Our generation, the dawn of this very digital age, started in the 1970s introducing personal computers with subsequent technology capable of transferring information quickly and freely. India got mobile telephone and internet services during the late 1990s. Today it has 1.17 billion total telephone subscribers with 687.62 million internet users. (Wikipedia)
The first social network site called SixDegrees.com was launched in 1997. We consider ourselves lucky that we witnessed and welcomed it like it was the missing part of our soul, this modern world of the Internet, mobile phone, and such.
Then various social media platforms like Orkut, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and dating apps, of course, started serving us. We should not forget that direct text messages via phone message tools were in fashion for a long time. Pigeons and that old postman on a bicycle were replaced earlier.
What lead digitalization on the wrong track
- Parents do not have adequate knowledge about the diverse feature internet provides us.
- Easy for us to mislead them believing we are utilizing this age of information to become a better self.
- Despite being a developing country India has the cheapest mobile Internet, without usage instructions or strict guidelines (improved in the past few years). (BBC)
- We are not even a bit concerned about our privacy, for example, we never read the instructions and press ‘OK, I AGREE’ or ‘I ACCEPT’.
- We have a curious mind and tons of options. Like there is an app for everything.
- All of us can relate to rumors, a simple text can cause a widespread misconception.
Internet and Indian parents/ guardian
All these inventions unquestionably have made us connect to our loved ones over the farthest of places. Extended use in almost every sector of our life within the reach of our fingertips.
Our parents and grandparents are quite fascinated with WhatsApp and YouTube in particular. Features like sharing news/pictures/videos, video calls, and cooking videos are of their greatest benefits. Then comes the life of a young, brilliant and gentle mind, the youth of India. A good smartphone with internet plans and several social media apps is the need of every teenager.
The pandemic surely has rushed our country to use online mode of education in the thick of age distributions. Anyway, digitalization does not have many advantages considering its role in youngsters’ relationships. If our parents learn about parental control in mobile phones/ PCs they will block all the social media and some seriously addictive games.
Digitalization and youth of India
Advantages of this age
For a family, friend, or lover thousands of miles away this technology is unarguably a gift. For a person in need, it is a teacher, a doctor, a fitness trainer, a source of entertainment, with music a healing potion for tiredness or a complex hub of knowledge, whatever you seek.
How it affects
Humans have the greatest imitation capabilities. This digital age brought bizarre competition in it, now we are busy downloading apps, expanding our friend/contact list. Increasing likes and followers is a story or royals. It’s addictive and I’m not an exception to it but there are people. We compare ourselves to others with distinguished physical and mental profiles.
This age has put a mask on everyone’s face, we have forced ourselves into a virtual world too afraid to face others in real life or physically. It’s very easy to fake our mood or emotion on virtual platforms while a person beside us can change them, a theatre, park, magic shows have extra benefits.
Now if we talk about relationships, we grow possessive of each other continuously checking if our dear beloved is online or not, and if they are why isn’t he/she engaged in a conversation with us, keeping us awake late night. When we get into a fight with our friend/girlfriend/boyfriend we can easily find a new person, not willing to wait and try to clear out doubts. Worse of all, it is easy to hide, we just need to turn off our devices, the Internet, or mobile network.
There is malpractice these days, people ask/challenge to choose a number or color or a series of questions with predetermined illogical answers they decide if someone likes them or not, how friendly they are, etc and it affects our perspective about different people. You can find people posting a sad status on their timeline all the time, does it help them cope?
Spending much time on social media or digital screens can cause depression, anxiety, sleep problems, eating issues, and increased suicide risk (University of Melbourne’s National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health).
Agree or not!
It might sound utterly stupid but I have difficulty understanding emojis and prefer to text. I can understand our friends’ current mood or emotions and detect a lie while talking over voice or video calls. It’s not that I want to hide from my friends but resent the idea of conversation over social media. Also, love to meet people like two or more celestial bodies.
Measures to mind:
Reduce your screen time, try to minimize the use of digital gadgets to necessary work. We should visit the real world to meet new people outside our rooms (post-COVID-19). Now that I think about it, approaching unknown people for friendship is rather difficult than people with some common interests.
I’ve read somewhere that physical presence and touch builds more trust in us. Use social media to connect with people not as an addiction. If you’re using a dating site or apps, meet them in person as soon as you build up some trust. Texting each other day and night is not going to help improve your relationships.
It’s time for us to grow up by that I mean we should be able to tell our parents about our relationship. In a relationship, we should be proud of ourselves and responsible too.