I am a social media addict. My social life is often limited to hitting likes on the posts of my friends and snooping on intriguing people on Facebook and Twitter. I don't travel much because of travel sickness. I hence follow websites on social media which would take me on a virtual tour to different parts of the world. I also find happiness going through vacation photos posted by my friends.
The debate on Indispire this week is whether social media is killing relationships. In my honest opinion, it isn't because it can't. Social media is a powerful social tool. It is the individual who indulge themselves mindlessly on social media neglecting family life who is to be blamed for the problems he/she brings into the relationships.
When scientists invented nuclear fission, their dream was to use its immense energy for constructive purposes. But like always, we have found out that the same energy can be used to kill and erase entire cities in a flash. Likewise, every good invention is misused. On one side we find social media being used for creating awareness about disasters, diseases, terrorism, new inventions, crowdfunding and also actively reconnecting individuals. On the other side, we also find it being used to troll individuals, public shaming, porn, and terrorism. The world has become a smaller place thanks to the social media and the internet.
Like every interesting tool, it is becoming an addiction. I remember the years when cable television was first introduced. I used to spend hours before it. My parents were worried that my grades would go down. They thought I might be getting all the wrong ideas from the foreign serials and programs I was being exposed to. Luckily, I had the common sense to cut down on what might harm me. I guess the same applies to social media.
We have family WhatsApp groups which allow us to stay in touch with the family members living away from us. College and School groups bring in tides from ex-classmates. I connect with my readers and other writers through Facebook and Twitter. My first publishing opportunity came via Facebook.
I know it is not all rosy on Social media. I have faced public shaming and trolling from people whom I considered as friends. But like in life, we recognise the real nature of these individuals through such happenings . It is often at the time of crisis that real friends appear. Jerks on the internet are often jerks in real life. They rightly deserve that special slot on your blocked list. Purge them and protect your sanity. For the sociopaths and psychopaths, we have the cyber police.
Another common complaint these days is that infidelity is on the rise after old campus flames are getting reconnected via social media. Again the individuals are to be blamed. If everything was fine in their relationships, the flame would have failed to rekindle in the first place.
What is to be strictly monitored is the time we spend on social media. It eats away at our family time if we do not monitor it. We can become its master instead of its slave if we are aware of the impact it has on our time and relationships. Rekindle the spark in a dying relationship by visiting a counsellor.
Do you think social media is to be blamed for the failure of many relationships?