Believe it or not, the present world is mushrooming with information and knowledge revolution. In this era of knowledge sharing and information explosion, the role of change and transformation due to the evolution of internet in in all walks of life has revolutionized the society and life of the people. No matter what we do and where we go, there is a tangible impact of internet on every layer of life. And this is a challenge before us to adjust or customize our style of action and reaction to suit the need of the situations or circumstances. But, the domain of life which has been hugely impacted by the internet revolution is our social relationship. In this backdrop of internet era, the meaning of relationship and boundary of relationship has changed drastically. The days are gone when social relationship meant the people living in the near vicinity of our home. In this modern era of economic globalization and communication development due to the mushrooming of internet network, the entire world has become home and the gamut of geographical boundary has shrunk and squeezed. So, it makes good sense for us to adopt and inculcate a habit of decency and decorum in our life during sharing of any personal and private information while sharing information in the social networking using internet. Such a need of ethical standard plays a key role in this age of globalization and information technology where there is knowledge boom and information explosion in this ever-changing world. In this revolutionized age of knowledge sharing and explosion, the role of computer, internet, and the associated information and communication technology has been immense and influential in all the domains of life.
Life is meant to be lived in a society to build relationship and face the upheavals confidently. But, in this modern age of information technology and uncontrolled mushrooming of internet resources, the very definition of life, friend, relation, relationship, and their objectives has changed. The world is mushrooming with information explosion and technology that shrink its size and bring people closer to one another. And, one of the technological gifts in this modern world is the emergence and prevalence of internet and social networking. So, we have every reason to believe that internet and social networks have played a pivotal role in removing the social, political, economic barrier among the people who are geographically located at distant regions. Using social network is an ideal forum that gives people an opportunity to exchange ideas of mutual interest and present the viewpoints quickly and forcefully. But everything in life has its merits and demerits. Excess of anything in an uncontrolled manner is harmful. So, this philosophy of life needs to look at the influence of cyberspace on the minds of the all the people and their relationships.
We are aware that internet is freely used across the globe by all ages of people for multiple purposes. In another words, life for all in every walk of life is controlled and guided by the impact of computer and internet. There is no domain in life which is untouched by the repercussions of the internet and social networking. In this process of influence and cascading impact, the stage or age of adolescence in human life holds a great significance. In this modern society, young generations are thickly gripped like a vice by the influence of internet. There are many activities being performed by the young lots but the most significant and widely prevalent actions are using this boon of internet for dating online and establishing social relationship. So, it becomes imperative to understand the temperaments of the younger generations from different perspectives. In order to get to the bottom of the predicament and perplexing situations caused by the usage of internet, it is obligatory to visualize the negative and positive aspects of this modern boon of life.
There are numerous ways in which social networking helps in building relations between two or more people. One area in which the younger generations are addictively involved is the prevalence of online dating. Traditionally, dating refers to an act of meeting, association, relation between two people, especially young ones, for finding out each other's suitability or compatibility as a partner for being in a personal or private relationship. Using this social interaction or collaboration, one tries to share and understand each other's thoughts, feelings, emotions, mindsets, hobbies, interests, and many more. This meeting or relationship can take different forms of intimate relationship based on the mutual agreement and intensity of comfort level. Further, it is also possible to have different connotations of dating in different countries. But, in a generic sense, it is a kind of meeting for some specific time before engagement or marriage.
But, in the modern context of computerization and network of internet, online dating is a modern method of creating interaction or building relations through internet between two persons or groups. Though, the objective of this association remains only to come into a close and intimate relationship, its mode of presentation or interaction is different from the traditional approach. Therefore, using the options and features of internet or mobile, individuals share the personal and private information such as age, location, gender, photograph, video, academic qualification, hobbies and interest, physical data, and many more, to find a suitable and compatible match. Similarly, data are also shared by the other prospective and compatible member, and then both members establish their relationship in different permutations and combinations, using web camera, textual message, mobile chat, and image sharing. This service is generally being facilitated with or without payment by many dating sites in the world by the application of various marketing strategy of either attracting or trapping prospective customers. For this, the interested persons need to register themselves and share their personal details as required by the site. And, after the settlement of agreement with terms and conditions of the rules and payments, the online dating sites offer services to the registered users for availing the facilities of webcam, text, and voice-based chat, and start building relationship based on mutual agreement and comfort level.
