Sanjana Saraf, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, who is with Max heathcare said, “although no documentation suggests that Facebook have increased suicide but things are building up into that directions. These days the virtual world is a much more real place then the physical world and since it is a controlled world wherein people can project a certain image. More and more people wants to live that image that may or may not be similar to their reality.”
The above incidents might be cases in isolation and social networking might be one of the many causes that compels a person to take one's life but this scenario is fast changing as the virtual world is getting more and more popular.
Vani Jain, a psychiatrist, says, “One of the most important deficiencies of virtual interaction is the lack of meeting someone face to face and hence losing out on a wholesome experience. When someone interacts face to face words form only 7 percent of the conversation and the rest are hand gestures, facial expressions, tone of the voice, movements of the eyes, etc. So when a person sits in front of the computer and chats he/she just enjoys 7 percent of the conversation and that is where the problem is.”
To lose out on the 93 percent of the conversation would normally distress anyone yet people cannot have enough of the virtual world. The rampant use of the virtual world is because of insecurities among people in their personal life. In a way they want to compensate for their own world by projecting an image with the help of Facebook posts, pictures and interests.
Shreyashi Banerjee (name changed), when asked about why she always like to chat rather than go out, says, “Do you know I am a dull person in real life but on Facebook I am funny. I can be funny, fun loving and have an opinion.” This 20-year-old student is hooked to her laptop for most part of her day, and it doesn't bother her friends or her family as this is what urban youths do.
However, Sanjana Saraf differs, and says, “Family interventions, social interventions and friends intervention is extremely important. One must not spend more than one hour a day on the Internet. Regular outings and holidays should be scheduled so that family people who might be addicted to their virtual world can decrease the level of addiction and the subsequent repercussions.”
Suicides and cyber crime is not that big in India at the moment but we are heading towards that grey area at a much faster rate then we like to think. It is time now that everyone makes a conscious decision about their choices, especially about their virtual world. The best way to avoid any extreme repercussion is to spend limited time on the net and also to look for signs that might indicate that a person is prone to suicide. Facebook has a page with the link- http://www.facebook.com/help/contact/?id=305410456169423&ref=mf that reports people who post suicidal contents on the site. Blow the alarm if anyone feels that he/she is suicidal or posting certain things that might be suicidal in nature. You might just save a life.
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