1) Bad Spelling and Grammar- The acronyms, misspelled words and lack of punctuations while communicating online really messes up your memory of actual spellings and you end up writing things like “ur” , “2gther” and “c u 2” in your official mails.
2) Google it- No matter whatever it is from road maps, word meanings, contact numbers, statistics, news or gossip - anything we want to know we Google it, in fact even if we don’t want anything immediately we find an excuse to Google something while we are free,including our own name.
3) The Virtual me- Whether we do it voluntarily or involuntarily, we develop two kinds of identities the real and the virtual. Being on the internet where we don’t actually physically see a person or persons we communicate with, changes the way we act drastically from how we behave in reality.
4) Anonymity – This is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand where anonymity provides us with platform to express ourselves freely it also makes us feel invisible and the feeling that we can get away with anything, like slandering someone is very likely.
5) Picture mania- Whenever there is any occasion like a get-together or a party we start focusing on shooting pictures that that make us look like we are having fun and we are more focused on "looking cool" rather than actually having fun.
6) Herd behaviour aka Following the sheep- Peer pressure online is much worse than actual life. In life when we are dealing with 20 classmates online we are dealing with 500 friends on your friends list. Just because a majority of people have liked a video and find it funny we would simply like it and comment “LOL...soo funny must watch” all the while having a straight face thinking “What was so funny about this video???”
7) Faking it- I don’t know how many other people do it but personally I have gone to the extent of faking stuff just to have a good enough status. Not exactly lying but exaggerating like some people would listen to a song twice and say “Listened to this song at least 50 times now it is so good” and people who would read this status would YouTube the song immediately listen to it once and reply “I’m addicted to it too.”
8) Attention and Drama- If you are the kind who likes to be the center of attention, it is very difficult to do so online because you another hundred billion trying to do the exact same thing! So, what do you do to seek attention? You become an online drama queen (or king)!! For example statuses like “why does everyone hate me?”, “I feel like killing myself.”, “I’m all alone.” And so on are just lines to draw attention.
9) Privacy- I know people who keep telling me that their families don’t give them enough privacy and keep asking why can’t everyone “mind their own business” and so on. But once they are online they are constantly sharing their personal sob stories with 1000 virtual (some probably fake) friends.
10) Online stalking- Whether you really like someone, really hate someone or find someone with the most interesting (scandalous, gossip worthy, good-looking etc.) stuff you develop a habit of stalking their online habits and you might not be so creepy offline but online you feel free.
By Syeda Nawab Fathima
The writer is a media and communications student specializing in journalism at Manipal University, Dubai
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