Validation and acceptance are what most youngsters today seek on social media, instead of establishing it at home and among loved ones. In the process, most of this social media population ends up sharing personal information on these networking sites, more often than not, unnecessary for anyone at all to know.
Ameena Khan, a post-graduate student from Bengaluru, says, “Social media is a very dangerous territory, if not used well. We must not give out too much information because a lot of fake profiles exist out there.
Stalkers try to befriend us and extract information to use it against us later. I do not put out my phone number and other such personal details on social media. I like to keep my life private.”
Social media can be looked at as a huge boon for the present generation too, believes Donna Das, another Bengaluru-based student. “But it can turn into a bane for those who do not know the proper usage and limit.
People have begun a trend of posting stories and pictures of every inconsequential moment of their lives. Be it a ‘check in’ or simply being home alone and ordering food online. But these activities are being watched by millions given the reach of social media. So we should limit our usage and maintain our privacy,” Das adds.
Information from around the world is today available with a couple of taps on your smartphones. But amid this broad access to information and communication, “youngsters get confused between what is right and wrong”, says city-based psychologist Sunayana Pani. The number of teenagers joining this bandwagon is going up by the day. Prithvi Ramanthan, a class IX student from Pune, is among the few who refrain from this social media attraction. “I have not created a Facebook profile yet because I believe it is more of a time consuming activity than any learning. The idea of sharing pictures and information on Facebook really scares me. I prefer spending time playing sports or watching sports,” Prithvi says.
An IT professional in the city, Nayantara Krishnan, however, has a rather optimistic view about this. “I don’t think sharing information on Facebook is harmful since the website has created a lot of privacy and safety features for users and I use all those safety features to protect my identity. No one can stalk me or access any of my information unless I want them to,” Krishnan says.
But how many of us are aware of these? Facebook has a total number of 1.5 billion active users but most users are unaware of their availability and usage. Parents of young children too must be aware of these and let their kids use social media under strict parental supervision.