Social Media Is The New Cigarette – WAT Wednesdays

Welcome to Week 2 of WAT Wednesdays!

To view and comment on Week 1 of WAT Wednesdays – ART is a FOUR Letter WORD, please click here.

Social Media – Love it or Hate it. It’s here to stay. But does it have detrimental long term effects like a cigarette or is it helpful in connecting the world?

But is it even an addiction? Or is it simply the new way we live our lives?

What is your take on it? Tell us in the comments below!


This is how it will work:

1) Users can post their essays in the comments section below by logging in through their User id.

2) You can write your essay on the topic for the entire week. You can even challenge your friends and make it more interesting!

3) The thread will be moderated by Team InsideIIM to ensure the discussion is kept relevant and is not abusive.

4) On Saturday, experts and industry professionals at InsideIIM (all ex-IIM, XLRI, MICA only) will rate each essay on the thread on the scale of 10 with some guidance.

This exercise may not replace the practice that you may need daily to master WAT but it will definitely help you to shape your line of thought. We will ensure that if you go through these next few weeks with us on this thread you will markedly improve your content. Hopefully, there will be more substance when you actually write an essay/WAT after going through this exercise.

Team InsideIIM

We are the team behind your favourite platform.



Komal Agrawal

Social media has become an inevitable part of everybody’s lives in this modern world. It connects people and ensures sharing of information in the blink of an eye. It can be notices that people are more aware of national and international affairs now. Social media has bridged the gap of class and wealth. It has made easier to make connections and find long lost friends.
People nowadays have turned their status into: “Available Online; Unavailable Offline”. Their engrossment into social media forces them to ignore people around them. It implies that you can no longer talk to a person without using social media, even if he/she is just a foot away from you. People refuse to look up from their phones, even while walking on the street which further leads to accidents.
Social media was started as a boon, but soon it is transforming into a burden due to its excessive and unnecessary use.

Team Insideiim

6/10. Good summing up of points for and against the statement. Would have liked more elaboration though.


Social was invented with the primary purpose of communication. Social media has been considered a positive factor for many as it helps people stay connected with family and friends. It helped in business, especially advertising. When it was invented, the inventors of social media networks would never have dreamed of the impact social media would have on people.
It can become am addiction if it disrupts the daily life rather than enhancing it or it negatively interferes with one’s job(unless of course if it is the job) or if it isolates one from people around. when a person does nothing but log online and stay connected on Facebook or Twitter, it disrupts their daily lives. This is addiction, and it is a psychological problem. Many people, are addicted to social networking, that they spend time making sure their lives are perfect set up to post online. For example, if every waking minute is designed to perfection, so that it can be reflected on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, this is a sign of social media addiction. If a person considers how or what he or she does and where he or she goes and how it will reflect on social media, this person is so addicted to social media it is time to take a step back and consider the consequences.
Gone are the days when things private were kept…. private. Every aspect of a person’s life is on Facebook or Twitter from the time the person wakes up to the time the person goes to sleep. Many people upload themselves painting their finger and toenails, having a crisis in life, even a funeral! If a person is unable to do a single thing, without recording it on social media, this person is addicted to social media. If every aspect of life is shared among friends, there is very little time for that person to really enjoy whatever he or she is doing, and this affects their lives.
People spend hours on social media and lose sleep because of it. There is a vast difference between staying up to complete a chore or task and staying up to make sure one does not miss a single minute of anything being uploaded on social media. Lack of sleep can negatively affect a person’s energy levels and can affect a person’s disposition too. All this can affect life, negatively.

Team Insideiim

6/10. While you bring out all relevant points, the structuring could have been better. Your points should be better organised and written more crisply to hold the reader’s attention. Avoid grammatical errors.

