side' on Facebook. We show only the good things. I had once posted a tweet which said that 'How come everybody is happy, smiling and having a great time' on Facebook?

While I do use Facebook extensively to interact with my readers  (I find Facebook a fantastic medium for this) I also limit the time I spend on this site.  Browsing endlessly through albums of other people whom you don't even know, I find is, such a waste of precious time.
 Time which could have been used more effectively in picking up that phone and speaking to your friend---or better still, visiting them and having real conversations.

I am truly grateful for the network of my closest friends, who I value so much.

And not a single one of them, connects with me on FB.

Our relationship is 'real' not just virtual.

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12 comments:

  1. Greatly Said!!
    It's absolutely true! I used to compare myself with friends all the time!!! Fortunately I gotta know, what could be reason for it!!! It's none other than FB..
    Ofcourse it's very difficult without FB..
    To be frank! It became just like my dress!!!
    I used to be in FB through-out a day! Not because, im addicted, it became integral part of my life....
    Will try to draw a line.
    Thanks for the post. Let it be an eye opener...


    Cheers,
    Prabhu

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  2. Talking about social networking sites is like talking about never ending milky-way... ;)
    Well said and its really a major concern for teenagers in case of FB... They will never be able to appreciate the feel of real friendship with this virtual world!!

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  3. What you told is correct. People really think that a facebook message or wish is more than enough than a face to face or direct verbal intereaction. But at the same time it is a boon to some to be informed on a persons personal development

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  4. Loved this blog of yours ...

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  5. I lead a blissful Facebook free, Twitter free, Linked in free (what is Foursquare !) existence. And I didn't post any of my Icelandic vacation snaps anywhere for anybody to get jealous :):) Plus I suffer from a serious affliction of the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO) syndrome !

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    1. Ramesh..I heard JOMO is contagious. I want it now. How will I ever catch it if you never have coffee with me? ;) :)

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  6. Wow, well said Mam- Truly inspiring post. All youngsters should really read this post. Spending time on facebook, should surely be limited. And yes, we do get indulge in other people profiles just to check what they did and what they wore or how beautiful they look. These small things, do create a great impact in our lives. We hardly notice it :(

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  7. Well anything in excess is harmful,as the cliche goes.That includes social networking too.It does give rise to depression when we think people's perceptions of us depends on the "Likes" and "Comments" and "Shares".

    It'll not affect us when we explore and appreciate ourselves first :)

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  8. Affirmative !!!!! But also it' depends upon the individual...one should realize that fb is just a part of social life and not completely...

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  9. Loved the article Preeti...I dont have a FB account..I restraint myself from opening for the reasons you have mentioned in the post...I dont know whether I am missing out something....But I am definitely having wonderful "real" time with my little kids,family and close friends...

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  10. Absolutely true Preeti! So many things we do today, are just for the sake of making updates on FB. I don't remember going to a market during my childhood, and spending more time on clicking pics. We do that today so that we can upload the pics and announce to the world - "Fun weekend". As if those visits to the market in the childhood were not fun!

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