Social Networking

13 Dec
Can’t keep away from social networking sites? Then, it’s time you got yourself…
A US study has found that 200 college students, who were asked to surrender all gadgets that could be used to connect to the Internet and to social networking sites for 24 hours, reported withdrawal symptoms similar to drug and alcohol addiction. 
We have seen addiction to alcohol, addiction to smoking, addiction to drugs but say hello to a new form of addiction which is spreading amongst the youth like a forest fire: – addiction to social networking sites.
Instead of going out and forming real friends, today’s youth is confining themselves to a virtual world where their imaginary friends have become their reality. The youth is stuck in front of their computers, their eyes glued to their screens. Rather than their family, studies and society, their lives now revolve around facebook, orkut and twitter. Excessive logging on to chat rooms has spoiled the language and spellings of the adolescents. All correct long before became ‘ok’ and now it’s just a ‘k’. Today, instead of going out with their families, they prefer poking their friends; instead of telling their parents about their day, they prefer tweeting the whole world about it; instead of talking to their friends, they prefer scrapping them.
The virtual world keeps them so hooked that they lose sense of real time. If they have some problems or are going through a dilemma, they prefer sharing it with other netizens and often end up getting wrong advice. People hardly ever get to know whether the person they are talking to is real or not; the image that is being projected is true or not. The virtual world is after all imaginary only and one’s net friends can’t forge a true bonding ever as real friends can as net friends can’t really see those emotions in the eyes and can’t feel that warmth of the touch. Moreover, if one is in trouble and needs help, I doubt these ‘friends’ of ours will come to our aid…. Some of them might be living in other countries.

Explosive growth of Internet use among young people has been mirrored by increasing awareness of its potential positive and negative impacts on the health and development of children and adolescents. Recently, public concern has focused on accounts of youth being sexually solicited and harassed on social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook. Some politicians and lawmakers are advocating measures to restrict youth access to social networking sites as a means of preventing online sexual exploitation of youth Internet users. Beyond anecdotal accounts, however, whether social networking sites truly increase the risk of sexual solicitation and other forms of online victimization, including harassment, has not been empirically examined. Without empirical support, it is possible that parents and health professionals working with youth will be misdirected and wrongly informed about truly effective Internet safety measures.
It’s important that we all focus more on making real friends than spending our time on these sites as at the end of the day only our families and real friends will always be there for us. 

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