Social meeting is a need of every human being to share ideas and feelings in a social environment. This nexus takes place generally between two known people who stay in the nearby locality. Traditionally, the social meeting used to occur in club, hotel, and any other public place there is a guarantee of individual privacy. But, internet has given and added a new meaning and dimension to the social get-together. And, it has given various options to explore in social relationship by using the means of text, audio, image and video. Although the applications of internet have brought people closer who are geographically located at a far-flung area, it has thrown many challenges and complexities in defining the meaning, relevance, and dignity of social relationship. These complexities are related with moral, ethical, and social values of life.
Accountability of Social Challenges
In this globalized age of internet, it is prime time to nurture and nourish especially the young lots in a delicate and pragmatic manner. Here, the elder members of society or family needs to play a crucial role to condition the temperamental approach of the younger generation and make them emotionally strong human being so that they are prepared to face the challenge of life. In this modern age of information revolution, there is an explosion of ideas, caused by the social networking through the cyber world. It is good that social networking helps us establish contact with anyone through textual, audio, and video-based chats, and share ideas, emotions, and feeling. But, there is an urgent need to look at this issue social networking from different perfectives.
Social and Physical Challenges of Social Networking
Social networking creates a situation where the younger lot sit idly in a closed room and share ideas using text, audio and image in e-mail, on-line chat and instant messages. All these give births to culture of physical aloofness, social alienation and cultural separation. Such people, especially the young, may be or may seem to be good over online chats. But they fail in social relationship when they have to directly meet another person in family, society or on street. And, the worst suffers in this scenario are the young minds who do not receive the proper care and guidance from the family or society. As a result, they get trapped into this world of online chat and instant message. Such a strange scenario breeds an unprepared person to take the challenge of life effectively in the real life situation. In this context, it becomes necessary to understand the common features of cyber networking.
Features of Social Networking
Some of these features that impact the life of younger lot, are closed-door interaction where there is no exposure to the outer world. This makes them have no physical contact and understand them. Further, you find that there is free exchange of information which are not monitored by any social or family, or administrative agencies. Besides, there is no system to verify the reality of person’s backgrounds, such as age, gender, interests, hobby, qualification, location, professional profile, physical details, and many more. In the absence of these details, they create unhealthy and unethical circumstances, and raise doubts of sharing undesirable and unethical information. Furthermore, it is quite common to see in this cyber world where people are blackmailed morally, socially, and emotionally.
Multiple way of fake disclosure of personal data
During online chatting, there are many ways in which people on social networking site display their fake description of personal data, and they lie about who they are. The main motive of this fake disclosure is to befool someone because he or she cannot see and meet in the real sense. And, the general intension behind such false show is to come in contact with the people of opposite gender, try to build close relationship by sharing intimate textual or voice-based messages, and blackmail emotionally in an unethical manner. Such people who lie, try to read the minds of the counterpart by asking various questions, judge his or her motive, interests, hobby, likes, and dislikes, and finally, align themselves falsely so as to present themselves as if they are made only for the person with whom they chat. Therefore, it makes good sense to list some of the common ways in which people lie during online chatting. These are:
a) By showing or posing with fake name so that they could be able to present themselves as culturally and socially acceptable, and chat on topics of mutual interests.
b) By showing with fake age so that they chat with young or adolescent people who have limited exposure to this complex world and life. This is generally being done by the people who are old.
c) By showing with false gender so that they can chat with the people who are not comfortable chatting with the gender of opposite sex. The approach adopted generally by such fake people is to entrap the people by sharing intimate feeling, emotions, and ideas. Later, they reveal their real gender and endeavor to emotionally blackmail the people in making intimate conversations.
d) By showing the fake location to the people who are not comfortable chatting with the people of other regions, state, or countries.
e) By showing or sharing fake photographs with a view to befooling and entrapping the immature and young minds.
f) By showing fake promise of giving or sharing either money or physical things to the people who are
g) By showing wrong display of academic and professional data so as to attract the attentions of the counterpart, and make them agree to chat freely on unethical issues, and corrupt the minds of the younger generation.
