Social media is a hot topic in today’s world. Its significance has become ‘the’ debate of the decade. Is it good for us or not? Is it benefitting or harming us? Several such questions come to one’s mind. However, considering it to be simply a means of stalking people would imply that we are casting a blind eye altogether on its advantages.
The question is, can social media (which is a world in itself) be generalized in this fashion? Such a complex network must not be thus belittled to only one of its negative aspects. Are we to question the whole concept because of one misuse?
Stalking is definitely a way that people employ for notorious purposes, and this implies misuse of the medium. However, social media has its advantages too. It was created as a platform for convenient communication. This communication could be of any sort, and in any form- It may be political, social, economical or personal. From connecting to relatives and friends living far away to searching for jobs, social media proves to be a boon. We air ideas, responses and comments online, we access news on real time basis- social media provides us facilities that are unique and exceptional. It has brought about practically the next biggest revolution after the invention of the wheel. So degrading its massive value to one aspect would be a little too convenient.
Gaining knowledge of the world around us is another positive provision by social media. Consider this; if we merge ‘gaining knowledge’ with ‘stalking’, we can look at stalking as a positive reinforcement instead of a negative one. What is stalking? Stalking can be comprehended as understanding, evaluating and collecting information about a person for using it in whichever way. Consider a situation where you are a journalist and have an activist in mind, on whom you wish to write a brilliant story. So you go to her LinkedIn profile and get her email address to contact her. This will prove to be beneficial for both the parties; you will get your article, and her cause will get a voice. Stalking has both negative and positive aspects, so we need to keep both of these in mind before we start handing out judgements. Following people online is not always going to end up in a disaster.
However, cyber stalking and criminal stalking HAS become a problem, owing to the Internet being available to any and every one. It is a social issue which needs to be dealt with strictly, and Section 72 – under IT Act of 2008 provides for aid and punishment to the victim and the convicted. Studies show that most of the stalkers, of the criminal sort, are psychopaths or have personality disorders. However, we cannot blame the whole world for the fault of a selected few.
Social media is not simply and only a means of stalking people. It is a lot more than that. The Internet and social media were created for the convenience of the public and for the efficient working of the world. They provide advantages on a global scale and their judicious and venerated use will lead us to places we can’t even imagine. The onus falls on us. We need to have good intentions and be extremely careful while using social media. So practise the same and spread the message around.