Online Making Youth Offline.

As we all know the internet is a revolutionized communication which connects our Millenials globally by a click. They have grown up in a world of smart phones, laptops and desktops. It has been estimated that more than half of the world’s population have access to the internet and has financially empowered people in the time of the pandemic. The Internet has helped in creating a virtual platform for the young generation to present their opinions, creativity, passion and what not globally. However, the boon of online communication has been deemed as youth’s greatest weakness as well.

In the era of the virtual environment and things inclining more towards the online culture has somehow restrained people from socializing and has diminished a human touch in conversations. Younger generation hesitates to meet new individuals personally but they find it convenient to sit all alone with their devices in their hands. Our younger ones find it hard to empathize but they make sure to sympathize on social media, how is that fair?

There seems to be a lack of freedom in expressing the views and also a scattered thought process all around the social media sites where the youth connects. In the world of influencers and content creators, nobody talks about the real-life they all lead, day to day challenges they face and mental pressure they handle to battle the fear of being left out. Why we don’t take a pause, breathe and buy ourselves some time to understand the virtual reality we all live in? Is it more precious than our mental peace? Our generation suffers from insomnia, anxiety and depression due to the competitive social media pressure they cannot handle. The stress of managing the reputation on social media platform also contributes to a lack of enthusiasm towards the real surroundings.

The heightened online connectivity also comes with a cost for millennials as there is a visible pestering to only post those content on social media that makes them look good and seek approvals in form of likes and comments from people across the world. A need to showcase the outer beauty has gained an immense importance among the younger generation at a cost of leaving behind the true personality and forced to live a pretentious life.

The rise of the internet has brought ease in making friends and broadening of the social circle, however, it has started replacing high-quality offline friendships. One of the key features of friendship is the quality of closeness, trust and understanding between friends. Due to the pretence involved in online friendships the chances of sustainability of friendship is comparatively feeble than offline ones. Since online ties have generally been acquainted for less time than face to face ties and are therefore perceived to be of lesser depth.

The increasing pace of technology can make the youth or break the youth as it all depends upon the choices they make. Today’s youth are quite adept at using technologies for all day to day practices which makes it hard for them to let go of their gadgets and the internet. This addiction is taking over their minds and leaves no room for their creative thoughts and it is increasingly becoming an unhealthy habit that needs to be curbed now and then.

Relationship with family and friends also suffer if the youths spend more time on social media and gaming rather going out and spending time with their loved ones. A recent study says that excessive online gaming may be negatively affecting the youth’s life if they only talk about the games, tell lies to cover up the amount of time they spend on gaming and argues if questioned about the excessive usage. This can even hamper the performance in schools, colleges and offices if they are always preoccupied with online games and social media. The Millennials can fail to work at their optimum level because of the exhaustion and pressure to maintain a dynamic online lifestyle.

The Millennials have developed a habit of avoiding phone calls as they are less likely to experience conflicts. Instead, they are more comfortable using text messages. In this era of online dating which is more of swiping left or right even relationships have become disposable. This pattern of communication is hard to understand among the partners. When most of the communications are virtual in a relationship it is most likely to happen that people stay in a constant state of control and lose the ability to express their real self to one another.

There are instances where people are addicted to chatting room, social networking sites or instant messages and this indulgence may sometimes lead to involvement in virtual adultery. Friends on social media quickly become an integral part of their lives on the expense of real-life relationships with friends and family which may sometimes lead to instability amongst the family members. People tend to become insensitive towards their surroundings as they are fully absorbed by the false world of the internet.

Rumour spreading and name-calling has been a challenging aspect of adolescent life so far but now the proliferation of social media has transformed when, where and how bullying takes place which is most commonly known as cyberbullying. It is responsible for communicating false, embarrassing or hostile information to specific users, the most common type is known as name-calling. Victims of cyberbullying often end up with multiple psychosocial problems such as depression, stress, low self-esteem, and sometimes even development of suicidal tendencies

A very important aspect of life that has been left behind is the involvement of people in extracurricular activities. While splurging hours in using internet people these days do not have time for their tasks, hobbies or physical activities. Playing online games is becoming a daily chore wherein participation for outdoor activity seems to be a burden, which is not only triggering an individual’s physical but mental health too.

Internet and technology are not bad but they become a problem when they become a fill-in for human interaction. The lack of physical presence does affect your loved ones who always show up and surely affects the bond you share with them. Therefore, use the modern technology in a limited way and donot forget to spare time for your friends and family.

Meenal Saxena

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