Friday, January 06, 2012

Social Media is making us Anti-Social

A lot of times I have found myself just fiddling with my phone either with Twitter or facebook or updating my blog. This happens even when people are around me for example my wife, kid and friends. I have had my phone snatched away by my wife and asking me to concentrate on our conversations and also I have had my friends call me anti-social. However, the irony is, they do the same thing. It gives me a certain comfort that I am not the minority :)

The bigger irony in fact is that “Social” media is responsible for making us anti-social. We are more engrossed with the virtual world rather than the one physically around us. With the devices we have today, it is undeniable that we will succumb to online social media; my one year old son is already fascinated with my mobile phone and I believe, very soon, he will be navigating the internet and I am indeed worried of how he might turn out. I frequently have conversations with a friend of mine on how we grew up in the 80s where we would fall get hurt, bleed and what not which actually made us stronger not only physically but mentally because we knew we had to pick ourselves up and continue to move on. Some of the bruises suffered from our childhood is still visible and we are proud of those scars! Today, kids are fiddling with their phones, tablets and other gadgets and are already on sites like facebook. I have nephews and nieces adding me as their friends and these kids are not even 10!

At the rate the online social media is going, we will have more obese kids as they spend more time on the computer or tablet instead of being outside kicking a ball. I must admit that I lack exercise too and have indeed put on a considerable amount of pounds. I have found myself in situations where both my friend and I or my wife and I not talking to each other but fiddling with our mobile devices.

Although the boost in technology is inevitable and gadgets are getting cheaper for example the tablet in India called Aakash which costs only RM150, we need to start to get our children/nephews/nieces engaged in real games, and start to put a control on the usage of these devices so that they do not become socially handicapped. It is of course easier said than done. I myself cannot put my device down for a while but I guess it needs to start somewhere and we need to be examples.  I believe when my son is older, I am going to take him to parks get him to engage in games i.e. football, rounders or even play a simple game of cop and robber.

Gone are the good old days when our only addiction was the TV!

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