Social Media is Creating Virtual Proximity but It is Also Creating Individual Isolation
Name: Hania Sabeen
The world has become a global village and, in this transformation, social media got a major role to play. Social media might have abridged the gap which exists between humans but on virtual grounds. If we flip the coin, we will get to see a bitter reality and that is ‘man still faces isolation’ when it comes to his real and practical life. So, a worth debating argument while considering the existing and the most unprecedented times which men of the planet Earth are currently going through in the form of this COVID-19 pandemic is that now when there is no other alternative option available to escape real life self-isolation which is a preventative measure for us now—Aren’t our eyes set on this only blessing—social media?
So, it is the time that we adapt a better use of social media to make-up for the individual isolation it is creating because no one knows what comes next? This is the age of computer and technology is so much advanced by far now that even a device comparable to human sense for testing food taste has been devised! Thus, social media comes with its own pros and cons. It may be a boon or a bane but it depends on the way we utilise it
Think of social media and what comes to your mind—A digital platform where you can go and type and express how you feel, where you may want to keep in touch with your family and friends via various social apps like face book, Instagram or snapchat and for some it might be a platform which provides them with sheer entertainment or it can be a source of information for others. Thus, social media has a lot to offer, it is up to you what you want to take for yourself. The term social media itself is self-explanatory when it comes to defining it as it is a medium or a source which promotes social links or putting it the other way, it helps people to interact and to socialize.
Social media has revolutionized the world, it has brought more connectivity and has entrusted more freedom to its users in terms of speech and expression. And it would not be unfair to call it an effective tool in the process of globalization. To put oneself in the old chicken-egg debate that what came first whether social media paced the process of globalization or globalization led to the birth of social media is a useless debate. Now we have it, yes! we have social media. The power of this tool is unimaginable as it can generate a storm in the whole world in fact it can shake the base of the whole world. This is not a mere claim, we got the instances such as we got the #MeToo movement which began with some Hollywood celebrities speaking of something which was unspeakable before i.e. harassment then we had the #BLM—Black Lives Matter and in Pakistan, we had the #Jahaiz Khori Band Kro trend and these trends were so powerful that these had a spill over effect started from one key-board warrior and travelled straight to the ears of leaders that we demand change. This depicts that social media has become a necessity and can be much more useful if utilized properly. “The voice of the people is the voice of the God and social media helps that voice to be heard.” Let us flip the coin, it may be a bane i.e. a negative tool which is not healthy for us as it promotes individual isolation. To reinforce this let us quote an example, you and I may be friends over social media, may be we comment or like each other’s posts too but when we come across each other at our workplace or the institutes we study may be we would hardly like to interact with each other. Similarly, two neighbours might be added with each other on social media platforms but on their street they completely ignore each other and yes this happens, I myself have experienced this thing may be someone disagrees with this but here my personal experience is. Therefore, social media is giving rise to sham and pretence as we are becoming more artificial when it comes to expressing ne or a boon for ourselves.
Things and the worst part is that we are becoming comfortable behind these masks which social media has provided us with. One more damaging element of social media is that it is letting others fall a prey to depression because the viewers when fail to achieve a perfect life like the one shown over social media, it pushes them down into the dark abyss of depression; thus, making them enter their own world of isolation. This is by far the most bitter side of social media. The question is that can we really imagine a life without social media? Is there a step back? The answer is simply No! It has now become the part and parcel of life. There is one more dimension to this which this COVID-19 pandemic has lent to social media. Where does a man go now? When the world is forced to go into self-isolation to ensure safety from this deadly corona virus, what better option does he got other than not spending time on social media? So, in this age of computer and technology we need to look a step ahead and we need to add some sort of human factor to social media as social media is all up to our use, the way we utilize it! In my opinion, this individual isolation is all the play of our own mind. We need to adopt better social media habits. We need to maintain a check on our screen time and we should make it a norm to interact over social media because we do have to connect with the world and for a quicker and easier access, social media is the best option. Call it a necessary evil but now it is our life and it is us who got to decide how to make better use of social media. Social media itself must be taken as a medium, it is not the evil in fact it is us—the netizens, the keyboard warriors or social media users who make it either a bane or a boon for ourselves.
( This essay stood second in the essay writing competition held in Bahria University arranged by Bahria Creative Platform)