Are today’s children getting sucked into the vortex of social media??
Internet, a term that has now become an integral part of our lives. The story of internet began with the development of electronic computers in the 1950s. However, it was not as advanced and no direct point to point communication. The concept of wide area network communication was then limited to the many computer science laboratories where it was being tried out. In the early 1960's the US department of Defense awarded contracts which also included the development of ARPANET project which was managed by Lawrence Roberts and Robert Taylor. It was the ARPANET project actually led to the development of protocols for internet working, where in multiple separate networks could be joined together to form network of networks.
The Internet Protocol Suite or the TCP/IP which is the standard network protocol on the ARPANET was developed by Robert E. Kahn and Vint Cerf in the 1970s. The commercialization of Internet through Internet Service providers began to emerge in the late 1980s. Fast forwarding to 2019 the internet has taken over every aspect of life, driven by greater amounts of online information, e commerce, entertainment, social media, Healthcare, almost anything and everything under the sun.
With the rapid advancement of the internet our lives have changed significantly. The impact can be felt in everything that we do from ordering food to romantic relationship. It has also changed the age old way of communication and language. Gone are the days when people used to browse through shops for selecting New Year, Christmas or Birthday cards. Now the new way of wishing Happy Birthday or Seasons’ greeting is just a matter of few clicks. Every aspect of our significant life has been impacted by the internet, be it wedding, baby birth, and many more. We are constantly looking to the great web for information and it has definitely changed the way we now organize, participate or record the most important aspects of our lives. Internet has also affected the way we build or form and maintain relationships with friends, family, office colleagues, romantic partners or other acquaintances. As a matter of fact we are more connected now and almost share moment to moment information regarding various aspects of our lives.
However, one thing that it has done is it has it has made everything very crowded. The social media and other interactive platforms are all crowd-based communication. It has certainly upended the way we used to think about our personal lives. Though there is a great exchange of ideas and the gap between cultures have narrowed down but we cannot deny the fact that it has certainly affected our privacy, it has impacted our subtlety. With more and more information strewn around the entire generation seems to be in a rat race to outperform each other in various departments of life. This also has led to the lack of security in our lives. There have been a growing number of crimes related to personal data theft, identities forged to commit crimes, extortion and many more. It has made us very vulnerable especially when it comes to children. Apart from these the whole of internet, social media and the digital world is very addictive. It has become a great cause of concern for parents regarding the ever growing addiction to social media. Well and it is not the younger generation that is getting addicted to the social media but the adults are completely hooked to it now.
As correctly pointed out in an educational video by Dr. Shefali Tsabary , a clinical psychologist, author and international speaker, points out to the fact that even though parents are very concerned about the internet and the social media we need to understand that the world is evolving and we need to accept those changes.
Social media is here to stay and the new age children will grow up and are growing up having that as an irrefutable part of their lives. As much as the parents are concerned and fear the consequences of social media addiction they need to understand that even before the children it is but the parents who are getting addicted first. Children emolliate what they see in their parents. Today social media has made us very self obsessed, attention junkie. Every time we post anything on the social media, like pictures or write-ups, the grownups constantly check the post for likes and comments. The more likes and appreciating comments they get, they more satisfied they are or if they do not get any appreciation it makes them to feel depressed. There are lots of parents who complain about their children being addicted to social media and yet if they want the children not to bother them either while resting or watching one of their special shows they would hand over their phone or laptop to the kids to browse so that they do not bother the parents. This happens all the time. As much as the parents are concerned about the impact of social media on children, it is time that they try and understand how to make a judicious planning so that they spend quality time with the children, set boundaries and limits for social media usage and those can be set and followed only when the parents themselves follow those rules to make an impact.
The parents need to understand that we need to first accept that this phenomenon is here to stay. This is a part of the evolution process and we cannot deny its presence. However, what we need to understand is that it is the time when we need to balance our lives, internet and social media has made us lazy and lethargic when it comes to physical activities as well has in a weird sort of way we have become very social on the internet and yet very unsocial in reality. There will be many instances wherein you enter into a room to find members of the same family pouring over their mobile phones while there is pin drop silence in the room. A huge transfer of thoughts and ideas are happening all but in the virtual world. We are slowly becoming like tiny islands.
This is time we need to buckle up and get back to some old school stuff along with the all the new age ones. Inculcate the habit of reading, outdoor activities, family group discussion, meal times together, and all of these should be done while staying away from the electronic gadgets. We proactively need to take time out of the digital, virtual world and indulge ourselves in the real world make life more joyful away from social media. Get creative, join some hobby classes along with your children, learn together, and learn from each other. We need to connect to each other more at this age. We need to be judicious in extracting information, entertainment, out of the great Web but see that we do not get entangled in its cobwebs.
By: Madhuchanda Saxena
Posted By - Assistant Editor