You sit down to work with immense resolve, of completing the long list of pending work. Just before you begin, there is this tiny voice in your head which asks you to take a quick peek into your social networking page. Before you realize, a sizeable chunk of your work time just flies! And you don`t even realize. This is a recent complaint, but it is a chronic one already. No matter how much you try, you tend to lose track of time when logged into your virtual world. What is going wrong` Something surely is going wrong, because we feel guilty and displeased as an aftertaste at least with our usage of time among other things. Your contacts are not your friends, let us face that first. It is our `cover-up` for filling up the growing void in our real lives. No matter how popular and amiable you are, it is improbable and impossible for any normal person to have in excess of hundred friends. We do not have time for our dear ones, yet we have a friend and following list running into hundreds. Clearly, there is an imbalance here. Call it whatever name, but what you see is a fa`ade and not the real thing ` everyone is not having the time of their life while you carry on with your mundane routine. It is just an ordinary matter and no coincidence that people will post pictures of happy moments and events where they are dressed up in their best. What you end up seeing is their chosen best of their holidays and occasions. Yet what it manages to do to you is that you think it is their actual and normal state of being! A lot of people do acknowledge that social networking is fanning jealousies and giving birth to more gossip than goodness. The lines that you read and are just about regard as the finest wisdom from your friend ` is either quite banal, or lifted from somewhere. While you may find answers to the problems of your real life in the virtual world, the virtual world actually has real problems. Since there is no one to actually moderate or edit what people post, there is rampant plagiarism and sadly a great deal of unattributed wisdom. You would agree, it is unfair and perhaps can, at your own level discontinue being party to it. Should you `pull the plug`` Indeed, a lot of people are jubilant in having exercised that option, and an equal number are contemplating it as well! We are not suggesting that though, nevertheless we would like to spread the awareness about the idea of `de-selecting` some of the things which are not creating a positive impact on you. Maybe a friendly group is turning into an idle gossip zone, or a cynical and avenging towards a common ex-employer, or an overly-sentimental alumni group, or a completely mischievous peer group which consumes your constructive energy. You can identify your own `time-thief`. On the surface, there is no malice or mal-intent. It is just that such activities, under the garb of being entertaining are actually draining you. To top that up, it is addictive. Be aware of what you share and with whom. And yes, it is always better, and also advisable to err on the side of caution. So, limit what you share. Review your privacy settings. Ask the actual close friends who are on your list, if they notice anything amiss on your page, and even in your interactions. It will surely have caught their eye, even though if they have not mentioned it. Take notice and think: Are you really interested in candle-making as a hobby or just because your friend is, that you end up spending so many hours first looking at his actual work and then feel compelled to oblige with comments. It is far better to join friends whose hobbies and interests you personally share. Remember, people change with time. The high school friend who was all so meticulous and you envied his grades, may have himself fallen prey to limiting habits. Being careful is always advisable. If you notice people venting out private grudges in public, you can imagine their trustworthiness when it will come to your confidential matters that they may be privy to. Do you find yourself seeing approval in the form of comments` Are you getting dependent upon the seemingly sincere comments, of course it is very difficult to tell which ones are not, but you surely know! If you find something too good to be true, trust your own judgment. Maybe, it isn`t true indeed. Just the same, steer away from narcissistic and self-centred contacts. A final word here: Who you choose to be with today, and what you choose to do today will shape your tomorrow ` choose wisely.

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