Priya Kumar

Six Degrees – The first social media website that was launched in 1997. Since then , there has been no looking back and Social media and networking has evolved rapidly
in the past decade. Right from online dating sites like Tinder to the ones that help in professional development like LinkedIn, we have it all. In the present scenario, social media has become inevitable to most of us.
Facebook has reported a whooping 1.79 billion user base and whatsapp boasts of 700 million active users each day. From reminding to wish on our friend’s birthday to
being a platform for expressing ourselves and gaining different perpectives on the same issues, social networking sites have proved to be a blessing in disguise.Distance doesn’t matter any more. 5KM or 5000KM away, we can still connect to the person on the other end instantly. The Government of India too has started tapping the potential of these sites in the right way. Awareness on voting through Facebook and cabinet ministers responding to people’s queries on Twitter are some examples worth mentioning. Owing to low advertising costs, easier communication, free business promotions, most of the organizations today have benefited immensely from these websites and applications.
While there is constant development on one side, there is a flipside too. People have slowly started becoming overly dependent on these virtual platforms. Conversations don’t happen over a cup of coffee these days, instead it happens on the groups online. Happiness is decided on the number of likes and shares that our photos or posts gain. The people who matter to us are determined by our friend lists or the ones who follow us. Most people don’t mind sharing their private lives online and Cybercrimes in india have increased by 20 times in the past 10 years.
It is time that we realise that social media is only a tiny part of our lives, and there is lot more beyond the virtual space. Is it a cigarette that undermines our health or is it a shot of wine that helps in good health ? The answer lies only in this realization of ours.

Team Insideiim

5/10. You have taken too long to come to the subject. The first 3 paragraphs add nothing to the discussion. Would have been better to delve deeper into what you are talking about in the final 3 paragraphs.

Rebant Malhotra

A quick look at the average time spent by a person on social media is enough to tell us that the platform is a double-edged sword. The conveniences that social media brings accompanies along with it several problems that could affect a person’s daily life.
From news to entertainments, social media gets the entire world to our tips. There is no doubt, that it has increased awareness and knowledge at even grassroot levels. Social networks have proven to be essential in the most unorthodox methods. The power of the platform was best displayed by the Arab Spring which essentially showed how websites Facebook, Twitter could gather hordes of people to fight injustice if need be. It was perhaps the greatest show of strength of the 21st century and correctly proved the maxim, the pen is mightier than the sword.
But like everything made by mankind, all is not rosy when it comes to social media. For every ounce of knowledge spread, there is an equally terrible rumour which can cause the gravest of problems. This was especially seen in India during several communal riots which saw people spread rumours which lead to increased fear mongering and hate messages. The problem has reached to such alarming levels that people are often judged for the number of likes on their Facebook picture more than the on ground impact that they’ve had on the human society. A glance at how phone batteries are being made is enough to tell you that manufacturers have realized that social media is like a drug for its users. With phone displays reaching over 6 hours in one single battery, we can comfortably say that social media is here to stay.
We need to realise that social media’s effects on our life is not just a black or white matter. It ultimately falls down to the person who is at the end of social media. Unfortunately for us we find more and more people being controlled by social networks, rather than the vice versa. It is indeed a matter of concern that human beings who have made every creation on the planet bow before them have become slaves to their own creation.

Team Insideiim

6/10. While some great points here, in the latter part of the write-up, you seem to have lost track of the addiction argument. Rumours and riots are other arguments against social media but the main focus here is on addiction at an individual level.

Sanchali Hoare

It’s 7:00 am in the morning and you wake up with a sudden start! Groggily you grope about for the source of disturbance. Instead of an alarm you find a notification from a popular photo sharing website. The ‘nofilter selfie’ that you posted yesterday has garnered 150 likes. A fresh rush of narcissism wakes you up faster than the strongest coffee could. You start replying to the comments and before you know it’s an hour since you woke up. You have missed your morning workout and need to skip a bath to make it to office on time!
From skipped meetings and missed lunches to more serious infractions like whiling away paid office time on your Facebook profile, the addictive hold social media has on us is not something new. A slew of websites and apps, in the name of adding to interconnectivity are only disconnecting us from the real world in every way possible. Most of these feed on the innate human need to be accepted socially, thus in a way fueling increased consumerism leading to better revenues for them and potentially millions of wasted man-hours for us.
Opponents of this view claim that social media hasn’t really changed a lot – we are as we were meant to be and social media has just brought our self-love forth in a very public way. I beg to differ. I have seen the humblest and most resolute of people fall into this innocuous-looking trap. A few of them have started taking digital-detoxes of late. Social media is truly the new cigarette and way more potent than any cigarette at present in terms of the anxiety caused, frequency of usage and its difficult-to-fathom spillover effects.

