Spending two or more hours on social media can drastically hamper one’s social skills. A survey conducted by an NGO shows that social networking sites affect one’s interpersonal skills needed to live a happy life.
The survey on ‘impact of social media and overindulgence in virtual internet world’, conducted by Jaipur-based NGO, Ace Society, also says that social media and such apps often create a false sense of virtual connection that makes an individual lonely and restless.
More than 85% of the respondents, who were part of the survey, said they often and sometimes by force of habit checked their smartphones for Facebook notifications or WatsApp messages. In some cases, the respondents said that they checked their mails and message as it was related to their job, but later admitted that though they started using social media to stay updated but later it turned into a bad habit. The respondents accepted they often end up using a lot of their personal time on social media. Around 80% of the participants admitted that they spend two to three hours online.
The NGO had conducted this survey between November 2016 and January 2017. The survey was conducted on more than 580 respondents aged between 10 and 50 years. More than 75% of the candidates chosen were either students or those who had just finished their studies and got a job.
The survey also found that people using the internet for more than two hours lack assertive skills and either end up becoming dominating or try to escape difficult situations. Social media also adversely affects an individual’s conversations skills and ability to express emotions and intense feelings. Listening skills, questioning ability, social manners and patience level were also badly affected due to excessive use of social media. While 57% people said that they don’t meet their friends for a couple of weeks, more than 60% of the participants admitted that they feel lonely.
The survey shows that it also affects emotional stability. More than 90% respondents felt that meeting friends personally was most satisfying, but they met friends only once in a fortnight.
Dr Nitin Sarswat, psychotherapist and counsellor, said, “The internet and social media are becoming one of the worst addictions and it needs to be addressed immediately. It is killing one’s inner tranquillity and ability to interact and make friends.”
The doctor advised that those addicted to the internet should stay away from it and try to meet friends physically rather than in the virtual world. He said that spoken words and body language play a major role in communication rather than typing speed and sending messages online.