We all know about the good side of social media, as we do its bad sides. The time is now to throw a little guesswork on ourselves for a recheck of our attitude towards social networking sites. It makes for even a little less than a passing guess to know how pretentious we have become on the Internet—pedantic if you are a learned man, gaudy or a little fake otherwise.
It begins with one’s profile picture—well, this is not always true, but then it is usually the case with the youngsters. People try to look the best. There are youngsters who would rather hide behind posters of a Bruce Lee or John Cena, or maybe a Bollywood starlet, giving wannabe friends an impression that they are the typical introvert-type sensitive guys who do not have any self-propagating attitude, but then they cannot help telling you that they look somehow akin to their idols.
Youngsters, and even professionals, often lie on social media. Their hobbies, their likes—this one is more to placate others and win their attention—are often bogus. These may be harmless tools to win over someone or find some room for oneself in a world that thrives on attention and attention alone, but see how and what are the repercussions. People who pretend on social media on small or big scale, people who lie about their status, their looks, and likes over there in whatever legally permissible way cannot think straight in their real lives. The pressure to be what you are not may be taking its toll on you also in areas where your abilities lie.
The trouble is the increasing propensity of indulging oneself in Internet games or browsing, and in these digital times, children are becoming the first prey of the online ghoul. Reading, as a habit, has diminished like never before.
A recent research has thrown up distressing data. It says a child’s enjoyment of reading books declines with age, and that if you ask your child between six to eight years of age, he or she may report that they love picking up a book and reading it.
Many would like a story being read out to them, so that they could delve into the world of fancy and imagination. But as they advance in age—say, when they are between 15 and 17 years—they cannot help spending more time getting logged on to the Internet for whatever reasons.
The decline of reading habit in this category of age is an astonishing 80 per cent. The lure of a computer screen may be more enchanting than the dazzle of printed words for your children, and the truth is that as a parent you must concede that you want your child to spend more time reading books than browsing the Internet.
Another interesting fact, which is well-researched, is that a study finds there is a direct correlation between bedtime stories you tell your children and their success in education. The finding says you must not stop telling bedtime stories till your child reaches 11 years of age, for his or her academic success. And if you are a willing taker of this assumption, then you must have a treasure trove of stories at your disposal; if not in one stroke, you must mine or dig out this gold of imagination on a daily basis. The best will be if you prefer a book for the purpose and never Google it. There are plenty of e-books available on the Internet in PDF, HTML or e-PUB formats. They are user-friendly, easy to read and you can carry the ‘books’ everywhere with you. But then, what about the distractions that may pop up from a social media website messenger, drawing your attention to a post you cannot help liking?
Singh works with the Information and Public Relations Department of Odisha