Social media is a collective platform allowing people to publicly share their thoughts, feelings and parts of life with others through the Internet. But some past events of the last few years have proved that this collective platform is now becoming extremely dangerous and inhuman. Fake News, Fake videos along with habitual trolls, today it has become difficult to know who to trust, how much and to what extent.
In one of the incidents that happened in 2018, 18-year-old Manisha from Hoshiarpur district committed suicide after being cheated on by her male friend and had live streamed the suicide on social media. Manisha was upset with her boyfriend who continuously ignored her on Facebook. In a troubled mindset, she took this extreme step that created a huge furore over the Indian social media.This was not a one off incident. Lack of support system and dependable friends in life is making today’s youth lonelier. And when pushed to the edge, they are resorting to extreme steps like suicide.
Nowadays, young people on social media platforms are unknowingly falling prey to fake relationships by ignoring the realities of life. They don’t understand whom to trust on the social media platform. And when they really need to talk to someone, instead of getting sympathy, they are ignored and ridiculed. In such cases, there are not many young people who can handle rejection on social media platforms properly. Things like cyberbullying are also on the rise. Its victims are mostly teenagers of impressionable age who are mentally not strong. This is another reason why so many youths are being forced to commit suicide.
In another incident, Riya Khanna, a class XI student in Kolkata, committed suicide. Her only mistake was that she accepted a friend request on Facebook from a stranger called Faizal Imam Khan, and it soon developed into close friendship. In due course of time, some misunderstanding occurred, and their friendship turned sour.
Meanwhile, Faizal after being dejected created a fake account of Riya on Facebook to teach her a lesson. He uploaded Riya’s photoshopped pictures on Facebook along with her mobile number. She started receiving calls on her mobile from unknown numbers. This created a lot of mental trauma to the young girl and her family members.
In somewhat similar incident, in the year 2012, a young student named Raksha committed suicide after being harassede by some young people on Facebook. Raksha has been living alone since her parents were killed by terrorists in 1997. In a strange twist of fate, the daughter fell to the terrorists of social media.
Social Media the Accidental Highway
Unfortunately, Facebook, the most popular social media platform with over 1.78 billion daily active users is currently becoming the den of death and depression. There is no doubt that in the digital age, it’s necessary to be active on social media. But you also need to keep in mind that this is a virtual world, and not a real one. Therefore, one needs to maintain balance in life, and so if we give too much time to the virtual mediums, we may lose relationships in the real world.
Traditionally, social and economic aspects were dominant in the world of human relationships but modern lifestyle has now added a third element that is psychological aspect. We were always told that the life story is the lifeline of deep knowledge and authentic relationships. Once we bring this story to social media platforms, other people also become part of our story. We choose friends based on the belief that they are like-minded, self-limited, and share the same interests, likes and dislikes.
Social media is a kind of platform, where there are millions of people like us, whom we meet daily online and share our things with them. While making new relationships, sometimes people also fall in love. They get attracted by interesting profiles on Facebook, and Instagram and immediately send friend requests. After becoming friends for some time, they suddenly decide to get married.
Coming to online matches, a very weird thing happened in Mumbai. On a leading dating website, a young man was looking for a partner. Little did he know that her sister was also looking for a dating partner on the same website. Meanwhile, the boy had a match with his own sister. Nothing can be more shocking.
Virtual World is Deceptive
You cannot judge a person by just looking at their profile photo, and bio. It’s important to first talk, develop friendship, and only then should you think of starting a new relationship. On social media, it’s the profile picture of the person you are talking to? How can you be sure that everything written about him, his job, his family, and his education is true? Maybe someone is just looking at you as a potential target by creating a fake profile? He is not what you think of him.
Of late, people have become excessively dependent on social media for their mental, financial and emotional needs. A study associated with psychology found that people with low self-esteem are more likely to use social media to build relationships. And when such relationships fail, in several cases people take extreme steps like suicide.
In most cases, people seek love in the fake world of social media after being separated from those who are really close to them in real life. Actually, we are so addicted to social media that it overpowers our mind to such an extent that we do not want to get out of it and remain hooked to it. This completely cuts us off from the outside world indicating the presence of social disorder in our lives.
People need to understand that the internet is not just about social media. It’s much more than that. In fact, social media is a storehouse of knowledge and information. Therefore, it would be better if we use it wisely. Trust is a good thing, but too much trust in someone, and that too on a virtual medium like social media may prove fatal at times.