So here we are in the age of digital life, where giving a fission exposure to anything we write or say will happen with a gentle hit of the keypad.
Upload a video, gather enough likes and shares and become a celeb- make the morning newspaper look like stale news-check in your self-obsession through unwaning uploads of pictures or attention-seeking posts, and etcetera. All of this good up till here but there’s a fierce dark side to this internet of things.
I am able to fit this in here somehow- a few months back I picked up the Times of India in New Delhi and saw a consortium of newspapers screaming a warning or maybe crying for patronage with the campaign “Print is Proof”. The drive [which seemed like an April spurt] promoted the credibility of print over digital media. A ‘Yea’ from me on this, but ironically just about all leading newspapers participating in the crusade against the fundamentally unreliable non-print platforms had their feet well-grounded in the digital space. This, however, being beside the point for now.
Until August of 2018, I had no friends- I wasn’t on Facebook, so to say [Ha-ha!]. Twitter, Instagram, Online Forums etc add up to the social media’s collateral mess but Facebook introduced me to the next level of how far things could go.
The elite English newspaper editions were in a savage tug-of-war with a strong flavor of vernacular journalism. And all the “people” of the Facebook community were living up to the mission of the social networking company- “Sharing and expressing what mattered to them.” I’m deliberately picking up Facebook as an example here cause Twitter is thought of as rather bland, with a word limit on one’s ‘expression’. We all have thoughts but Whoa, now we all have mics we can scream into, how about that?
There’s an overwhelming stench with this entire online and social media thing. The “lucky-us-internet-age-people” are over-exposed to the information explosion, which within the context of “commenting” is so unnecessary and devastating. And here’s why I think ‘Why”:
- Everyone with an opinion now has a voice- that’s a cacophony [we may like to call it ‘Democracy’ instead]
- A lot of nonsense is being spilled out in the guise of our fundamental Right to Speech/Expression- Trolling, Swatting, Doxing, Online Mobbing, Dogpiling, etc.
- Demolishing and bashing someone is now just a click away.
- Insane voices are making a huge noise behind cyber identities.
- Reaching out to the masses no longer calls for merits and measured tones.
- We are being more amused than informed.
- Criticism and verbal frustration get a leeway through the online forums- it’s like speaking from behind the curtain.
- Offensive comments have an easy and accessible medium.
- Despite the cyber laws, getting away with random jaundiced opinions is rampant.
- Personal opinions are strewed online to define and defame people.
- Voicing without a sense of responsibility is becoming ridiculously palatable.
- Wannabes are getting an online platform to pose as Pros through online speeches and comments on half-baked theories and facts.
- Online mouthfuls lack the credibility, integrity, moral ethics, behavioral discipline, and the validated truth that ought to be essential for any publicly stated opinions and comments.
I’d just wrap this up by saying that anyone in the public domain is subject to exploitative and unconventional maneuvres owing to the sad social media binaries. I really think it’s our moral responsibility to refrain from comments [which pour out in plenty] that are insensitive and derogatory as well as not construct opinions based upon the judgemental statements of those brandishing a defamation strategy or a malicious propaganda, or perhaps someone contributing to the muse out of sheer ill-advice or perhaps a juvenile delinquency.