Social networking has caught on and is here to stay. If used wisely it can be a boon. Free wi-fi is generally available across the globe today. Hotels, hospitals, universities offer it to allow communication between people who work there as well as visitors. How do we optimize our time and energy spent on various sites?
- Messages can be passed on instantly and easily to people who you do not want to call. It saves time and gets the work done.
- Paper is saved, which is good for the environment.
- If your child is away, it keeps you in touch and allows free communication, as all universities have wi-fi.
- Pictures and documents can be shared at the touch of a button.
- Important emails can be accessed and replied to immediately.
- Groups to pass on laughs and smiles disperse happiness.
- Help can be sought from the authorities or family if needed.
- Girls feel safer traveling alone.
- Since zillions of pictures are shared, people work out more to look good and adopt a healthier lifestyle !!!!!
- Distance is a number, connections and reconnections are generally pleasant. Disadvantages, especially for teenagers:
- Children alienate themselves from the real world to interact constantly with ‘perceived friends’ in the virtual world.
- Phone numbers, location, schedules are known by undesirable elements.
- Chats and videos are used without any discretion or fear of repercussions.
- A disconnect with the real world leads to unreal expectations from relationships and life. Internet addiction is well known.
- Popularity, or misconceptions about it, damage many a psyche.
- Harassment, stalking is easy as the vulnerability of a person is visible.
- It is a predator’s playground. A lot of children are lured by pedophiles who take advantage of their innocence.
- Blackmail can be used, as the innocent are unsuspecting and trusting.
- Passwords are asked for to access bank accounts.
- There are scams that offer money and dupe the innocent or inexperienced. What do we do?? We can educate our children about the hazards of the internet and social media. Exchange of information and a few laughs shared are priceless. If used with a little caution, there is so much to gain. There are times when we must ‘switch off’ the virtual world and turn to look at and connect with those around us, as these are the people who make up our world.
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