NEW DELHI: Be it a social gathering or a romantic dinner date, people are totally engrossed in the virtual world so much that they even forget to interact with actual people sitting next to them.

In metros, at homes, at colleges, schools and parties people are just scrolling down these social networking sites. This ‘addiction’ influences behavior and confidence of the person. Glancing through those curated photos might appear to be a pastime but this can have a detrimental impact on your mental health and well-being.

According to Asif Khan (24), co-founder of Digitizer Hub, we have become a society of stalkers and it seems perfectly normal to all of us, compulsively checking someone’s account does not appear aberrant to us anymore. People these days have adopted avoyeuristic approach and want to get a peek into the life of any random person they come across on the social media.

“People are living in a deception, to become more popular and to impress others on the social media. Superficiality has reached its epitome and people are living faux lifestyles, in order to exhibit themselves in a better light than others. The popularity of a person is directly proportional to the number of likes on their posts. Likes on their posts now determine their choices in life,” Khan added.

Manish Tanwar, a student of civil Engineering in School of Engineering and Technology, Vikram University, Ujjain (M.P) was totally fixated to the social media. He was so enamored by social networking sites that he did not sleep for two days in a row, doing nothing, only commenting and posting on Facebook. Social acceptance completely consumed him that even failing in exams did not bother him at all.

“It was a night before my exams and we were preparing for it. Manish had failed and so he had to give a compartment exam, the other day. I was quite concerned about his negligence towards studies and addiction for social networking sites. So, I deactivated his account and offered him help to pass the subject. But this guy was a lost case and his addiction had reached another level. He told me that he was going to talk to his mother and went into the lobby. To my surprise, ten minutes later when I opened my Facebook account I found my account full of his posts from a trip that he went for a few days ago,” said Anadi Saxena, a class mate of Manish Tiwari .

According to a survey done by the Royal Society of Public Health in United Kingdom, Instagram is the worst app for the mental health of youngsters among all the social networking sites. This survey aimed at measuring overall influences that led to the well-being of a person. The report suggests that Social media is linked with increased rates of anxiety, depression and poor sleep among the people. In the past 25 years, rates of anxiety and depression have increased to 70%. About nine girls out of 10 are unhappy with their body shapes because photo shopped photos have led them to different levels of self-loathing.