The first time I browsed through FB, I was beyond interested. I never thought that it would take control over me and make me a prisoner of it, leaving me out of control over myself and permitting FB to take control over me. The feeling I felt at that moment is similar to the sensitivity [...]


“POSM”- Prisoner of Social Media


The first time I browsed through FB, I was beyond interested. I never thought that it would take control over me and make me a prisoner of it, leaving me out of control over myself and permitting FB to take control over me. The feeling I felt at that moment is similar to the sensitivity I felt the first day I smoked a cigarette. I never thought that one awful day, drugs would take complete control over me. Also, I never knew that I would become a slave of sexual immorality emerging from the first time I watched pornography with my friends at Pamankada. Slavery has become innovative, it has understood that people will simply reject it if it appears as a devil in a black costume with two large scary eyes and two sharp terrifying teeth that are visible to everybody. Therefore, slavery has relaunched itself by appearing as an attractive angel with no sign of great danger.

Furthermore, slavery deceives us in many ways depicting that it is legal, habitual, life is meant to be enjoyed, you would regret if you do not align with the new trends and many other similar deceptive thoughts. We all are aware that food is a basic need but we are also aware that excessive amounts of it can make us suffer. Similarly, even though sleep is essential to our body, sleeping inordinately makes us lazy and unproductive, thus it can destroy us completely. On the same page, there is no argument of the importance of social media in our personal lives and careers. It is certainly one of the most effective communication tools in the contemporary world.

Yet, it is essential to understand that stepping forward beyond the original purpose of anything may become dangerous to human kind. Many of the drugs that can destroy mankind today were originally painkillers that were used during wars or other such situations that was encircled by pain. The moment man began to tweak the original purpose and reinvent them for pleasure, then those products initiated to take control of themselves, converting people to become slaves of those products. One fine day I was shocked to realise that the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is browse on social media. There were three things I used to do as soon as I woke up every morning. First, I go on my knees and pray to God, secondly, I wish good morning to my wife and finally I spend some time concentrating on my beliefs and my strengths. The reason I was astonished was because all the aforementioned three important acts were replaced by social media. Though I assumed I was a strong personality who cannot be defeated, I realised that I have simply lost control over myself as a consequence of this tool.

The reason I was alarmed was because I know extremely well what would come my way if I lose control over myself, I have experienced it on multiple occasions. I knew well enough what exactly happened to me the moment socialising crossed its limits at the age of 16. I thought to myself, is it not the same thing I am trying to repeat with my digital entanglement on social media? At the same time, I monitored my screen time and it aggravated me further to witness the many hours I have invested on social media for a month. I realised that I was no longer myself, I have been bought by social media. A person who has lost his/her ownership is simply a puppet who dances to the tune of a third party.

Though we believe that we are independent, we are actually not as independent as we think. We depend on many useless and unproductive aspects. Dependency can become a powerful tool when you are dependent on the precise source. If you feel that your joy is lost when you miss the teledrama that is telecasted at 8:30, then there surely is a serious issue about your ownership. If social media has taken control over you, you are a slave or a “POSM” – Prisoner of Social Media. You should decide when and what to browse. Do not allow social media to tell you when and what to browse.

In this context, there are two areas we must comprehend, when we are knotted to something, we must ensure we are aware of its maximum and minimum limits of that thing. Our lives are like a healthy soup; hence we must ensure that we are aware of the exact amounts of each and every ingredient that is included in it. Eating, sleeping, reading, studying, fellowships, friendships, working, training, entertainment and even motivation should possess its limits, purely based on your life’s formula with the end result being your vision. Whatever deviates you from your dreams and goals should immediately be subjected to a revision. Since life is all about how well you manage your priorities. We must change our priorities based on specific situations that we must face.

Just as social media has unarguably contributed positively towards the world, it has also become a poison to many people’s lives simply because of their inability to handle it with care. This happens when you do not have adequate information and resources. With the many dramas that are taking place around us, I do not think one must make their lives even noisier. The beauty of life is to be well focused in a noisy world whilst making sure they do not make their world more cluttered.

If you do not handle social media wisely, it will certainly clutter your life with excessive noise and make you a person who is lost in a jungle. What you must possess are things that will help you find yourself and not things that will isolate you in a lost world. If you do not handle social media wisely, you will unfortunately find yourself completely lost in life, as it can rob you of many purposes just as it robbed me of three valuable things in my life.

“What” replaces “What” is another question that we must ask ourselves frequently. If you add sugar instead of salt to your spicy chicken curry your dish will not receive its original taste. Likewise, if you add salt to your cup of tea instead of sugar, the taste of your cup of tea will be lost. It will not be able to reach its original purpose. Similarly, if the time you ought to spend with your parents is spent on browsing social media, you would not be able to attain happiness. If you are on FB whilst you ought to be working and fulfilling your duties at the office, then, you will not be able to progress in your career and enhance your capacity.

If you replace the time you ought to spend with your children to browse through social media, it is not only that your child will be ill directed but you will also acquire a life full of misery, regret and depression to see your children suffering in life simply as a result of replacing the time you ought to spend with your children in searching who Gnana Akka (a famous character in Sri Lanka at this moment of time) is and what powers she has.

If not handled with great care, social media has the capacity to manipulate your mood. There are days I have woken up in very high spirits but lost them in a few minutes due to unnecessary content on social media. Since there is always a right time for everything, you should not attempt to eat the dessert before the main course. Also, I have seen how people serve everything that is available in the buffet onto their plates just because you have paid for it. You do not have to serve everything at a buffet as some food may not be appealing to you. Similarly, how many irrelevant and unproductive things are you attached towards and hooked on to?

Social media has stolen the focus we have on ourselves towards the others. We are more interested in knowing about some secretive tapes of other people whilst we should be actually carrying out constant self-analysis seeking who I am and where I am going wrong. People have forgotten about themselves, as they are so occupied in finding who the others are just to validate their own failures. The question you must ask yourself is “Has social media developed me” or “Has social media destroyed me”? Finally, why not ask yourself, am I a POSM – Prisoner of Social Media”.

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