Focus on using social media for all the good things that are made available, but be wary of falling victim to the dark side of an online interaction.

What is the internet?

As the definition goes by The Internet is a massive network of networks, a networking infrastructure. The Internet connects millions of computers together around the world, creating a chain in which a computer can communicate with other computers with the help of internet connection. The Internet is not compatible with the World wide web. But that’s just the definition. The Internet is a worldwide network bringing together millions of computers. exchanges of data, news, and opinions are linked through more than 190 countries.

The internet is a mean source of bringing people together, helping people explore the world, it helps erase the distance between loved ones and if you’re lucky it could bring you love too. The Internet doesn’t wait for you. You could say it’s a dynamic it keeps moving and evolving. Something could be viral today and even forgotten by tomorrow.

Some of the very well-known uses are Electronic newspapers and magazines- This category includes late-breaking news, weather, and sports. We’re likely to see this category leap to the top five in the next several years.

  • Job-hunting various website offer jobs for people who are qualified for the same.
  • Shopping- As astonishing it is to believe it seems that this category is very well useful. It appears that "cyber malls" are more for curiosity than serious shoppers. Research, Downloading files.
  • Interactive games- Who hasn’t tried to hunt down at least one game?
  • Education and self-improvement- Internships, On-line courses, and workshops have been noticed being conducted through the Internet

Other than the uses given above the Internet is the most known for it's social media. It all started with Six Degrees. It was launched in 1997 and became the first modern social network. Six Degrees provided users to create a profile and to become friends or connect with other users. Though the site is no longer available, during its time it was actually popular and had around a million members.

Ever since that the internet was bombarded with a number of social media sites helping people to connect and discover new things. Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook are some of the most popular social media sites used by millions of users.

Social networking offers the ability to connect to other people all over the world, Easy and instant communication, Real-time news and information discovery, Great opportunities for business owners, General fun and enjoyment. But with all these plus points there have to be negative points too and unfortunately, there are quite a few.

Internet and its cheats.

Information overwhelms also known as oversharing data on social media. Many people overshare their day to day life stories and therefore forget about their own privacy. As on one hand, people overshare, on the other hand, people find social media as means to an invasion of privacy and don’t make a social media account in the first place. One of the other well-known problems is more online interaction as the substitution for offline interaction. This is seen mostly in young adults, teenagers, and millennials. With so many efforts and input into social media, they lack relativity in person and feel insecure or perhaps turn anti-social.

Since people are now connected all the time and you pull up a friend's social profile with a click of your mouse or a tap of your smartphone, it's much preferred to use online interaction instead of face-to-face interaction. Some people firmly believe that social media promotes antisocial human behaviour. Which harms their social life.

It is also noticed that social media leads to high level of distraction and procrastination. For example, say you go out with someone, how many times does the person you go out with stares at their phone instead of you? Ring a bell? People are almost all the time distracted by their smartphones which are filled with social media apps, distracted driving or the lack of gaining someone's full attention during a conversation are some of the very well-known situations we face.

Browsing social media can also lead to procrastination of some important duties and become something people turn to in order to avoid certain tasks or responsibilities. Social media networking also promotes a sedentary life. As networking can be done through perhaps the only laptop, computer, or a mobile it results in too much sitting down in one spot for too long. At the same time staring into the artificial light from computers/mobiles for hours leads to not only a lot of eye-damage but also disrupts sleep and can negatively affect your ability to get a proper night's sleep. Now let’s come to one of the most harmful and most common aspects of internet’s cheats, Cyber bullying.

Everything you need to know about cyber-bullying

Any type of bullying that takes place over digital device’s platforms like cell phones, computers, and tablets is cyber-bullying.

Cyber-bullying occurs mostly through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else is included in cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying usually results in embarrassment and humiliation to a person who’s personal or private information is shared online. Sometimes cyber-bullying crosses, the limit and turns into unlawful or criminal behaviour/activity.

A lot of people struggle to fit in with their peers, mostly teenagers and young adults. The pressure to fit in or act a certain way is way, look and dress a certain way is more than it is or would be in school, college or in any offline setting anywhere. In the more extreme cases, the overwhelming pressure to fit in with the social media ideals leads to a lot of mental issues for the young minds, it also results in them ending up as a target for cyberbullying and causes mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and even depression.

The most common places online where cyber-bullying have been noticed occurring are:

  • Social Media websites and apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter where one can publicly or privately post about their day to day life.
  • SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Message sent through devices
  • Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features) text messaging apps such as WhatsApp, hike, kik etc. where the bullies attack their victims privately.

There are various forms of cyber-bullying

  • Sharing or posting humiliating content of the victim.
  • The act of hacking one’s personal account.
  • A lot of parents are afraid of posting/sharing their own child’s pictures or perhaps photos because of the threats of social media.
  • A well-known form is stalking by the means of messages, calls, etc.
  • Posting or sending vulgar messages, photos, videos, etc.

How does the government protect us from cyberbullying?

Cyber-bullying crimes are causing a huge chaos in the Indian legal system as till date there are no special law to deal with cyber bullying in India. Cyber bullying is a new phenomenon or concept in India and has duly grown in the past couple of years. Luckily there are certain provisions under article 67 of the IT Act which can be used to deal with such matters. Although it was written to deal with E-commerce.

India's first conviction for cyber-bullying crime was to jail Yogesh Prabhu, 36 (at that time), an executive in a private company for three months by Mumbai court in 2015. In 15 years since the Information Technology Act of 2000 was passed, dozens of online harassment cases have been reported, he was India's first conviction for cyber-stalking since cyber-laws came into existence in 2000.

The first cyber-stalking case in India was in 2001 when Manish Kathuria was arrested by the Delhi police for impersonating a woman in an internet chat room. Kathuria was charged under a section of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for "outraging the modesty" of his victim Ritu Kohli.

Conclusion

According to a survey conducted, India ranks 3rd in cyberbullying. 53% of children in India are bullied through social networking or other means, not only in India but in other countries such as China, Australia, and European countries face a similar kind of scenario. Not only youngsters but all age groups face this problem. Recognising the bully on the internet or cyberspace is the biggest challenge. In this current era of rampant growth of technology cyber-bullying it is the biggest con of the internet for its users to deal with.

Focus on using social media for all the good things that are made available, but be wary of falling victim to the dark side of an online interaction.