Team Insideiim

8/10. Very good points focussed on the topic at hand. Nice touch to start with a scenario. Could have gone a little deeper on long term effects on social media and how apps are figuring ways to fuel this addiction further.


In this modern era of technology , globalization has played a major role in turning the world into a village and social media is one of the major factor responsible for this.The dot com bubble in the early 21st century gave rise to plethora of social media websites such as Facebook, Orkut, Twitter and a slew others.

Suddenly the world seemed to be smaller.One can connect to anyone in any part of the world in a jiffy.Social media giant Facebook crossed 1 billion users in less than 10 years of it’s creation.But like every technology,social media has it’s downsides as well.Newer and younger generation seems to be spending more and more time on social media.It is like an addiction only that people can’t seem to understand it.
Research has shown that people of the age group 12-18 spent on a average of 4 hours in a day logged in to their facebook account.Harvard had conducted a study which showed that people show signs of depression who are addicted to social media.People are so engrossed into their mobile screens that many accidents occur every year just due to carelessness.Many young kinds nowadays take unnecessary risk just to take selfies and met with fatal accidents.This social media addiction has negative effects on mentality on young minds.

Social media can be a boon or a bane .It’s upto you how you use it.

Team Insideiim

6.5/10. Good stats to show the extent of addiction and effects as well. Should have cut down on the preamble in the beginning and gotten onto the topic immediately.


Like food,clothes,shelter, ‘social media’ has become basic necessity of our generation.The revolutionary invention in the smartphone industry has helped the social media to flourish by leaps and bounds.Yes,knowingly or unknowingly,it has become an addiction like cigarette.We can’t resist ourselves without peeing into facebook,tweeter etc. at least once in a day.
But,in my view,comparing the detrimental effect of social media with cigarette is not wise.Because,if we take cigarette into consideration,it has only bad sides.Not only does it causes health hazards to both passive and active smoker,but also it helps in environment pollution.But,in case of social media,it has more good aspects than bad.It has helped to bring the whole world together to one podium.Now,with the help of it ,we have overcome not only distance barrier but also time barrier.You don’t have to maintain slam book or diary now-a-days,just by finger touch on your phone, you are able to find your long back lost friend.It has become easily accessible medium to share one’s grievances,new ideas,opinion and to draw attention of mass media in large scale.
There is no doubt,it has become long term addiction.But it is a good addiction until and unless you are able to balance your ‘online’ life and ‘offline’ life .

Team Insideiim

7/10. Very good defense of social media and nice comparison to cigarettes. Need to improve grammar and sentence construction.

pandi selvam

It all started with sending a friend request or following a celebrity when it came into picture. But slowly it became a part and parcel of day to day activities. The dominating feature they possess is that they provide a panoply of features and help users to keep up with the personal events and social events on a single platform. They are the best source of communication during disasters. Chennai flood was one example where social media was used as an effective tool for communication. They have become the common platform for various departments like business, trade, social debates as well as point to connect with our friends and follow your icons. That is one of the strong reasons that all are habituated to it. Now a days it has turned into a long term addiction. People tends to spend more time on social network and this indirectly affects the interpersonal skills. There is a direct affect on the social behavior on the social interaction for individuals and so they became isolated from the real world. Einstein quoted it long back” I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction”. As rightly so social medias created a space among us. Though it is an addiction it provides a lot of opportunity to improve ourselves.The real challenge exists in managing a stability between social media life and real world life.

Team Insideiim

6/10. Some good points here on why social media is addictive. Need to improve grammar and language.


