Reality of the Virtual World

Udisha Srivastav | October 18th, 2019 . 5:01 pm






According to Social Times, a staggering 80% of 18-44-year-olds have the same morning routine.

Let me start writing my article and till then, you memorize the first thing that you do at the start of your day. I am pretty sure that most of us have the same routine as we begin our day with eyes half-closed and smartphones in our hands. Even when we are going to bed, nothing changes and it’s proven.

An incomparable addiction to Social Media

The screen time is quite real and we spend more than any amount of time that should be designated to it. To me, the addiction seems to be incomparable with any other. However, we may think that why all of us are unconsciously sweeping ourselves in the direction of social media. I pretty much agree with the theorist, Mark Poster who has given some insightful discussions about the emerging revolutions of ‘new media’. He argued that the main difference between the old broadcast media and new media is that old media was ‘passive’ while the new media is ‘active’. Whether it has to do with posting your opinion on any hotly debated topic or playing online video games, or whether it is about starting a new blog or about existing in a virtual community, this is the time when we are exposed to the active phase.

A new immersion in social media 

Undeniably, social media has created a completely new atmosphere for us. The role of the audience has transformed from a static one to a participative one. Thus, the relationship of the users has not only transformed with the other fellow users but with the social media technology itself. In contemporary, users are embedded in a deep and immersive relationship with social media. The interactive and real-time experience bestowed by social media has enhanced their level of engagement with others.

Online communities and social media

It is not surprising that the internet has become an integral part of our lives. It has become a new site for the articulation of all types of groupings and communities. Many theorists and researchers see great potential in the presence of online communities offered by social media while others feel that these are destructive to the ‘real world’ communities. Those who argue in its favor say that it is individually and socially beneficial on several levels.

First, social media helps youngsters to compensate for the black holes in their lives. In other words, social media help to compensate for the lack of community available for youngsters in the real world. Some theorists argue that the hunger of community and associations has compelled youngsters to turn towards virtual associations.

Second, social media wipes away the constraints put up by social and geographical factors. It doesn’t entertain the obstructions of mobility, place, and proximity giving a wide range of choice in one’s social relationships.

Third, social media is a tool in our hands where we are the bosses. Whenever we want to engage with people, to what extent we are engaging with them, etc is all decided by us, where we are the baby bosses of social media.

Fourth, social media gives us an arena without any material limits. The bosses can take charge and decide how many people they want to engage with and who those people would be. Thus, a feeling of solidarity and communion can be gained not only from a particular group but from innumerable groups and people depending upon our level of engagement.

Youngsters straddling between social media and real lives

Apart from the fact that social media gives more choices and opportunities, several reasons make youngsters still worry about its usage. There is an argument that social media helps to fill up the black hole of your lives but it creates more and more after its usage. The reason is, when we spend the time online, it cuts off the time that one used to spend with their family, friends, and other close ones.

There is no sense of reinforcement when one uses social media. Nothing is there to stick you as is the case when you are physically present with the same person. That obligation dies down at the doorstep of social media.

Also, to the youngsters, social media offers a ‘God’s eye’ point of view. They have become so less concerned about their real surroundings that they are disinterested in every other thing than social media. Whatever they consume from it becomes the reflection in their real lives.

It would be merrier to realize it soon that social media is furthering the process of individualization. Youngsters are confronting the world only through their laptops and smartphone screens. Thus, living in these ego-centric communities have also altered the behaviour of people towards others.

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