For illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Pixabay

Social media is not a real life

In today’s world, we have numerous friends on Facebook, Whatsapp, thousands of followers on Instagram, but how many do we have in real (“ Why am I not on social media”, Gulf News, November 06)? We have detached ourselves from the real world. We have forgotten the importance of socialising, and connecting with other human beings. We welcome a new friend on social media, but we are reluctant to welcome an old friend to our homes. We feel it as an interference in our lives. We are afraid to share our heart out to them. We think it as a freedom to be staying alone and doing the things we like to do. But we do forget that we are social beings. At the end of the day, we were created to live together by sharing our joy and sorrows with each other. No wonder people are drowning into the deep dark well of depression. No wonder suicide rates have increased to a concerning rate. No, I am not against social media. It is one of the best means to connect to people away, the best way of bringing old friends together, but it is a virtual world. We should also keep in touch with the real world. We cannot cut ourselves from it.

Even today, it feels heavenly to sit with friends and chat over a cup of coffee. It solaces our soul when we come to know people care about us. It is a thrill to play outdoor games with children in the neighborhood. A little time spent with the pet makes us realise how even animals can calm us down. And, just some time spent alone, without the mobile in hand, meditating and connecting to nature makes us recognise what we were created for, and how marvelous our creation is.

Indeed, social media is a boon if appropriately utilised. Always distribute your time and give importance to the things which need utmost attention. We need to make real friends who can stand by us in the time of need, make us smile when we are gloomy, fight with us over the last piece of pizza and last but not the least, support us with their whole heart whenever we stumble in life. This will solve most of the problems we face in everyday life. Let us conquer our loneliness with the real value of friends than searching it in the media. Real friends are forever, whereas the virtual ones are short-lived.

From Ms Noor Tabassum

Fujairah, UAE

COVID-19 and global economy

Global economy will continue to be in a tailspin, even in the year 2021 (“How lasting will be the effects of a deep global recession?”, Gulf News, August 29). Even if a set of vaccines is finalised by the first or second quarters of 2021, it will take about 18 to 24 months to roll them across the world. So, some parts of the world may continue facing lockdowns or restrictions on economic activity. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has already predicted that global GDP will decline by 4.9 per cent in 2020. In 2021, we can at best hope for a flat GDP, with no growth, even though the IMF is optimistic and predicts a gain of 5.2 per cent. Unemployment which has increased due to stoppages of industries will continue to rise in 2021 also. Large numbers of unemployed people pose a sociological issue. There could be violence or agitations in nations, which are unable to offer jobs and do not have adequate social security systems. The violence in Nigeria, on the last fortnight of October, was partly triggered by the 40 per cent unemployment in the country. So, we cannot expect any significant investments or new industries in 2021 in most countries. Governments across countries should plan welfare schemes, mass feeding programmes, community kitchens, cash benefits, and so on, for the weaker sections of society, through 2021. Increasingly, some of the smaller or weaker nations may face de facto bankruptcies and will seek bailouts from the IMF or the World Bank. The recent shutdowns in France, Germany and now the UK, are a chilling reminder that COVID-19 has to be managed diligently since it can erupt again anytime, and stunt economic growth.

From Mr Rajendra Aneja

Mumbai, India

Being an introvert

I am an introvert, I have been combating it for many years. “Study me as much as you like, and you will never know me. For I differ, a hundred ways from what you see me to be.”- Rumi. You tell me, are you the type of person who always tries to accommodate and absorb others? Someone who wants to do just everything to make other people happy? If you are, welcome to my asinine club and we have been wasted so far. I am the kind of person that tends to think highly of other’s opinion and not enough of my own. Trust me “imposter syndrome” is real. Maybe it is because I am not that good at verbal communication as more extroverted people are. Extroverts might be better at communicating their ideas, but I can bet for my last dirham that their ideas don’t always work. They’re better at convincing others, and they’re better at convincing me too. I myself cannot assure anybody to do or go my way, because having it my way is associated with so much stress. What I lose sleep over, is wonder what if my way doesn’t work, and others get mad at me? What if they stop being nice to me if I say no to them? Then one day my nest was remodeled. Someone told me, you can be quieter and little less social, but you need to be confident. Let me be an introvert and self-assertive at the same time. I need to be confident enough and find a way to navigate this predominantly extroverted society. The truth is everyone looks out for themselves. So should I. He told me, next time when somebody tries to convince me, I should take it with a grain of salt, and to be someone who can just walk away from the room. I need to learn to put myself first sometimes. Let me tell them I am not doing it, you are wrong, your idea is not good. If it wouldn’t be weird coming from someone else, it’s not weird coming from me, either! Be proud of what you do, whether right or wrong. And if you haven’t achieved what you want to, or reached where you want to be, act as if you did. The operative word is personal development.

Ms Nadhia


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