A recent survey by an antivirus giant reveals that an average Indian spends eight hours in a day on the internet. This is almost half the time we are awake in a day’s time.
Shocking as this may come to most of us, we ourselves might find to be one of them. Is the famous predicament of technology enslaving us finally coming true? Is the world’s biggest revolution finally starting to show its side effects? Has the virtual become real and the real has lost its importance? In the same light we try to find what is compelling us to sit through for such long hours.
A survey of Indian net users has thrown up several interesting trends. Of all activities, the respondents said they would miss doing work-related tasks the most if left without an internet connection. Social networking was the second most important task, while “convenience of life” activities like paying bills and shopping online came third. In fact, 83% of the users said they couldn’t live without the internet for more than 24 hours. “I am shocked,” says director Nupur Asthana as she gets the news. She adds, “If this is the case then it means we are isolating ourselves from the world. Virtual socializing seems to have gained prominence now. Internet is becoming all consuming.”
Designer Digvijay Singh on the other hand remains on the conventional side of this story. He feels it’s better not to get consumed by this craze. He says, “Machine is overpowering. But that should not be the reason to remain hooked on to the internet for so long which might lead to health complications.” From banking, booking tickets for holidays abroad to keeping in touch with your friend in a faraway country has all become possible because of the ever-evolving web world. No wonder, we carry the world in our pockets (read mobile phones). According to a telecom industry report, the money spend on mobile Internet by the young population in India will cross $9 billion by 2012.
In metros, about 57% of Indian youth access internet using their mobile phones. Mobile Internet in India has seen a growth spurt over the past few years. In 2009, 53.5 million subscribers accessed internet through their mobile phones. By 2012, about 200 million Indian mobile subscribers are likely to use web on their mobile phones. Taking a holistic look, entrepreneur Dushyant Joshi says, “The obvious good side of internet is the connectivity. Now people are using internet for a longer duration due to the availability of multiple portable devices like mobile phones and iPads with wi-fi connections.”
He also states the downside though, “Thanks to the curiosity factor, people end up spending extra time surfing on the net. Also, the warmth in relationships is on the decline as people prefer to keep in touch through social networking sites.” But it is also the result of our hectic schedules and extended working hours. Subir Malik, band member of Parikrama talks on the same lines as he says, “I’m online almost throughout the day, but that doesn’t mean I am not working or just wasting my time. In my profession I need the internet to send pictures, talk to people and a lot more.” He points out the downside of internet usage by saying, “Thanks to our hectic lifestyle, it is difficult to meet people regularly, this is where internet comes as a saviour. People find it convenient, relaxing and even de-stressing to share their daily nuances with people. One should maintain a balance.” – TOI