A few days back, during the Ganpati festival, I had been to Dagdusheth Ganpati in Pune, like every year. But the scenario looked very different this time. After the two terrible years of the pandemic, I, as a firm believer was thrilled to visit the temple with repetitive chants of Ganpati Strotra unlike others around me who were busy either clicking a picture or making videos for reels. Then the question that I casually scrolled on my social media handle just before I stepped out of the car, flashed in front of me, "Are we using social media, or is Social Media using us?" In this era of the Internet and Infomation & Technology, everyone wants to broadcast the happenings in their life LIVE! Artificial Intelligence is valued more than common sense!
We took the darshan and on our way back home, another imagination flashed in front of my eyes: A newspaper filled with accidents, mishaps, and death due to addiction news and all because of social media. I kept thinking how can I change this situation? And as usual, the answer was by writing about it! So here are the ways I thought would be useful in preventing everyone from falling prey to this addiction!
1) It is okay not to show up if you do not feel like it!
With broadcasting everything happy on our feeds, it has become mandatory to keep them updated with the latest trends. However, in our real lives, we do feel and face all sorts of emotions, happiness is not the only feeling we live with. So, if one day, we do not feel like showing up, that's still okay! Sometimes, watching a particular type of content also gives us that feeling, we still subconsciously keep watching it for the heck of it! It is about time we consciously stay aware of what content is good for us and which type of content leaves us feeling blue!
2) The never-ending toxic relationship of being lonely hence using the internet:
A significant decrease in face-to-face communication has resulted in excess internet usage. Accessing the internet is usually seen as the result of loneliness, however, how about increasing face-to-face conversations and developing some meaningful connections even when ONLINE?
3) Keeping the consequences of excess usage in mind:
A study shows a difference in overall human behavior post excess usage of the internet. Distress, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety, mood swings, poor behavioural issues, and abnormal life functioning are a few to name. These will be very soon categorized into Internet Use Disorder.
4) Age-related issues:
Excess use of the internet affects differently to different age groups. "Young adults who are majorly occupied in gaming and entertainment will result in aging early. On the other hand, old adults who seek learning and exploring to broaden their horizons tend to live longer. " states the study conducted by Ted Schwaba. "If big companies like Google and Facebook try to focus more on mental well-being rather than profits, we will be able to maximize the benefits of the internet while we minimize its harmful effects!" States the same Psychologist.
Nilshree D Yelulkar
(Nilshree is a full-time mum and a homemaker. She is a self-published author of 6 books and a podcaster. She is an instinctive writer whose inspiration comes from the most unexpected places and incidents. With her daily writings, she tries to add an EXTRA to her ORDINARY life)