By Aliabbas Hameer (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
“We mingle in society not so much to meet others as to escape ourselves” Josh Billings
We live in a day of age where our lives are dependent on technology and we use that as a medium to interact and socialize with our peers through the social media platform. The self decorated woo-doo it is may spark positivity all around and create a surreal feel of immense interaction but within the depths of the core of this phenomenon, it destroys the human mind and the love instilled for one another.
Steven Strogatz of Cornell’s University in his study touched on a very interesting aspect in which he deduces how we foster our relationships when social media comes to play. In a conundrum, when we actively become part of the social media we tend to interact with more people and socialize with more people; different cultures, ethnicities and races. This all seems rather brilliant as we believe that since industrialization there has been a vast decline in people intermingling and now with this platform we can stay in touch. However, the irony is due to this platform we are gaining more relationships but we are loosing more meaningful relationships that we foster in the real world in comparison to the casual ones. Steven fears that our important connections will weaken, in specific; our wives, our parents, our children and our go to friends.
“He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain good relation with kin” – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Constant updates, Double encryption and new versions of anti-thefts on a daily basis, yet still the human mind prevails and is of greater strength than the man made security. A fair number of tech users are not media literate and thus very vulnerable to a fair number of threats, mainly cyber bullying and loss of personal information such as credit card details often due to scams. Once an individual is a victim of this it becomes virtually impossible to desensitize from the forthcoming problem and that leads to a path of self destruction.
According to Bullyingstatistics.org, over half of teens who use social teens have been bullied online. And over 25% of those have been bullied repeatedly. 4,400 cases have been registered with suicide linked to cyber bullying every calendar year.
With everything on our fingertips, the human race feels more connected and has everything accessible with just a touch. Surely, society has lost the importance of connecting physically and sparing a bit of their time to mingle and release the day’s stress. Instead we opt to Netflix and connect with one another using the social media platform, more is lost than actually gained. The theory that withstands is that ‘Long distance relationships are less likely to work out in comparison to short distance.’ The logic behind it Is rather straightforward and does not require rocket science to dissect, when one is with another physically they tend to share, open up and feel that sense of belonging which is virtually impossible to perceive over Facebook or Skype for that matter. Reality is more of an open book till you see into one heart and find out about their unique challenges only then will we treat each other more gently, with more affection, patience and tolerance.
Over the course of the article, we could conclude that in real terms we are more socially inclusive but psychologically we are more detached than ever. Adolescence is globally accepted as the most sensitive phase and is when the youth are required to socialize as they feel the need to share their problems with their folks. However, social media leads to the youth not very able to express themselves in the manner they wish to and feel very isolated in their box and this leads to, the most common outcome according to experts that youth are very prone to anxiety and depression.
All users, regardless of age are very addicted to their phones and spend hours on the phone everyday, a minimum of two hours in a day can destroy the sleeping patterns of one as the brain feels uneasy and very active due to the rays emitted from the phone. Humor aside, here our sleeping patterns are hindered and then there is us who hinder it by using it unreasonably and take our sleeping time by using our phone.
Lastly, the one that is very common in our community and one that needs to be stressed upon is the ‘Inferiority complex’ and ‘FOMO’. The two states is what at least 95% users of our community phase if not the whole, who are in constant need of creating an image and trying to blend in with everyone as they have have the ‘fear of missing out’. While the rest are busy comparing their lives relatively and end up belittle themselves, technically that should never be happening but we are not in control of the obvious. Thus, this leads to a very big problem that is regarded as common and not given the great importance that it is deserving of, which is building an ‘inferiority complex’ where one is completely shunned into a dark and is very complacent and is not willing to take on any task.
To conclude, I am a victim of all above. I use this as a medium to express this to you all that these are problems that if not dealt with seriously can lead us by getting stabbed on our back. If the social media mediums are used appropriately and productively there is nothing that is better and beneficial like it, but don’t let it use up your time where you could hit up on a football field, mingle over supper or a beach deck to socialize with your peers.