Some years back, when someone travels abroad and wants to paint you a picture of where is, he sends a postcard. When one needed to make a call or even expecting one, one had to queue at the telecommunication centers for who-knows-when only to be told the network is down when it finally got to your turn. Stressful times indeed.
So you can imagine how long distance relationships used to suffer during those times. Missing a call appointment called for unnecessary suspicions of each other with its consequent troubles.
But thanks to technological evolution and the invention of social media, all such woes have become a thing of the past. A lot of apps have emerged making it possible for us to stay in touch with loved ones regardless of the distance. The quality in visual and audio clarity in these apps creates the much-needed illusion to feel as if there is no distance at all. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the others help us to keep in touch with colleagues long after we have parted ways since graduation. Thanks to apps like Asana, teamwork can continue even after work hours to ensure ideas and information flow with no delay. Others like Pinterest, Wattpad are a great resource for people with specific interests like photos and writing and reading stories respectively to engage one another in a fun and informative way. Not forgetting to mention professional ones like LinkedIn where one can keep up to date with business trends as well as new job opportunities.
The benefits of social media are tremendous. I can go on and on about it. But just like almost everything which can both be a useful tool and a dangerous weapon, social media has its downsides as well.
Sometime back, obsessed celebrity fans and psychotic stalkers had to go through the trouble of following the object of their obsession almost everywhere, taking pictures of them and pasting them all over their rooms in order to feel closer to them. But thanks to social media, their work has become so much easier. They don’t have to spend time, energy and money to follow their targets around because the targets provide all the needed information (with regular updates as well). All it takes is to create a non-suspicious profile on Facebook to qualify as your friend. And most of us would quickly click on “Accept” because we are eager to claim huge numbers being our Facebook friends. As for Twitter, one does not have to ask for your permission to follow you. All it takes is a click.
In an era where people want to share every moment of their lives with strangers all over the world, such creepy people have access to almost every information about you: where you work and stay, your family and friends, how you look and your likes and fears. I didn’t know how much vulnerable we make ourselves to social predators till I watched the Stalker series. Really creepy.
In order to enjoy the vast benefits of social media and protect oneself from its various vulnerabilities, one should ensure his privacy is ensured. Every platform I believe, has its own privacy settings. Take time to protect yourself. A lot of online harassment would be curtailed this way.
Whatever one chooses to share online is his own business but it is not worth risking exposing yourself to dangerous people out there. Have fun but play it safe.
It may seem like social media is a harmless tool to socialize and keep in touch but it may as well play as the silent spy into your life.