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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Several years ago, this intangible force of globalization that promised to virtually terminate the chasms between various countries came into existence and was globally (well, almost) welcomed with a bittersweet skepticism. The term internet now needs no introduction whatsoever. It’s nature, albeit changed with the onset of new trends, remained and to this day remains, dicey. It is, in fact, infamous for feeding the greed for validation of the self and gratification of a myriad of needs, it is also known for quenching the unquenchable thirst for information. You could read up and tire your eyes with days and days of scrolling and research but the content available would never come to an end. Perhaps it is for these reasons that the pros of the internet eclipse its cons with an unerring dexterity. Therefore, we tend to not think about the side effects of using the internet too much. What is the relevance of this sentence today? Using too much internet? Is that even a thing? When most of our days begin and end with the inevitable usage of the most salient commodity of all time, the internet, is it really fair for us to question it? Maybe not.

The internet effectively aids the lifestyle that most people desire. You can shop for anything and everything online. Any delectable cuisine can be delivered to your doorstep by the restaurant of your choice, no matter whether it is in your vicinity or not. You can also the support the cause of your choice by donating to a similar charity online. The key word that comes to mind when I think about these examples is ease. The internet supposedly makes the mundane tasks of life much easier for us with such effortlessness. But is everything about the internet relatively pleasant? I don’t think so.

Social media, one of the most prominent features of the internet feeds us information that we sometimes are neither looking for, nor need to know. The cycle of social media is such that the producer of the content is also the consumer of it and vice versa. There is mostly nothing wrong with the trends that plague social media in all parts of the world. However, one thing that I do get concerned about is the inherent westernization that this process of following the so called ‘trends’ entails. Now, the complexity of the circumstance is that the influence that the internet induces on us is starting to create a new identity, one that is distinct from the western notion. Multiple posts that we see on the internet are actually critical of the west for their history with imperialism, colonialism and slavery. This new identity of the internet and all its apparent aspects could possibly lead to the rise of the internet culture, which draws its inspiration from all around the world but again is still more influenced by the west even if it’s an entirely different culture. In every sphere of life, be it clothing, education, politics, entertainment, etc., the unparalleled influence of the internet and consequently, the west is clearly visible. Again, I would reiterate that there is nothing wrong with following trends and doing what everyone else on the internet is doing. But the phenomenon of people trading their sense of individuality for the very temporary feeling of relevance online is alarming.

Most of the content we consume is created by influencers that do not necessarily keep other cultures of the world in mind. When people around the globe follow these trends, it leads to homogenization of cultures, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Nevertheless, remaining true to your real identity is also of the essence. So, what do we do? Do we stop using social media so we can find more people like us in the real world? Not really, that won’t be a viable solution for everyone. Trying to fight off a change of this magnitude can be impossible. The internet is here to stay and so is social media. Therefore, it becomes very significant for us to look for well aimed and error free representation from people belonging to different cultures, respectively. There is absolutely no use in trying to fight this uphill battle of opposing the internet culture, just like globalization. Most people are chronically online and bear contemporaries to the spread of the aforementioned culture.

Change is inevitable. And in this scenario, internet is the biggest harbinger of change. It is our responsibility to keep up with development and but it is also our virtue to not forget forget who we really are in the process. All we can do is strive to find a healthy balance!

Anjalika Tiwari

Delhi South '23

Anjalika is a student of Kamala Nehru College. She is an ardent believer of the fact that inspiration can be drawn from anything and everything. A dreamer at heart, forced into the pragmatic world, she encompasses an adequate amount of research as well as personal opinions in her articles.
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