There are 24 hours in a day. 5 hours I spend watching TV, 2 hours collectively are spent in eating, for 2 hours I finally sit and study and for hardly 4 hours, I sleep. Hold on, I am a bit confused! If all these hours add up to 13, where did rest of the 11 hours go? Oh yes! These 11 hours I spent chit chatting with friends on Facebook and Whatsapp. This is not just me, but most of us spend our days in a similar manner. We are always connected to people in all corners of the world through either Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. We are always aware about what all is happening across the world. We are just so awesome! Aren’t we?
Yes, we are. Why not call ourselves awesome? If no one around us appreciates us, why not blow our own trumpet? After all it is the latest trend. We all are so proud about the fact that we are so quick and spontaneous in anything we do. We have a high grasping power. Be it Android, Mac or Windows, it doesn’t take more than 3 days for us to understand the whole system. Any new app that is launched, we are the first ones to download it. Any new meme on facebook, we are the first ones to share it amongst friends. Any new trend on twitter, we are the first ones to retweet it. Any new message on a social networking site, it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to respond back. We are never late. We all our just so quick. So responsive. So SOCIAL!
But is this the real picture? Are we really social? Does being active on the so called ‘social networking sites’ makes us really social? Think about it? Does being active on facebook making us social in real life? Look around you and consider all your cousins and friends. They all must be highly addictive to social networking. But are they the same in real life? Does social networking make them social in anyway? First of all, let us clarify as to what being ‘social’ really means. We can call a person social only when he is interested in meeting his relatives, his friends, is keen on knowing new people, interacting with them, making efforts to retain the relationship, meeting near and dear ones regularly, keeping full track of their well being, organizing get together to sustain relations, etc. etc. Now tell me. Are we really social?
Yes, we are. Obviously we make plans go over to our friends’ homes for sleepovers and day spends. But unfortunately, there also we have nothing to talk about as everyone of us is busy in our phones, busy texting our ‘social networking’ friends! You can’t call me anti social, as I (unwillingly) attend my mom’s relatives marriages and then get stuck between old people who tell me age old stories about how I used to be when I was small. I fret my father scolds me to keep my phone aside for a few minutes and concentrate on the wedding. Gone are days when people used to talk to each other on metros or flights. Now everyone is busy on their laptops or their ‘dearest’ cell phone. Today if a person says that he is capable of talking to another person for 5 continuous minutes without looking at his mobile phones even once, I would like to give him a noble prize. Facebook and Twitter were not enough that the brand new ‘Whatsapp’ jumped in! We are busy texting our whatsapp friends in class, in the bus, on the road and even in the loo. 2 p.m. at night, when we finally take the most difficult decision to leave our phones aside and sleep, suddenly our whatsapp vibrates and we are excited to check who is it! And then there is no question of sleeping. All these social networking apps have made us into caged animals or let’s say hard core drug addicts who can’t even think of living without them. We will be well informed about our Australian facebook friend, but we would never know that our grandfather is suffering from high fever. We will have no time to listen to what our mothers are telling us do because all our attention would be diverted towards our laptops or phones. We just hate going over to some relatives place and meet them. When our parents ask us to talk to people and spend time with them, we just say that we have nothing to talk about. But when it comes to social networking, our talks just don’t’ seem to end.
So what is the fun of using a social networking site or an app when it is not helping us in the real life. Today if you are a person who doesn’t have a facebook or whatsapp account but you love to socialize with people in the real world, you are termed as ‘old fashioned’. But if you have no information about who is the new neighbor who has come to live in the flat next to yours because you are too busy on twitter, you aren’t blamed because socializing with the world! What type of socializing is this? Isn’t it making us self centered? Isn’t it turning all able bodied people into dumb because they just know how to text but don’t know how to greet a person who is standing in front of them? If man is termed as a ‘social animal’ then let us just remove the word ‘social’ and accept that man is no less than an animal today. Then why are we even living together? Let us all just leave our homes and go out to live in forests where we only want a phone and an internet connection. So what do you want to become: Social or Anti Social?