New Delhi :
We are all required to do several things at once in the era of Twitter, Facebook and text messages. Our lives have turned digital, gone absolutely virtual with the online presence.
Our brains are busier than ever before, we tend to use fingers more and our eyes roll vertically scrolling through our social media accounts.
On Tuesday when microblogging website suddenly collapsed due to some technical glitch, followed by some sporadic outages in US and Canada, twitteratis were left stranded. The site was down for about 5 minutes and these 5 were the most unbearable minutes for twitteratis who were unable to tweet and they went berserk over it!
This whole episode of just 5 minutes led to a series of Twitter hashtag trends on the microblogging website itself.
Last year, Facebook also had gone down, due to technical difficulties in January owing to hacking groups which later proved to be an error instead.
Then in September the site and mobile app were reported down briefly. This led our lives to a complete halt. Such outages are even worse than power outages actually.
Our absolute dependency on social media and the virtual world charms have made us robotic fingers, we are all so tantalised by the power to update and reach out the far ends of the world that we have actually acquired robotic tendencies.
This so-called social media has left us socially crippled. You know how? Long before when we didn’t have mobile phones in every hands and internet connections, we all used to behave humanly, again not robotic when sitting in groups, chit chatting, hanging out and actually talking to each other. No texting!
Now, we’re so much assaulted with facts, jibber jabber and rumours, all masquerading as information that we have no time left to interact with the person sitting next to us.
We are so busy in trying to figure out what we need to know and what we can ignore that it has become an exhausting task for us.
The blame is not to be put on the technology but the degenerating lifestyles. The hedonist lifestyle that we have acquired is what kills the actual meaning of the word ‘social’.
Outages on social media websites leave us so restless that we are brimming with upheaval, anxiety to post, post and post online. We are slowly becoming that hedonistic generation that derives pleasure only through online presence.
Numerous studies have also been conducted in the past that come up with the apocalypse warning of excessive dependency on social media.
We text while crossing the road, our lifestyles have become more sedentary, surreptitious looks at the status updates of online friends, we might call it multi-tasking as well.
Attention please! Neuroscientists have earlier mentioned the facts on ‘divided attention’. What we call as multi-tasking is actually ‘divided attention’. Scientists see cognitive cost in doing multiple things at one time. For the simple reason that our brains are not wired to multitask well.
Indubitably, computers and internet connectivity has given a boost to the rapid flow of information. Facts, News, events are all here no matter where they occur. The technology has become even more intuitive and user friendly. But everything has its pros and cons too.
First comes health, we have become more sedentary than ever before. We have become more of virtual world robots and less of humans. Social media not always but sometimes also puts you in a false sense of connection. Your online presence somewhere makes you vulnerable to unseen and unwanted cyber bullying.
Our indispensability on social media is proven by our dependency on it. It has also reduced productivity, it is said that spending an hour a day on social media is equal to nine weeks a year. Now you can imagine the loss of productivity that comes at the cost of excessive use of social media.
Considering all these factors we all should try to forge that connection which is missing, apart from the virtual presence. It should not become a neural addiction for us in the end.