No longer interested in logging in

Addiction Blues

It seems the magic of social networking is on the wane.

Exhausted : Youngsters  are no longer fascinated by social networking sites.

At a time, when everyone upwards of age 10 and all the way to 80 are logged on to Facebook, Twitter and several other networking sites, this startling fact came up according to a recent survey carried out by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) which says that a large number of youngsters choose to either stay away from or spend comparatively less time on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Google+, LinkedIn, Myspace, Friendster, Hi5 and BigAdda.

They cite ‘fatigue and health issues’ as reasons. Interestingly, the voyeuristic nature of such websites is largely responsible for the social media fatigue. The study claims that compulsive social networking is negatively affecting the lives of the urban youth as it leads to insomnia, depression, poor interpersonal relationships, poor concentration, anxiety and rudeness in their general behavior.

This survey was done across major Indian cities including Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Interacting with about 2000 youngsters (equal number of men and women) in the age group of 12-25 years during October-December 2011, the survey found that nearly 55 per cent of all the respondents across board said “they have consciously reduced the time spent on social media websites” and are “no longer as active and enthusiastic about their favourite networks as when they had signed up.” About 30 per cent of these said “they have deactivated or deleted their accounts and profiles from these websites and it is no longer a craze among them.”

While most of the remaining respondents said “they have started maintaining a low profile on social networks as their privacy is being breached and peep into their profiles only once in a blue moon.” Of nearly 200 interviewed in Delhi about 60 per cent said that fascination with social networking they used to enjoy initially has been fading of late and now they find it boring and sick to see “constant senseless status updates and the same thing over and over again and have significantly reduced the time dedicated to the social media.”

Echoing the study and its emerging patterns, D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM says, “Tech overload is apparent among youth and their fixation with social media seems to be eroding as they have started focusing on more important things than grooming their digital identities.”

Metrolife got talking to some social networking enthusiasts in the city. Waseem Mushtaq, a media professional believes that social networking has become more of a liability than a necessity, “Yeah, it has kind of become a liability. The fact that you have an account on one of these networks means that you are expected to keep people in your circle updated with everything you do and think.”

Others like Waseem, in fact, feel “jaded” being seen on such websites. Prachi Saxena, a software professional at an MNC, believes that the major problem with these sites is that, though they tend to become addictive over time, spending so much time on them, is just not worth it.”

Umreena Majeed , a DU student points out an interesting fact. “A lot of status
updates depress me. I hardly care who is eating what for dinner and spitting what. People force themselves and their lives on you,” she explains. “People want to share their lives - a glimpse is okay but when everything is up for exhibition, it loses its charm.

As one of my former teachers says, “Excess of everything is bad.”

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