When was the last time you checked your Instagram account for likes or ‘direct messages’ or your Whatsapp Messenger for a text? The most likely answer would be- 5 minutes back. Now ask yourself another question. When was the last time you went out with someone to talk over a cup of coffee and get to know them better? When was the last time you actually sat on the dinner table with your whole family sans your mobile phone? When was the last time you actually enjoyed with your friends or significant other without removing this gadget from your pocket?

The irony of this situation is quite amusing: the same teen that is taking the perfect selfie from the best angle, is now lazy and unfit; the one who is making crafty conversations on Whatsapp suffer from lack of confidence and the one who is trying to perfect his Instagram and Facebook page, has lost his sense of personality.

Let us compare the emotional quotient here. People send many comforting messages and emoticons on Whatsapp, however either they don’t mean it or they cannot express themselves when confronted in a face to face situation. The dependency on social media often makes teens underconfident in real life situations.

Nowadays all people are concerned with uploading “like-worthy” pictures to show how much fun they are having, or what others missed out on, but these people are really missing the bigger picture here. We all have had that one night where we had so much fun, we forgot to take pictures; or that one outing where we left all our mobile phones and did something that really challenged us.

I strongly believe that the people who look for answers on social media are the biggest fools, the answers have always and will always lie within us. To all the teens reading this, I implore you to get off the couch! Stop living in the bubble of social media and get a pinch of reality that is life. We have often heard that a family that eats together, stays together. Now is the time to put that into use. For every 10 minutes you spend on social media, try socializing with someone for at least 5 minutes. All our families have rich heritage, some good old stories and some untold truths. What can possibly be a better time to spend some time with our grandparents, who are ageing way faster than us than regret not spending time with them when it’s too late? The true value of all relationships is always understood by the deep and meaningful conversations with one another which cannot be fostered online.

In my vision, social media is like a good slave, one that obeys every command of his master, but if the master himself becomes a slave, his slave would not hesitate to become his master’s master. The human race is a social animal and must always remain the master of his own destiny.

-Khush Jhaveri