There is a guy who had lost his lower limbs from childhood. He can’t walk around, run or works like all others who have legs. He was depressed all the time, isolating himself in a corner of his house. But his life changed since his uncle gave him a VR Set. He now can not only walk now but can even run, climb and kick people on their butts… all virtually. But he is happy, satisfied with what he got.

A low self esteem, introvert, not so good looking girl… she was unable to make friends in her school even during her college time so she spends time in loneliness and depression in a corner of her room. Parents are disturbed for her. She loves to read books but how long will she read books. Her Papa recently gave her a new laptop. Her life changed. She got the taste of facebook. She doesn’t have much friends in real so she created a fake account with a beautiful avatar to her profile, She got friends, many friends… not only girls but also guys… she is now happy and engrossed to her screen… to her world of virtual friends.

A man who was engaged to a beautiful girl but was rejected and denied later on for some reasons… He was angry, frustrated and was suicidal. He was in front of his screen…surfing. He found a new dating site. He logged in to try and found many girls and their beautiful proposals… He got hooked to one and became friends… Now they have updated their statuses as “in a relationship” and romancing… all only on virtual. But he is not suicidal anymore…

A married woman is frustrated sexually because her husband has work all the time. He stays away in the names of work. She doesn’t have scope to go outside much as she had to look after her children, her in laws, cook etc. But her husband had given her a new Samsung A7. In her facebook profile she keeps on updating her beautiful pictures… there were many strangers who send friend requests and she accepts few seeing their profiles… And one profile was making her go crazy. She enjoys chatting with her… and so on…  Her frustrations and deprivations were satiated to certain extent virtually…

The list of stories like this can go on and on…

I have observed an astounding fact about those who have online identities. My study says those who are physically active in different works either professionally or with some other purposes are less likely to use social networking sites. And those who are sick, depressed, introverts, self pitied, handicapped or vulnerable in any manner are more likely to be having a virtual profile for themselves in these networking sites. I knew this because I am one of them. I was trapped in this net when I first came to Kolkata in 2001. I was all alone, extremely bored and my physical immobility made me to be addicted to Yahoo Messenger. I was introduced to this world by a cousin though… I was a naïve completely then. But once I came to know about it I became an expert of it…  Then came,, and finally the king of social networking sites Facebook came and booked my face for the web though lately whatsapp took over everything that you can find on this earth. But they all literally captured some part of my real life which was not a good thing at all in the long run which I realized much later.

I did a bit of research further on virtual world before writing this article. I came across an article or two from which I want to quote few lines which will make us understand the negative effects of virtual life…

1. Emotional Wounds

What happens in cyberspace does not necessarily stay in cyberspace. The emotions and feelings of intimate contact felt in VR will be carried over into the real world. So if a partner is being “unfaithful” online, the emotional consequences and impact on their existing relationship are clear.

Are we about to redefine the rules of fidelity itself? What counts as cheating for one person may not be for another. However, studies show that the impact of online infidelity is likely to be the same as that of physical affairs.

2. Physical Injuries

Many experts predicted that 2016 would be the year that Virtual Reality or VR would finally “take off” or “explode”. Why is it then that everyone isn’t jumping on the VR bandwagon and hailing it? Is it because of the worry, as CNBC poised in this thought-provoking article, that the health risks being ignored? Are the health risks really that worrying? The side effects of virtual reality that cause most of these qualms are virtual reality sickness/cybersickness, probable damage to the eyes and physical injuries.

Apart from the above two major negative effects there are many other negative effects like, intrusion in our private lives, social isolation,  destroying relationships, chances of losing reputation, negligence in work life and family life, makes people lazy and irresponsible, decreasing productivity and takes away the life’s survival skills. 

Last two days I tried my best to stay away from Whatsapp and I found out I didn’t loose my friends, I didn’t miss out important information at all, I was not barred from my friends’ friend lists but I could do lot of work that were pending around me, I could concentrate on few of my household as well as official works and it also gave me a sense of maturity and satisfaction.

Recently, one of my friend gave her number to be in touch with on Whatsapp but warned me not to expect her to be much active on it. I assured her to contact her only when I need an article from her.   

Are you a captive of social networking sites? Don’t be… Don’t get robbed off of your peace which you can have in your real life around you…

Stay Balanced! Stay Blessed!