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25 November 2015

Instant Messaging ~ Boon or Bane?


At the outset- this will not be a sermonising post on the evils of instant messaging (IM) apps. As a regular IM user, I have no moral ground to do so. Rather, these thoughts have been recorded following an incident wherein pictures from a private function held at a friend's place, were being circulated by absolutely random people, who didn't even know the person, personally! Which got me thinking, is IM slowly turning into a bane? 

Initially, when a particular app started becoming popular, it seemed unrealistically good. You could chat with your best friend sitting in another continent, without having to worry much about the mobile bills. You could see what your favorite nephew whom you've never met before, walk for the first time. You could do so many things! So much so, that a host of other, better and advanced apps came into the virtual market. You could precisely "express" your emotions with the oh-so-cute stickers and emoticons.

However, the flip-side is also true. First and foremost, the Group phenomenon! No one takes your consent before you're unwillingly made a member of yet another group. It is not uncommon to be part of groups where the number of members average 50, and you actually know just four or five of them. Countless (many a times lame and meaningless) forwards, pictures and videos, being forwarded all the time, and the dutiful replies in the form of an emoji to these forwards. Gossip of all sorts, cat fights, group fights, the constant sulking by few members, one trying to outdo the other by posting glamorous Oh-I'm-having-so-much-fun type of pictures, etc. Rumors, wrong medical information which can even be life-threatening, morphed pictures, spreading at the speed of light. The constant stalking that we sometimes face is another issue. The moment you open the app, there's a high likelihood that you'll get a message, 'hey, online?'. The addiction today has reached such alarming levels, there have been case reports on the Lancet of 'Whatsappitis' (bilateral wrist pain). The art of conversation is slowly being forgotten, as people do 'meet' for lunch but everyone only seems to be glued to their phones. These are few of the things I can relate the most to.

I personally know people who have uninstalled IM apps from their smartphones, and in extreme cases, have actually reverted back to using the classic antique handsets, just to cut the addiction to IM and to apps in general. Having said all this, will I (can I) stop using IM? Not so easy I guess. All said and done, the advantages are still there, but there has to be a balance somewhere. 

So, what are your thoughts on this? Where does one draw the line?

(Picture sourced from here)

2 comments:

  1. So true......i can relate to most of the stuff you've written. Whatsappitis...lol...one bad habit i gained was word reductions and my spellings sc**wed. Well written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yea,I didn't put that up for the fear of sounding like a grammar Nazi! :)

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