Taking up hobbies and making 'real' friends are the solutions to let go the addiction to social networking sites
From just pinging your friends online to being a part of e-campaigns to playing network games, the social networking sites have come a long way. Posting and commenting on pictures and status messages, is a common feature. But what if the dependency on these sites gets a bit too much and the only person who can help you out is a shrink?
Psychiatrist, Dr Suparna Telang says that many people look at such sites as an escape mechanism from the real world they live in. "First, people get curious about these sites, then they enjoy the variety of interaction they have to offer and subsequently, get dependent on these," she says. She adds that getting addicted to these sites is a sign that the person is not satisfied with his/her daily work and family life and doesn't have good friends to share stuff with.
Priyam Kabra, 26, a brand manager, was addicted to the popular social networking sites- Facebook and Orkut. "I would scrap my friends, update my statuses and comment on photos everyday. I had started liking my online life," she says. But when the sites were blocked in her office, she used to feel depressed at the thought of not being able to network online. "I used to feel depressed and left out when my friends would discuss Facebook. It took a few weeks to realise that it was good in a way, as my dependency on these sites lessened," says Priyam, who has stopped 'Facebooking' now.
Telang says that it can be considered as a good sign when people who are addicted to these sites, themselves decide to give them up. "Any type of emotional dependence is not good. One needs to nurture 'real' friends and take up worthwhile hobbies," she says. In case of Chanda Paliwal, 23, a housewife, pressure from the friends' side made her join Orkut. "I got hooked to it in no time. But then, I decided to keep away from Orkut and instead started calling up and meeting my friends," says Chanda, who originally hails from Rajasthan and now believes in calling up friends.
"If one is happy with his/her family and friends, there is no need for such crutches," says Dr Telang.