WOW | Coffee Break
Is social media stealing your life?
The one thing you LOVE and HATE about FACEBOOK
Doctor, Raveena Desraj Shrestha
Chief Business Officer
Mega Bank Nepal Ltd.
It is my belief that social media is a very useful tool to network and forge friendships as well as business associations. I personally have had the experience of very nurturing relationships having developed through one such medium i.e. Facebook and I am all in for social media and its upsides. However, as in every platform that is public, there can be instances when one has to ward off ‘unwarranted’ attention but as adults we should be able to draw boundaries and maintain one’s personal space. I personally have been able to utilise Facebook as a very beneficial public space to network, socialise, spread useful messages to a wide audience at the click of a button so I would have to say that I am a supporter. In regard to ‘stealing one’s life’, when using such platforms it is up to the user to ensure that one’s time is managed well so that it does not take over your life and does not become a sort of addiction or an instant ‘ego massager’ or ‘ego soother’ with the number of followers or friends or ‘likes’ determining your own self worth.
Founder & CEO Sasto Deal
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives but the most adaptable” – Charles Darwin To say social media is stealing my life is an overstatement. Life as we know it has changed over the past one decade. And like Darwin says, everyone has to adjust to these changes. Social media is not stealing my life rather contributing.
Love: The newsfeed is personalised. Facebook algorithm allows us to receive alerts that are relevant to us – e.g. pictures of my closest friends, news stories that I prefer, updates from pages I consistently visit. Therefore, it’s like a personalised magazine and I like that.
Hate: It’s not cool anymore. It’s become the Microsoft of this generation while Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram are taking control over the next generation.
Marketing Communication Officer, British Council Nepal
It is a tricky question to answer if social media is stealing my life or not. In a way it is, but again somewhere I am allowing it to steal the space in my life. It does expose everything that I am up to on a day to day basis, even to many people on my Facebook list who are not really friends in person. However, I cannot blame it entirely on social media because I am the one putting up things that I want to share with people. In the meantime, I also make it a point that I do not just limit my life into engaging in social media networking, but I enjoy other colours and fruits of life in person like travelling, photography, writing and meeting friends in person. What is scary is that while accessing many websites, we log in via our social media page without realising that we are providing all access to our posts and information to random sites.
Love: It helps me be heard in many positive ways from sharing news to asking people to join in for a cause to connecting with friends you once thought are on some other planet in the universe.
Hate: It has also distanced people from enjoying things and communicating in person. People have started judging one other; it has brought in some sort of class struggle among people to explain how beautiful or sad their lives are.
How many hours do we spend scrolling Facebook newsfeeds, re-tweeting something on Twitter, or posing for the perfect selfie on Instagram, hoping what we post will get likes and comments from our friends and followers? To get those likes, we post what is – according to social media standards – pretty, popular and acceptable. We hide the messy parts of life, play up the fun times, and even twist the truth a bit so we look a little better, smarter, and funnier. But what happens when people start holding us up to these unrealistic standards? What happens when you realise that who you are on social media isn’t who you really are? Have we let social media steal our identity?
Yes definitely, social media is a perfect smoke screen we have created for ourselves, where perception has become more important than reality. More dangerous now is the way this imagery is being consumed. With every ‘like’, we are getting carried away to push the boundaries even further. I believe we are in fact more disconnected with reality than connected with others. It is stealing our time form more productive activities. It is stealing our time from children, family and friends.
Recently, when I launched my restaurant, I made sure that it was a wifi free zone. The idea was to make sure people who dropped in switched off for some time, enjoy the food and engage in a meaningful conversation with friends and family. Judging by the experience and feedback from my guests, I believe most are happy with the experience. In fact, I had a grandfather compliment me the other day that he enjoyed his experience at the restaurant because it was the first meaningful conversation he had with his grandson over a long time as normally he is always stuck on the net.
Well, to tell you the truth social media is not exactly stealing my life, but it has its pros and cons. I get a lot of work from people and friends who I have on my social media platform, but at the same time I have to think and decide a lot before updating a status or a picture.
This is a pain sometimes when you cannot express yourself. For a single man like me (currently), it’s a good way to meet new people, but I would still prefer the actual face to face interaction rather than text/chat virtually.
Love: Being in touch with long lost friends, and meeting new ones.
Hate: We lose attention of people and friends while talking to them. All of a sudden, they get busy on their phone with Facebook.
Executive Director, Purple Events
I cannot exactly give my answer to that with a simple yes or no. If you use something to the right amount, it’s always good. There’s a thin line differentiating between ‘just enough’ and “too much”. And I prefer to balance my real and social media life. Perhaps, this comes from my family, where our discipline in-charge alias my mom, strictly disallows the use of gadgets when it’s family time, though she’s the quickest one to post anything on social media. But basically, she does it when she is alone and expects everyone to do so, which I think is perfectly right. Sometimes you cannot have every silly little thing you want.
You just have to trade them for what tops the hierarchy of your priorities. Therefore, when it’s family time, I try my very best not to get distracted. But, there are times when I do not practice what I preach, especially when bedtime stories are replaced by newsfeed stories!
Love: It eliminates the distance between two people; you constantly get in touch with your family abroad. And, it also acts like a “lost and found” department, where you find long lost friends.
Hate: Apart from game requests and “pokes”, I hate it when people use it for all the WRONG reasons. And also, I strictly dislike, when people are glued to the facebook, especially when the person in front is seeking your attention.
We have let social media steal our life because human nature seems prone to obsessive and addictive behaviours. Social media has its own pros and cons. In the present scenario, Facebook has been the most popular site that has been able to make an impact in somebody’s life, either in a good way or bad. Facebook is such an interesting platform where you can see the lives of others unfold.
2015 has been the worst year for everyone in Nepal starting from April 25 with the earthquake and then the ongoing blockade in the southern border of Nepal. Fortunately, during such crises, the general public have been able to create awareness and implement various ideas to help each other through the use of Facebook. Be it raising funds for the earthquake affected areas or carpooling during fuel shortage, it has all been possible through social networking sites. Such an invention has given us hope during difficult times when even the government turned a blind eye.
Hate: Sometimes Facebook has been a factor of arguments when people take something the wrong way. Also, wasting too much time on Facebook because it’s so easy to get stuck onto what’s happening in your newsfeed and not realising how much time you have wasted. And lastly unhealthy competition among youngsters.
Founder/Executive Director, Ujyalo Foundation
Not my life at least, haha! As an executive director, my job is very demanding and there is not much time left after long working hours that I can spend with my family and friends. And social media helps me stay connected with them instantly whenever I want from anywhere.
Love: For me, there is a lot to love about Facebook. Through Facebook I can stay connected to my family and friends who are not here, and share pictures and moments that we would otherwise miss. And through our organisation’s Facebook page we can connect to our supporters and share information about our work on regular basis. And that’s amazing!
Hate: I don’t particularly hate anything about Facebook, but I don’t know if I feel comfortable about them owning our personal information.