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Current social media practices are creating a generation dissatisfied with their own lifestyle while battling a ‘Fear of Missing Out.’

In October 2015, Essena O’Neill, a popular Instagram Influencer, deleted 2000 pictures from her profile in what appeared to be a crisis of conscience. Having counted over half a million followers, and living many young peoples’ dream life, she eventually came to realise that the so-called ‘real world’ was a better place to spend her time.

It is possible to coexist in a healthy way in both actual and virtual communities so long as balance is maintained and lines of communication remain open.

In today’s age, children are born into the world and in many cases the first thing they are exposed to by their parents is a smartphone to capture and share their newborn images. This is often an indication of things to come, where electronic devices become a consistent part of their lives. The presence of such devices mean that children are going online at a younger age, but what implications could this have?

In this age of constant connectivity, there is both an expectation and perhaps a desire to always be contactable, in a plethora of ways.

It is estimated that at the end of 2018, 51.2 per cent of the global population, or 3.9 billion people, were using the Internet. While the Internet has brought about many positive changes, there have also been some undesirable effects of its growth and increased usage.

Our days can become inundated by frivolous scrolling through endless social media feeds, and responding to a constant stream of messages.

The digital age has changed our lives in many parts of the world, inextricably tethering them to the Internet for the simplest to the most sophisticated of tasks. In the first of a new series of articles on how to use digital media safely, Altaf Jiwa outlines the role that the Internet and social media have come to play in our daily lives.

Voided silk-velvet textile fragment from Iran, dating from the first quarter of the 17th century. This fabric represents the type of luxury silks that were produced as a result of Shah Abbas’ stimulus to trade with Europe.

A major exhibition on the Safavid Emperor Shah Abbas I, whose rule of Persia spanned the 16th – 17th centuries is on at the British Museum in London. It provides a historical and cultural introduction to Persian culture and achievement, and situates it within the wider context of world events in the same period.

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