I have 2 assignment submissions, practical work and a math quiz tomorrow. It is 6 pm, I have plenty of time to do it all, I think to myself. My phone buzzes; a friend has tagged me in a video of a puppy playing in a pool. Next thing I know, its 7:15 and I’m watching a tutorial on how to make the world’s yummiest choco chip cookies. My heart starts racing as I put my phone face down, determined to get some work done. I start on the practical first, as it’s the easiest of all my present tasks. Half an hour later I proudly pack my practical notebook in my bag. This calls for a break, I think to myself. Just 15 minutes on my phone and then I’ll start the assignment. But by the time my phone deadline is over, it’s time for dinner. By 9 pm, I start getting mini heart attacks. I start the assignment next, and get stuck on the first question. Open my phone again and send a picture of the question to my friend on WhatsApp. By 11 pm, my first assignment is complete, with considerable help from my buddies on WhatsApp. I don’t feel like studying anymore; I open my laptop and watch the latest episode of my favourite TV show that I had been dying to watch the whole week. At 12 am I’m feeling peaceful as I think to myself, I’ll study for the quiz in the metro and do the second assignment in the break. It’ll all be okay. Thinking that, I check Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram one last time, for the hundredth time that day, and fall asleep.
The above may sound familiar to most of you reading this. We are so addicted to our phones that every moment spent away from it is filled with anxiety. Not only that, the constant need to keep checking various social media platforms for no reason at all is causing major disconnect, not only for the teenagers of today, but also for the middle-aged. Along with that, this causes lower productivity and we end up wasting precious time that we could have utilized in doing something more productive.
Having said that, I agree that the internet and social media are very important in the sense that they are bursting with so much information and updates on what is happening around the world. They bring people, separated by distance, closer together. But again, constantly living in the online world has a detrimental effect on our lives as we miss out on what’s happening around us at the present moment.
Some people realize the fact that this excessive use is harmful for them, but it is worse for the people who continue to do so without comprehending the damage they’re doing to themselves. Addiction to the internet is a real problem, and it’s happening today all around us. It is high time that we snap out of it and start living in the real world.
– Meghna Bhatnagar