Keeping the aforesaid facts and circumstances into account about the fake presentations of personal data, social relationship, and online dating on social networking site, time is ripe to understand the nuances of the internet that generate a negative and an unethical addiction towards building relationship. So, this is not the end of the problems caused by the prevalence of online chatting. The other disadvantages that degrade the life of the people, especially the younger generations are the missing of physical activity, bad health due to physical inactivity, lack of development of emotional strength and maturity, and fragile social and family bonding. Therefore, in the modern age of computerization, internet, and globalization, it is the prime need of hour to understand the bitter facts of lying and fake data during online interaction. Now, in this situation, it is accountability of the parents and elder members of the family to give sufficient time to the younger minds, talk with them, and share the problems and challenges of life. Because, it is a proven fact that the tendency of the young generation towards online chatting and making friends with the unseen people, is due to the fault of the parents and elders members who do not have time for their own children to share and discuss on the topics of mutual interests. So, the elder members need to take the responsibility of buying times for their own children and try to understand them so that the younger lots do not get trapped in online chatting for emotional help and consolation. At the same time, it is to be also understood that internet is not a bad thing but the manner in which it is being misused is unacceptable and unethical. Therefore, the parents and elder members of the family and society should encourage the younger generations to use this gift of science for developing their social, moral, ethical, and language skills. In the long run, these preventive measures in a controlled manner will go a long way to generate a positive and pragmatic impact on the life of the adolescents and make them become a happy, healthy and emotionally-strong human being. So, without any shadow of doubts, it can be said that internet is a learning tool to understand, describe, analyse, and explain the globalised data that enable our life to become healthy and happy. And, it is not possible to imagine life without the influence of computer and internet. So, it is high time to realize the unavoidable necessity of this digital and networking device, and use it pragmatically with safeguards so that we don’t become victims of its misuse and malpractices. Therefore, it is better to keep our pace with the emerging demand of time and sail in the boat of happy, healthy, and prosperous life by using internet judiciously. Thus, let us create a world by embracing internet, not for dating or relationship, but use this gift of modern time as a launching pad and symbol of success with a dignified decency and decorum so that we can grow professionally in all walks of life.
a) Hissom E. Amy. “Computer ethics.” November, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.personal.kent.edu/~ahissom1/portfolio/Computer%20Ethics%20Journal.pdf
b) Herold Rebecca. “Introduction to Computer Ethics.” Auerbach Publications, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.infosectoday.com/Articles/Intro_Computer_Ethics.htm
c) James Rachels, “Why Privacy is Important” Computers, Ethics & Social Values, ed. Deborah G. Johnson and Helen Nissenbaum (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1995) 352.
d) Horstman, Judith (2008). The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex and the Brain: The Neuroscience of how, when, why, and who we love. John Wiley and Sons Publishers Limited, 170-212.
e) Dishion, T.J., Andrews, D.W., & Crosby, L. (1995). Antisocial boys and their friends in early adolescence: Relationship characteristics, quality, and interactional process. Child Development, 66-75, 139–151.
f) Search Institute. “Benefits of Online Social Networking.” ParentFurther, 2012.Minneapolis, Retrieved from http://www.parentfurther.com/technology-media/social-networking/benefits
g) Tucker, J. “Social networking has hidden dangers for teens.” Sfgate, August 10, 2009, San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved from http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Social-networking-has-hidden-dangers-for-teens-3289805.php
h) Wicherski, G.“The Dangers of Social Networking.” Securelist, April 19, 2010,Kaspersky. Retrieved from http://www.securelist.com/en/analysis/204792113/The_Dangers_of_Social_Networking
i) Morrison, E. “Why social media isn't the magic bullet for self-epublished authors.” theguardian July 30, 2012. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jul/30/tweet-about-cats-just-write
j) Stephens Stephanie (July 21, 2011.)Medicaid Waiver Good News for L.A.'s Homeless. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
k) Mechanic, David and Tanner, Jennifer (2012.)Vulnerable People, Groups, And Populations: Societal View. Retrieved fromhttp://content.healthaffairs.org/content/26/5/1220.full
l) California Advocacy Groups (2009.) Health Access. Retrieved fromhttp://www.health-access.org/item.asp?id=120
m) Susan M. Barrow, Nicole D. Laborde (2008). Invisible Mothers: Parenting by Homeless Women Separated from Their Children. Retrieved fromhttp://www.springerlink.com/content/742gu15730342t14/
n) Berndt Thomas J. Friendship Quality and Social Development: Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 2009. Retrieved from http://www1.psych.purdue.edu/~berndt/Friendship%20quality%20and%20social%20development.pdf