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Updated: January 27, 2012 19:32 IST

Untangle yourself

NEETI SARKAR
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AND I’M LOGGING OFF… To make sure I actually talk to people around, do more work, and restore my sanity PHOTO: AFP
AFP AND I’M LOGGING OFF… To make sure I actually talk to people around, do more work, and restore my sanity PHOTO: AFP

More people seem to be hopping off the social networking bandwagon

It wasn't too long ago when all that people ever discussed was related to the social media. A dozen Tweets a day, uploading pictures and writing on walls on Facebook, adding friends to one's circle in a trice on Google Plus was all that people have been hooked on to.

Given that your colleagues are permanently signed into their Facebook accounts or that even your parents have mastered the art of commenting on wall posts, you would believe we're still caught in this worldwide web. But if reports are to be believed, youngsters in urban India have started experiencing social-media fatigue as they tend to log onto social networks less frequently than earlier when they had initially signed up, according to a recently concluded survey carried out by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The survey suggests about 55 per cent of all the respondents (2,000 participants, equal number of males and females) said they have consciously reduced the time spent on social media websites.

A majority of all the respondents said that compulsive social networking has led to insomnia, depression, poor inter-personal relationships, lack of concentration, and high level of anxiety, ignorance and rudeness in their general behaviour as they tend to replace real-life social interactions with online social media.

Nearly 30 per cent of the respondents said they had deactivated or deleted their accounts and profiles from these websites and it is no longer a craze among them while many others said they had started maintaining a low profile on social networks as their privacy is being breached and peep in on their profiles once in a blue moon.

Tara Ninan, a collegian says: “It's boring to see constant senseless status updates over and over again, so I've reduced spending time on Facebook.” Change is one of the reasons people are logging into their accounts less. Rani Mathew, a mother of two teenagers says: “Facebook has this new ‘Timeline' feature and it is thoroughly confusing. I hate the layout and it's quite a turn off so I don't like the site anymore.”

With people linking their Facebook and Twitter accounts, seeing the same tweet/status on both sites gets quite bugging. Chat applications have further reduced the time one spends social networking. “I'd rather chat than sit idle on Facebook and look at the feeds that keep coming in and that's what we have Blackberry Messenger, Whatsapp, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger on our phones and computers for,” opines Rohit Das, a musician.

There are those who have made a conscious decision to spend lesser time on these sites than normal. “My productivity at work has been so low that for three consecutive months I wasn't able to achieve my targets and that was the signal for me to deactivate my account and I'm glad about my decision. I have more time to work, interact personally with people, and I don't end up going to bed late. I've observed an overall progress in my general wellbeing,” explains Ashok Raman, a marketing executive.

While a large number of people are experiencing social fatigue, there are many who haven't yet caught the chill! “I love going through pictures of my friends and commenting on them as well as playing games like City Ville,” says 16-year-old Shreya N. Her classmate Varun Kumar feels he needs to be logged onto Facebook all the time because his parents haven't given him a mobile yet!

Going by the state of social media affairs, one does come to realise a fad isn't called a fad for nothing. Just like people hopped from Hi5 to Orkut to Facebook, trends change and what's here today is gone tomorrow. Maybe the death knell hasn't been sounded yet for social networking but it is definitely losing its sheen, probably paving way for another fad. Next is what, we wonder!

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