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Fading Nature of Sincere Relationships Due to Excessive Reliance on Social Media Communication Tools

Updated on March 25, 2018
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Introduction

Development and propagation of efficient communication media has been shaping our lives since long. Emergence of twenty-first century brought with itself the latest versions of information-exchange options i.e. internet and mobile telephony. Owing to its innate versatility, the internet is being perceived as the most-preferred communication option. The access to internet is being advocated as a birthright by humanitarian activists and this speak volumes about our dependence on such technology. On one side internet has empowered us enough to manipulate vistas of information and knowledge while on the other side such empowerment has resulted in social disconnections. A couple of decades ago sitting together was a social connection. Now, it would be paradoxical to say so. It is no more unnatural to find two siblings sitting together with their focuses miles apart. The prime culprit is advent of technologies, miniaturized to handheld levels and our obsession with them. Social media platforms, i.e. Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp etc, were introduced for finding new connections. However, this happened to be a blessing in a disguise because it offers so at the cost of ignoring the existing ones. This signals catastrophic social and cultural consequences.

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Social Media Platforms

One of the major aims of social networks is to broadcast more in less time. This poses limitations when it comes to corresponding with individuals. The communication involving individuals suffers due to lack of humanly characteristics such as body language, gestures and eye contact etc. An artificial screen can, in no way, replace the connectivity-jobs being undertaken by any of the five human senses. For example, a person sitting in Kashmir can connect with somebody sitting in California within no time. The connection was made possible because of internet and the only border between the two individuals remained the computer display. Similarly, one can connect to multiple people from various corners of the globe at a same time. However, on the other hand, such capability to broadcast cannot be compared to a human connection which is based on flow of emotions channeled in a natural manner.

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Negative Side of Social Media

Solidifying existing bonds and forming new connections demand time, dedication and attention. Communication via social media strips one of capability to acknowledge such things. For instance, a person might chat for long-hours with a friend on Facebook. Since a human soul demands natural touch and flow of natural signals in its affairs, such chatting is useless and will be incomplete unless incorporated with natural elements. In today’s materialistic world, we need a break from worldly affairs, most of which revolves around technology and social media etc.

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Major Flaw: Pervasive Fake Identities

While utilizing the social media as a means of communication one cannot eliminate the possibility of counterfeit identities since the computer screen is the only way to ascertain the individual on the other side. The world of internet is volatile enough to fell victim to incidents of identity theft, misrepresentations and attacks on privacy etc. Such rise in fake accounts and bogus identities puts one on the risk of being dodged. This erases the essential elements of authenticity from the internet culture and such makes the electronically-fueled human bonds, if any, suffer irreparably.

Internet addiction - online without end | DW Documentary

We, as an internet-crazed generation

Our excessive dependence on internet, if left unresolved, has catastrophic consequences which range from shattering our individualities to destroying the social structures. According to experts and psychologists, our obsession with digital communication gadgets etc is making us more alone. Such aloofness is giving rise to various psychological and social anxieties. Thus, if left unchecked, such obsession can lead to a society of psychos. This is evident from a real-world example. In Chinese city of Shanghai, the government has introduced Rehabilitation Camps to bring the individuals affected by obsession with digital world back into normal lives. Digital pollution, a term referring to harsh psychological effects of addiction with digital technologies, is a nightmare for experts and scholars alike.

Internet: The marvel of 21st century

The advent of internet has put before us a wide vista of data, information and knowledge. Such vista is beyond our capacity to absorb. This has given rise to a term called ‘information overload’ i.e. there is far more information than we can absorb. According to Thomas L Friedman, famous New York Times columnist, such malady of ‘information overload’ is resulting in diminished values and destroyed social norms. The columnist is of the opinion that the only thing which makes a junior respect a senior is the latter’s lead in knowledge, or experience. In an information overloaded environment where knowledge is a few clicks away assurance of such difference is an insurmountable tasks resulting in the junior feeling comparable to the senior.

The fact that modern-day social media platforms have furthered the options to form new social connections comes with sinister drawbacks. One of the most catastrophic discrepancies is its share in rifting the existing social connections and devaluing their importance.

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