Before the Internet made its impact, people were wary of communicating openly but for a few extroverts (as they were called). It was tough to get people to speak their minds with ease and comfort. The fear of speaking in the presence of people made communication all the more difficult. People would send greeting cards or probably write letters to near and dear ones. But to actually address a large audience, it took a lot more than just knowledge. Social media sites have paved way for effortless communication in the recent times. People, who were once shy, have taken to expressing their thoughts in a big way. There are many people who get to read these thoughts and this does not seem to bother the once shy and timid people. Kavita, a practising psychologist, examines the role of Internet as a therapist, in the regular column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Communication refers to the means of sending information, exchanging ideas by speaking, writing or by using other mediums. Good communication ensures better relationships, professional success and is vital for growth in all areas. Before the advent of Computers, communication was mostly vocal and handwritten, with the exception of a few being typed. As the Internet flooded the scene, communication had a makeover and how?
Back then before the Internet made its impact, people were wary of communicating openly but for a few extroverts (as they were called). It was tough to get people to speak their minds with ease and comfort. The fear of speaking in the presence of people made communication all the more difficult. People would send greeting cards or probably write letters to near and dear ones. But to actually address a large audience, it took a lot more than just knowledge.
Social media sites have paved way for effortless communication in the recent times. People, who were once shy, have taken to expressing their thoughts in a big way. There are many people who get to read these thoughts and this does not seem to bother the once shy and timid people.
Rekha (all names changed to protect identity) was a shy married woman, who could never express herself clearly, which led to self-esteem problems. The thought about people’s reactions made her nervous and she could never voice her opinion when amongst people. Though she loved socialising, she could never engage in any conversation for long. It was when she opened an account in a leading social media site that she discovered her talent. Slowly, she began to observe the others updating their thoughts, stories and more and soon she put out her first post, which hardly fetched any likes. She remained undaunted and put out another post and yet another, till one day when she received the first feedback from an unknown person. The feedback was very crucial in unleashing feelings within her words. Soon she began to garner likes and comments. Today, she is a successful writer and a trainer.
Rahul was a nervous teenager who worried endlessly about what people would say, he feared rejection and criticism. No matter how many people tried to draw him out of his shell, he remained the same. He wanted to become a singer but the fear of people’s reactions kept him silent. As he began to watch videos of other singers on social media sites, he began to gain confidence and soon his first video as a singer saw the light of the day. After that, there was no looking back. Now, he is a famous playback singer.
Many people have found love online leading to committed relationships. Professing love was an arduous task back then as the means was limited. With the advent of the Internet, there have been interesting love stories that have happened online.
Shamita was a young second year engineering student, who was quite popular in college. Though average in looks she was the cynosure of all eyes for her intelligence and excellent communication skills. Ved was a year senior to her in the same college and the two had been interacting over assignments from time to time. Ved had developed feelings for Shamita but her proficiency in communication was holding him back in expressing his feelings to her. He decided to propose to her in a unique way. He scribbled a few lines and popped the question to her on a social networking site. Little did he know that Shamita had wanted to hear this for a long time! She accepted his proposal and the two soon became a couple.
While this love story started on a positive note on a social networking site, not all proposals are decent.
Nivritti was a beautiful married woman who ran a successful garments business online. It was natural that she received feelers from many men across different social networking sites. Some of them were really obscene with men sending her pictures of their nude body and asking her opinion. Some sent her pictures of a bed decorated with flowers; a few messaged her describing what they liked best in her, which part of her body. One guy had the audacity to send her his nude pictures and described the act between him and her. Nivritti would ignore such messages but they did disturb her at times.
Sending lewd messages has become the favourite pastime of pranksters and perverts. The Internet has created easy access to people leading to increased cyber crime.
Not too far in the scene are married people falling in love with others, married or single akin.
Selena is an attractive married woman in a not so happy marriage. Her husband Derek is overworked and shows little or no interest in her. Her desire to be loved remained neglected since years. She secretly wished and hoped of finding another man, who would give her all the love she desired. While this would not have been so easy back then, the Internet came by as a saviour. She met Dheer on a social networking site and the two hit it off from day one. Dheer is also trapped in a loveless marriage and desired love and affection from another woman. Selena and Dheer started to chat and soon fell in intense love with each other. They do not know what would be the outcome of this relationship but they are happy with each other today and are not worried about tomorrow.
There are people who could never speak in front of gatherings, but due to expressing their opinions on social sites, have gained confidence and are doing very well in life. There is a positive and negative to everything. It depends upon one’s perception as to what one wants out of life. While improvements have been noted, cheap thrills have also increased, thanks to the Internet. Easy access has led to increased knowledge quite early for the current generation leading to psychological issues.
Whether the Internet is a boon or a bane cannot be decided by one set of people, as individuals differ in their outlook towards life. What is your experience?
Photo from the internet.
Kavita Panyam is a Counselling Psychologist by profession and a freelance writer by passion. She has won competitions in various magazines for slogan writing, reviews, and several blogging competitions. Her work has been published in reputed magazines across India and abroad. She writes for several well-known ezines and for print magazines. She also features as a guest contributor for various websites.