We must learn to have control over the digital media rather than allowing it to control us, says Dr Awdhesh Singh, as he suggests tips to counter the stress
If numbers are to be believed, almost 3 billion people in the world today have the access of internet and more than 2 billion people use Facebook alone. The rise of digital world has helped people to instantly connect with any person in the world and you can access all types of information from across the world using Google and watch the lessons on virtually any topic from the experts by tuning on to their YouTube Channel. There is no need today to stand in queue to buy tickets, pay your bills, or transfer money as you can do everything online by a click of button on your mobile phone.
We have become so used to, rather addicted to, social media that the first thing we do when we get up in the morning is to check the messages or notification on our mobile phone. We are more concerned today about the Facebook likes and comments on our posts by our virtual friends than being liked by our friends, parents, siblings or children.
However, despite the digitisation of the world, this generation seems to be less happier, satisfied or social than the previous ones. The internet may have made things easier in terms of access but hasn’t necessarily created better relationships.
The digital world comes with its own set of problems and we still don’t know how to handle it. No sooner you post your views on the social media platform, particularly on political or religious matters, you are trolled ruthlessly. You can be branded anti-national for just having a difference of opinion. Young people are unable to focus on their studies because of the constant beep of the notifications on their mobile phones. Billions of people are wasting hours in the virtual world, rather than focussing on the real. The personal life of billions of people is now open to the world and privacy is virtually dead.
It is, however, futile to blame the digital world alone for our unhappiness. The internet, social media, or mobile phones are just tools and we carry the responsibility of using them to make our life better. We can indeed make their best use and achieve happiness in the modern digital world, if only we follow some steps.
For one, we must learn to have control over the digital media rather than allowing it to control us. It is important to manage time intelligently in the digital world. The first step thus is to turn off the notifications from your apps so that they stop disturbing you. You can see them when you are free or you wish to divert your mind.
It is better to avoid posting your opinions on controversial issues like politics, religion, reservation which almost always invite counter-opinions and hate mails. You must avoid displaying your personal life and affection to your loved ones on social platform. What is sacred must be kept secret to maintain its sanctity.
One must be careful while making friends on social media platforms. It is better to carefully go through the profile before accepting a friend request. If you don’t agree with someone’s views, it is better to unfriend them rather than bearing their hate messages on your feed. You must also not hesitate to block and report the hate mongers, professional trollers and IT cell members, if they try to harass you.
We must avoid learning from the Facebook and WhatsApp University where most news and information is either fake or unreliable. It is better to always check the veracity of the claim before trusting it. You must also avoid spreading fake news and hate messages by sharing or forwarding the same. Digital world and social media is there to stay. It is better to accept them as conveniences and use them intelligently to make our life happier. We must never lose touch with the real world and real people because the virtual world can never substitute the living.
Singh is the author of 31 ways of Happiness