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Is Social Media a boon or a bane?

"If you make good use of Social media, you will became mature, if you misuse it, you will become a criminal."

By Phurpa Sherpa, Kathmandu: Social Media is accessible at work as well as every place to get the required information. As it has become a very essential part of our lifestyle. And with this, must of the Youth have been addicted to social media. After lockdown, numerous numbers of Youth have been engaging more in social media like Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, game Player unknown’s Battleground, Snapchat, and so on. It is a great way to kill COVID-19 pandemic time periods for many of us especially youngsters.

Since March 23rd, 2020 the Nepal government had announced lockdown and the people have been staying at home. But using social media overmuch except one’s required purpose can lead the outcome in mental health problems like internet gaming disorder and increase the level of aggressiveness towards family members, relatives, and friends. This is the time to learn creative things and do creative works. But the excessive use of social media may significantly raise the risk of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety,  especially among Youth.

To show frustration upon game player unknown’s Battleground while playing gives me a kind of happiness. I undergo more aggressive because of playing excessive games said Tenzing Hyolmo a local from Boudha. He added I’m a student studying in grade-11 as lockdown has begun in the country with this playing game and engaging in social media has been creating a disturbance in the study. I have been manipulating more social media after lockdown. As I spend 5-6 hours playing games but now I will start watching Korean drama on Netflix instead of playing a game. Now I’m realizing that I have been addicted to social media more so that I’m trying to curb playing a game. It also made me more aggressive and creating more trouble in dealing with my day-to-day activities, misunderstanding with family members also.

Nima Subba studying in grade-9 said her addiction towards social media has increased these days after lockdown. I use varieties of apps like Youtube, TikTok often to kill free time which accords me refreshed. Because of that, it is creating a tough situation for me to keep a balance between study and extra creative activities. She added I feel like grasping addicted to such apps waste my time and create misunderstanding with family members.

While I know getting addicted to such things can lead me to depression. So, I get worried about myself for how I can control this kind of addiction from social media? said Subba.

For Youth, social media pose several risks such as no time for family, relatives, and friends and staying in a room alone.

Associate Professor of Patan Multiple Campus, Lalitpur Dr. Vijay Prasad Mishra, Ph.D. said that before the facilities of social media were not much more than now and with the increment of the facility in the social media its use has increased among the Youth. Moreover, the lockdown has also compelled Youth to be busy on social media. In the past, parents used to tell youngsters not to use Facebook much instead of that they were said to study but now that reading is done through social media, parents are also asking them to understand its importance. After watching the video, getting instant information, and writing the activities of the world at home from their mobile phone, the Youth are involved in it. It makes them busy and gives fun too. Everyone wants to learn something new. Young people are more attracted to video games due to new desires. It has a point as they can play with others and it is fun to take risks. But while it may inspire them, make them more capable of aiming and develop the feeling that they should win, it is difficult to get rid of the addiction said, Mishra. Eyes related problems, a waste of time, money and it is better to limit its use as it weakens the students and keeps them away from social activities. He also suggests that in the absence of a family environment, there is a growing tendency for parents to argue with children or parents who don’t care about their children daily, parents who bully their children and neighbors and friends, and those who watch negative things on social media. This is a dangerous thing to prevent this, there should be interaction, discussion and doctor’s suggestion programs between family, school, organization, Youth clubs on what is positive and what is negative on social media?

Although Facebook and other social media know each other’s activities to some extent, the habit of hiding with family while playing games has developed the habit of cheating at home. They engage in activities such as lying, stealing money, borrowing from friends, and betting in games. Advertising on the internet while playing games or using social media had led teenagers to develop the habit of watching nude photos and videos. It awakens the mind of Youth to do negative activities in the mind. As time goes on, much work remains to be done to make progress in life. It can also lead to depression, loneliness, and in some cases suicide when they feel that their studies have deteriorated, that their life has failed, and they are frustrated by the progress of others on social media. Young girls are more vulnerable to abuse by hackers or the behavior of young boys. It seems that the possibility of getting involved in cybercrime is high. He said, “If you make good use of Social media, you will become mature, if you misuse it, you will become a criminal.”

Although there are many advantages of using social media parents should monitor their children’s daily activities. Run a discussion at home about the benefits and disadvantages of social media, games. Let them know about the risks and health problems of it. Treat children like friends and relatives. Create an environment where they can talk about their problems at home. Overall, social media should be used in significant things rather than misusing it.

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