The youth in present day India is the first generation to grow up within a world of pervasive technology. While several writers applaud these social network sites (SNSs) for transforming the social landscape of India, recent research is beginning to examine the destructive role of these SNSs. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether and to what extent social media contributes to decline in well-being, addictive behavior and other harmful social effects.
In the first phase, a structured questionnaire was sent via e-mail to 114 students. The second stage embraced an exploratory qualitative approach with in-depth interviews and reflections. As part of the third stage, the author devoted a lot of time reading the blogs and posts of the youth.
The analysis of qualitative data is presented in three major themes: patterns of usage, nature of online friendships and threat to well-being. Some of the respondents did experience “addiction-like” symptoms. It can be deduced that the respondents are not addicted to the medium per se; they are cultivating an addiction to certain activities they carry out online.
Indian newspapers have recently reported several cases how social media can mislead and corrupt the youth and some of these cases have ended in tragedy. This kind of obsessive behavior is extremely dangerous to the minds which are otherwise actually intelligent and ought to be stopped.
There is no doubt that the Indian youth is developing a dependence on this technological advance that fuses people all over the world. We are still in the infant stages of understanding these issues in the Indian context. This study adds value to the negligible empirical evidence in India till date.
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