Recently read an article in of the news papers, about how youngsters are leading an online life. All their social ties are through online, they prefer to communicate via emails, scraps, texts on phone, rather than hanging out with friends in person, slowly people tend to be spending more time in front of computer than actually living a life out there.
This reminded me of a post I had done some time back on my online life. I always believed that its not a problem with society but just problem with the growth and acceptance of technology in one’s society, After reading the article, the writer kind of convinced me that we are indeed losing social life because of the online endeavors. If it is good or bad is totally a different question.
Was trying to look at life at various ages, and how we have got influenced by technology. Again I would never say technology is bad, its a normal progression of intelligence and normal evolution of humans, but then it has changed few things, and all of it has not been good.
Children today spend a lot of time in school. The teaching methods have changed a lot, the use of computers in education start as early as 1st grade, children are easily exposed to computers, very early. When they come home, computer games both for entertainment and education have become very popular. Parents don’t have issues with children spending time on computer playing games, using educational software and so. Now schools have started providing assignments online, and submissions too, in cases, are online. The result is announced online too, so basically day to day activities involve so much use of computers and internet.
The lack of playgrounds and parks have contributed to this too, where kids prefer TV and computers to say playing common games in the neighborhood. Parents on the other hand, have had a total change in their schedule where they work long hours, and even after coming back are busy with either house work, or work from home. Them not having time to play with their kids means, they cannot take them out, so invariably kids find something in house that keeps them interested.
Moving on to the teenage bandwagon, their biggest muse these days seems to be a mobile phone, I am not sure what they actually have so much to talk about, but they spend hours together on phone talking, and when they are not talking they are texting.
I got hold of my first mobile phone, when I was way away from my teenage, but still had a muse for texting for couple of days, and that was all it was, and the muse went off soon. I do not want to generalize, but most of the teenage girls/guys and young adults, like early 20somethings are too much drawn into mobiles and spend a lot of time on it, rather actually going meeting friends in person and hanging out.
The other biggest influence on this age group have been the social networking sites like http://www.orkut.com and http://www.myspace.com. The idea of sending someone a small message through scrap which was almost alien to all of us some time back, has become so common in recent past. People tend to talk in scraps, when they have phone to call the other person, or just walk to their friend’s place. Now is this is an addiction?, is this the new social evolution is what something needs to be thought about.
Finally coming to my age group, middle twenties onwards, people in this age group seem to have a little more maturity and are not so much into mobile phones, the usage just borders around medium to low, may be for actual communication, or an occasional hello or so on. But for most of us around the world, blogging seems to be an addiction, the time we spend reading, commenting and posting is just enormous. I would have never used my computer as much as I have been using in last 1 year in which blogging caught onto me. Its not just blogging even websites like flickr for photography enthusiasts is also hugely popular, and people spend huge time browsing the photos of fellow photography fans.
So when you read so much through blogs, it kind of depicts an online personality of the individual, most do blog anonymous, so even without the actual background, we tend to develop an opinion based on purely what the person chooses to tell. I have met some amazingly talented people, people with really good perspectives, some kindred, some totally unlike me. Even before technology came in, knowing my social prowess might have not met so many different kind of people in person, or thats what I claim would have happened, in either ways, my online social life, if you wanna call it that, has been far fruitful then my offline one.
This is exactly what the writer was trying to prove, that social life has moved onto internet so much, and people are not even sorry about it. Reading the article, I felt a tremendous urge to have had a discussion with the author, and what I did, was write him an email :)
I used to say internet is not an addiction.