The Twenty first century has witnessed three remarkable phenomena:
1. Hunger for modernization
2. Hunger for Socialization
3. Hunger for Equality and Spirituality
All these have led to the advent of Globalization which is ultimately fuelled by the power of Social Media. During the early 2000s, social media looked very promising and appealing to the world because of the advantages that it would have brought to all and sundry. Gradually, it has now become Apple of the eye of everyone. People across the globe are can now connect with each other at a click of a button. Be it uploading a picture/video or sharing a news or even promoting awareness or one’s business, Social Media finds its use in each and every aspect of our day-to-day lives. As such, it can certainly be termed as the Rajnikant of today’s modern world because of the humungous advantages it has.
But just like a coin has two sides, the positives of social media come along with some negatives which is slowly becoming a major concern especially the new generations who are so addicted to its use. This addiction could be compared to one of a cigarette or alcohol as due to its excessive use, it is becoming arduous for people to get over it. Social media’s influence has significantly affected one’s private life as people (addicted to it) post everything right from having a personal time with their loved one to even their morning selfies taken at their bathrooms. This addiction has snatched the productive hours one can easily afford to have during a regular day. Conversations, greetings or even a small hi/hello between two people sitting close by are now done on WhatsApp, Hike or Facebook, thus depreciating the quality of life. Addiction for selfies have even proved life threatening.
Thus, it is extremely important for one to tap the positives the social media offers as it will help big time in strengthening the already spread Globalization. While using the numerous information social media provides (Ex:- Google, Facebook), it is crucial that one does not get affected by its over use as it could detrimental effects on one’s health or well-being. Striking the right balance between the use of Social Media and not getting addicted to it.

Team Insideiim

6/10. Good points for both sides of the argument. But try to see what can make your write-up stand out. Every other article would bring out similar points. Need to improve grammar and proofread before submitting.

Prav Een

A non-smoker might often wonder what drives smokers to risk their lives for the pleasure of smoking a cigaratte.A spike of nicotine is definitely not worth the risk that comes with smoking. However, if we look deeper inside, we would find that smoking releases endorphines(the happy chemical) in one’s brain and makes one feel relaxed after having a puff of smoke.Similarly,every like, every word of appreciation and every accolade that you receive on social media releases the very same chemical(endorphine) in one’s brain as smoking would.This leads to an addiction just like a cigaratte would.
The developers of social media applications devise their algorithm based on the tricks that Las Vegas poker clubs use to keep their customers hooked to gambling.Thus Social media application by their very design are intended to make people get addicted to them. It is like having a poker machine in your mobile phone. Also there have been reports that tell us that the increasing using of social media has lead to more cases of depression being reported among the teens and people in their early twenty’s.A person without a social media account is being considered to have boring dull lives while in reality it is just the opposite. People who stay off social media tend to be happier and content with their lives.
Infact,Social media has infact become the proverbial elephant in the room that noone wishes to address or talk about

Team Insideiim

7.5/10. Very well made arguments. Smart move to show the parallel of the ‘happy chemical’ between social media and cigarettes. As well as the comparison with casinos.

Prav Een

Seriously? I wasn’t happy with the structure of the passage and considered I didn’t conclude well. Thank you . I will work harder on the same.

Sakshi Kochar

Facebook – a new cigarette. while the comparison directs to addiction being the problem with both of these,the comparison is not completely valid as smoking, regarless of quatity and ways of using it would never bring any good to the user or society. However, we see both goods and bads of social media.
Just a few years back finding right kind of information, looking for someone who could provide the right information, finding your lost friends was all so difficult. While social media has become a great source of information and done many goods to personal lives of people, it has also done many social goods. It has given platform to people to discuss some important social problems and voice their concern against many social evils and at times we have seen some strong actions being taken by government and people to address such problems.

Talking about the bad side of social media. Many feel that people become addictive to it and waste alot of their time on it which could otherwise be used for some productive activities. Long time long hours use of phones and laptop also leads to many health problems. Some also criticize social media being used as medium to spread false information and create chaos in the society.

While there are many goods and bads of social media. Human judgement as to how should it be used would decide what results it brings to the individuals and the society.
Let’s not criticize social media but the way we use and make best use of it.

Team Insideiim

7/10. Well made points both for and against. Liked that you had a conclusion in the end. Keep working on your language skills.


