Where Thou Headed Social Networking?


Where Thou Headed Social Networking?

EDITOR'S PICK / From the pen of Jitendra Varma   /   Mar 09, 2016

Social networking is a two edged sword. And it is destroying India instead of making it better. The problem is with the people who are using it. 
So #removethemughals is the new pastime for the Indians on twitter. 35000 Indians want that the Mughals should be removed from history books. These numbers are more than enough to take the entire media by storm. It has created a wave in the cup which reflects on the intelligence of all Indians. Similarly a small twitter message from a MLA of Delhi made the Government to change the name of Aurangzeb Road to Abdul Kalam Road.  If this is the power of the social media then the day is not far when a lunatic may start a viral post for destroying the Khajuraho or making Arnob Goswami the Voice of India. 
What social networking in India entails? 
Every event, statement, foolish act of people from each and every corner of the country, which were lost in anonymity earlier, have become public exposing what we are really made of. 
Social media has divided the country into two. The nationalist and the pseudo nationalists, the communist and the non-communist, secular and the pseudo secular, anti and pro minority, the gods and the parodies about god, patriots and non-patriots. 
The baser instincts of the Indian population came out of the closet and the social network fed on it. The emotions of the majority of social media users kept crawling to the lowest median possible. So there are millions of likes on the social network for intensely religious, intimately romantic, immensely patriotic, something which social media users know will raise so many likes from similarly placed users.
The multitudes of self-help posts have make it look like as if millions of Dale Carnegies live in India. This has conveniently given so much of importance to esoteric emotions that real emotion / issues have been forgotten. We have become emoticons instead of real feelings and depth. 
There was a time when written words were considered sacrosanct. Everything printed became gospel truth. In those days we were really taken for a ride by falsity most of the time, because there was no opportunity to contradict it. Then come internet and Photoshop. Social media became a place to screw the minds of millions with photographs and short video clips of 30 seconds. So the speech of Kanahiya, the JNU president, was photo-shopped to include a map of broken India as a backdrop, courtesy a national TV channel and we lapped it up. 
False twitter account is being taken as proof of sedition by no one but our Defense Minister and Police Commissioner of Delhi. If the people at the highest security levels fall for such foul play on social network, what we can say about how the multitude of gullible and uneducated Indians with rudimentary knowledge of internet would react to when such doctored news is spread to cause dissension in the country. It will be more devastating than a bomb. 
Social media has become a staple for doctored videos, doctored proofs, gory details of violence, blood curdling threats & abuses, forced religious propaganda. Any master manipulator of public opinion like Goeble in Nazi Germany would love to have a swing with such a powerful manipulative tool of propaganda.   
Social network has given us numbers which compared to the vast ocean of people in India are not even miniscule but they have started being used to spread the canard as if whole of India says it/wants it/likes it or guffaws at it.  
It has given chance for radicals sitting in a drawing room to create a storm in a tea-cup or in an ocean depending on how much it catches the fertile imagination of the nation. 
It has made an idiot of thumb sucking Indians who think of every visual they see, every video they see and every text they read as gospel truth
It has given fake ids on Facebook where voluptuous girls keep asking for at least one like each from their followers to a picture of some God or some army man dangling from a rope. All being fake accounts relying on Indian men lapping up female friendships on internet being created by scrupulous businesses for commercial purposes.  
It has given anonymity to the people to say the most vulgar and abusive language on the social media or to troll or bully someone without any fear of being traced unless people take it to the police (it is different matter that even then nothing may happen).
It has given a tool to all the moneyed manipulators from political leaders to political parties to religious sects to religious fringe and to businesses to reach out to people who are captive, pliable, and living in the binary of like and dislike on the social media for exploiting them to the hilt for building a public opinion where none existed.
The internet is a wonderful media; it can serve brilliant purpose of building a collective voice of people who long for peace, prosperity, humanity and a second lease to this earth. It can give that voice so much strength that it changes the world. And there is a massive pressure by almost every powerful group in this world to make the internet a vested media for one sided communication to people corrupting it as much as any other conventional media. 
(image courtesy: http://goo.gl/4MtzlB)

The views expressed here are those of the authors and doesn’t reflect the official policy of Janpratinidhi. The views expressed here are those of the authors and doesn’t reflect the official policy of Janpratinidhi.
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