People always call me unsocial, because I am not in Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, and Tango etc. Whenever I miss any news of my friends, and family, or other events the first thing they say, “Oh! How come would you know about it? Were you in Facebook? We have posted photos, given status, shared the event! Now you are probably the last person to know it. Shame! You are such an unsocial! Be social, girl!” Come on! Just not being active in social networking sites is making me unsocial? Ugh! Why do not you call me up, or text me? My phone is always switched on! Is the social media only way to be connected!?
Ya! I admit social networking sites are great platforms for connecting people, but it cannot be the only way of socializing with people. Before starting this heated argument of being social or unsocial by social networking sites, let’s see, of what our lives are consisted? Almost all of our lives are consisted of job, family, study, wedding/birthday ceremony on weekdays, and weekends, official/business meetings, club, and party things etc. Traffic jam is undoubtedly another very important part of our life too. So, of course, people, nowadays, are living extremely busy lives. Even it seems some of us are not getting time to breathe in, and breathe out! After the businesses, and busyness of a day, the rest is one’s time of rest, or family time, which, I sincerely admit, should be unperturbed.
Now, having such a hectic lifestyle, it is a difficult case for making time for others. Social networking sites really seem to be a great relief at the end of the day. So, the little time the busy people get, they quickly manage to check the notifications, count the likes, post status, read others’ posts, share things etc. If not so, for entertainment, they play games on mobile, and tablets. Very normal. But some people get very absorbed within these sites. Now my question is that the time they spend on social networking sites, and games, cannot they spend it on visiting people, calling up, or calling back people, or texting at least? On the other hand, it is very untrue that people spend little time on social media. If you ever minutely notice them you will see that they are in fact spending more time on social media. Even sometimes they are seen to be late for other works, duties, and responsibilities just because they are socializing on social networking sites. If the working hours are spent sincerely as working hours, people would be getting real time after work to do the real socializing.
And what kind of socializing it is on social networking sites? For example: someone posted, “I am sick.” Friends and followers will flood that person with thousand likes! Likes? What do they like actually? The matter that the person has managed to post about his sickness, or that the person is sick? These ‘like’s are weird, and irrational. Sympathy can never be synonymous to ‘like’. The comment box will be filled up with “Get well soon” with some flower emoticons. How many of them call up the sick person, or visit him with flowers in real? And a page that is full of other posts too, how long people can remember that one person who has posted that he is sick? So, later almost no chance of knowing about the man whether he has got well, or not. How unlucky! Another example: if someone posts “I am feeling too lonely, and depressed. Feeling like dying!”, whole lot of people out there thinking instantly that something wrong is going there in his conjugal life (if he is married), or something bad has happened with parents (if not married, and not in love), or his love has broken (if he is in love)! Come on guys, cannot one be feeling depressed on any other matter too? Why narrowing down the scopes with one’s own personal life, and getting judgmental? And also commenting, “Leave your wife/ parents/ your girlfriend. It sucks!” without trying to know what has exactly happened to him, or how his partners, and parents are exactly like. This surely is insulting! Some also posts: “Robin (my heinous hubby) slapped me!” or “Winnie (my wobbly wife) smooched me just a sec ago!” … Seriously? You are just making your personal life public? I do not know what pleasure people get out of these behaviors! Seems people are losing aesthetic sense just because some of them love to earn likes, and debates on them on social networking sites! And some other thinks that if this sort of status be posted, it must be in trend, so I can post something like that too! Alas! The foolish copycats! Pity!
But the most pity is, we are spending our time reading all these bogus status in the name of getting connected with people. Yes, bogus! If a survey were ever done, we would see, I think, that half of the status produced a day in whole world are non-productive, biased, personal, and useless. The numbers of the bogus status are so many that the other half of the status count which are really good, and constructive get lost somewhere until, and unless they are widely shared. When time is money, we are spending our precious time, and spoiling money on these bogus things. And we are growing a habit of becoming unnecessarily nosy on each, and every matter without considering the validity of our rights to do so. Moreover, have we ever thought that when we are very busy in listening others on social networking sites, someone very close to us is kept ignored, and neglected, and unheard? Do you call this socialization? I do not.