An initial hiccup you get when you smoke for the first time may be related to the first use of social media, but from the second time the pleasure you get will not allow you to leave it. That is the point where most of the poeple turn that interest into an addict.
In the present scenario social media is the most part of our life. Majority of the people do a lot of things bearing in mind who would react and how would they if it was posted.
The use of social media became simple to access due to the use of smartphones. Everything present in the world has its own merits and demerits too and that mainly depends on the way we are using it. Cigarette has nicotine which when taken at limits helps us to decrease our body weight in the same way social media can be seen as a thread that connect people form different places and they can know about different things happening around the world with a simple touch. Advertising became easy as most of them are using, there has been an increase in the number of people for the social gatherings for a good cause. There are so many things that do not come into light through mass media but they do via social media, recently there was a video uploaded by the BSF jawan regarding the quality of the food they are eating and the corruption which has been going out there and that video just became viral and now everyone including the higher officials are looking into it. From the students perspective they have been using this for sharing of their notes and any lectures and this has become their main platform.
On the other side this also has a part for the introduction of a new word in the dictionary and that is “Selfie”. Most of them when they wake up till they sleep they take selfies not just to see but also upload for the others to see it. This went to the highest level as people started taking selfies by hanging from the edge of a building and also from the cliffs. Many of them died before they get liked. Social media also became a stage for the cyber crimes to take place and most of the users got cheated.
This should be a secondary part of life but most of them think this as their life. You will be there with your friend during the college time and again you would be chatting with the same friend once again after reaching home and that will not make any sense as we would be wasting most of our precious time for this.
Everything should be used as per its limits and people who are using should be aware enough when to use it and not.

Team Insideiim

6/10. The structuring of your write-up is not up to the mark. you need to take up each point and explain it completely before moving on. Some good points are lost because of lack of organization of thoughts. Need to improve grammar as well.

Team Insideiim

Typically following are the list of points your write-up should include:
1. Drawing parallels between the cigarette and social media – ingredients going into the product, intent of the manufacturers, how it is consumed, how it impacts the consumer, how addiction is developed, how the addiction can be negated, etc.
2. You show how the two differ – social media having positive effects also unlike cigarettes, how social media has helped in modern times, businesses and individuals living better lives because of social media, examples of good social media usage.
3. You end with your conclusion of the debate.
You should pepper your answer with some factoids, situations and quotes to help strengthen your arguments and make it interesting. Another creative way of approaching this is to present both sides of an argument through a story.

vinayak sharma

Imagine a situation where you are outside and alone. Suddenly you feel an urge to smoke. So you draw out a cigarette, light it up and take in the first drag. Suddenly your mind feels all relaxed due to triggering of a “happy chemical “. It brings you satisfaction, smokers might get it. So the next thing you do while enjoying this nicotine and rolled tobacco health hazard is to draw out your smartphone and check for new notifications hovering over your phone screen. Now curiosity drives you to check these notifications. It might be that somebody liked the picture you shared or status you posted or someone mentioned about you over social media. Now if this keeps happening over and over again to you, well, officially you are a nicotine and a social media addict!
Now social media today has been considered synonymous to cigarette. Basis of aforementioned argument is increasing addiction to both these entities forcing society to draw parallels. This is also highlighted in the abovementioned situation .But it is only partially correct for if we consider closely, a cigarette is harmful and cancerous right from the start and it’s not encouraged to be consumed even in minimal doses. On the other hand social media has a different purpose and moral objective that is to unite people of different ideologies and culture together to form a vast pool of information and thoughts that might be shared and discussed. Now there seems no harm in that. So why malign the integrity of such a useful tool based on just one property i.e. “addiction”? Addiction to anything or excess of any entity is harmful to an individual, which is an established fundamental law then why just degrade the role and importance of social media by merely comparing it with some carcinogenic substance and branding it as an evil ?
Eventually, social media is a tool for making our lives better, we need to be cautious enough not to make it our life. We need to prevent random sharing of emotions, thoughts and personal appreciation of self, turning into an acute narcissism and later an addiction. Social media has lot to offer and comparing it with a cigarette is unjust and biased for the base of argument is limited.