I found this comic very amusing that my friend tagged me in on Facebook days ago in which two kids are talking over coffee about tweets and Facebook statuses of their friends and fall in awkward silence as they run of this talk clearly finding it hard to think about any real issue. But as a brief smirk died down, settled the grave reality: we do find it fun to socialize online and so difficult not online!
What’s Gone Wrong?
It’s high time to strip that facade off our faces and do away with the lousy excuse of socializing online only just because we don’t have time otherwise. This socializing that all really started off from Orkut and knew no limits with Facebook kicking into the scene with Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ close on the trail has started giving alarm warning. We must wake up to our senses before it gets late.
Forgive me if I sound like a downright pessimistic or a neo-luddite thinking that our days on earth are numbered and hating technology more than Mondays. But the fact of the matter is that we really have to do something about it and it does concerns me a lot because I happened to take some time and dig up some stats on social networking indulgence and the teenagers. Jeez, were they worrying!
Since we do talk about teens in our blogs as they make up an important and one of the sensitive segments of our society, I devoured on the stats regarding the teens’ obsession with such social networking sites.
One important study conducted none other than Pew Research Center has revealed that teens are gradually preferring Twitter over Facebook for conversations and how they feel. But cumulatively, 67% of adults from 18 to 29 use some social networking site(s) in US as of December 2012.
ISPCC also conducted a study on more than 18,000 teenage students and found that majority of them had shared some personal detail with a total stranger online. Whoa! Knowing that there are all psychotic adults on the loose and scammers trying to elicit personal details for illegal use, this study did worry me!
Another study published in a journal, Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, revealed that excessive social media networking sites leads to depression and this phenomenon is more prevalent in teens rather than adults. Viewing pictures and statuses and check-ins posted by your friends make you feel that everyone is happy but is it really the case? The stats show otherwise!
Smartphones – taking Social Networking to a whole new level
Now we have the smartphones to fuel with, too. Despite being extremely handy and sweeping us away with all the possibilities; smartphones are also fueling up other issues. Back to Pew study, more than 67% of the teenagers who own smartphones use the social networking sites. And out of the 490 college students wow re the part of the study, 42% used the networking sites on their smartphones.
Call of Duty!
The researches I just quoted do call for a serious consideration. Where this social networking obsession would lead our children? Would it lead our kids to depression or derail them from their studies or any other personality disorder? For parents, it is generally advised to keep a close eye on the time their kids spend on such sites especially through their smartphones. If this is the case then the solution is not that tough or time taking. Installing a cell phone monitoring app will give you precise stats about your kids’ internet usage along with the most frequently visited sites. It’s time you teach your kid how to socialize in real life and how to ‘like’ other people’s opinions for a more real, wholesome and tolerant society!