When someone is only fifteen minutes away from office/ and home, or a stairs away from a flat, we are still making calls, and video calls instead of visiting physically. Why do people no more care for a hug, a handshake, a touch, or seeing someone face to face, knowing the sweet smells of his/ her, or of the home, or seeing someone’s beautiful gesture while talking from proximity? A video calling only focus the persons, not the whole environment. To me, not only someone’s face, or word is important, the whole environment is equally important too. Seeing is believing, seeing is learning. The less we will see, the less we will learn.
Even people are seen busy with looking at the screens, while a person next to him/her is telling something interesting, or tragic, or important. If the busy person is asked why not he cares to look up at the other person, he must be saying proudly and snobbishly that he can multitask. Having the quality of multitasking is extremely appreciable, but not having the etiquette and beauty of conversation is extremely not appreciable. I feel a conversation must need an eye to eye contact, which can enable the speaker, and the listener to read both the heart, and the brain of each other. A conversation needs to notice the body language to know the authenticity of the topic. Leave the authenticity; even one does not care about the authenticity, yet he or she should be looking up at the other person while talking. That is called respect. Also looking at each other while talking radiates a warm feeling that is very helpful for every relationship. But the warmth people are getting from the magnetic field generated by the communication gadgets are not good for health, and brain at all. Now, it is really crucial to decide which warmth we really need for ourselves.
I do not believe in the socializing that kill my real time, and benefit me less. I do agree there are useful pages on useful things on social networking sites. Subscribing them may be helpful in getting information, and knowledge. But I do prefer reading books, newspaper, going into the library to enhance my knowledge. I want to enrich myself with the knowledge collected from the firsthand, and primary sources. Surely, primary sources of knowledge are the best sources of knowledge. I prefer visiting people. I prefer calling them up, or texting or mailing weekly to know their whereabouts, and how about, rather wasting time reading useless status every day to pick one news that is occurring once in a year probably. I feel it tasteless to peep into the details of other peoples’ personal lives, even if they allow me to do so. There is no obligation on earth to gulp down everything people feed you no matter how distasteful it is. I firmly believe in this. I utilize my working hour properly so that I can get time to visit others. I never miss a call, if I do I feel it obliged to call back, or text back. Playing games on mobile, tablets, or play-stations is never my priority.
Above all, I feel it a complete wastage of time being absorbed more than half of the day in social media. I have books to read, nature, and people to observe, flower gardens to gardening etc. These are very constructive, and broaden the mind. Those who call me unsocial, I do not know what is their last time to look up at the sky and say “wow!” All they do is to press the button ‘like’ on other’s photos, or on Instagram. God bless us all that there are people who look up at the nature whole heartedly, and photographed them; otherwise these social media butterflies would be forgetting the nature long ago. But, then the question comes why not you are the one of them who sees the nature? It seems the world gets divided into two groups: a group that experience the world firsthand, and the group that experience it secondhand. When the whole world is busy acquiring the equality in every sector … equality between male, and female, between regular genders, and transgenders, between homosexuals, and heterosexuals, why then there would be inequality in experiencing the world? Why do one group give always, and the other earn it lazily when they have the chance of earning it by themselves. I read somewhere that the beak of the sparrow was not this much hard long ago. But with the evolution- their eating habits, the nature of food they used to take has made their beaks grown hard. And evolution is nothing but the long maintained habits that influence a genetic change. The way nowadays people are not using their senses directly to do things, I am afraid, with the evolution one day human kind would turn into a blunt species. Probably we would not be able to move our pupils from this side to that, or could lose our flexibility as the result of our today’s deeds – focusing our eyes, brain, senses only into a small screen, a small world that is hallucinated the biggest; but in real it is not. The charm of social networking sites are awesome, but dangerous at the end. In connecting people it is really useful, but it is no less harmful in disconnecting you from the real world.
I am not dead against of these social networking sites. But I am against of those people who think it the only way to get social. As I can manage to be social in other ways, I mostly avoid the social media. I would like to be called unsocial moth rather than becoming short lived, deformed social media butterflies. Life is beautiful sometimes in its original form. And I want to live.
N.B: Some people mistake the blogging sites as social networking sites. Blogging sites are simply the platform to publish one’s creativity. Bloggers deal with many issues, including social issues. The feedback comes much sooner here, and sometimes they are personal too. But that does not make the blogging sites social networking sites.
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