Saturday, August 25, 2012

Social Media!

Once upon a time, every newcomer in the corporate IT world used to have fun with the most widely used communication tool - Email. And the fun was 'forwards'. Remember hitting 'Crtl+F' and 'Alt+Enter' impulsively and shooting a mail with 'FWD' in subject line, perhaps coupled with some other keywords to ensure 'safety'! ;) And then, there were blokes who used to religiously send Thought-For-The-Day or Good-Morning mails as a daily ritual! There were forwards of good-luck or bad-luck striking if one forwarded the mail to x number of recipients, or fund-raising for some sick child - for every forward 1$ will be credited, or blonde-jokes, or about some social-cause, or some product promotions.. variety of subjects.. I vividly remember same images being recirculated with different stories! While few others just plain, out-rightly fake news, stories or urban-legends! And of course, there was also the spamming on personal mail-ids. Over a period of time people could sensibly judge and decide what is true and what is not!

Although, there usually were (and still are) norms and policies for the email usage, most companies would or wouldn't enforce them strictly! It was a way of socializing for employees with their peer-group. Of course, there were fire-walls, blocked domains, tracking-mechanisms, monitoring and if something went wrong, there were serious repercussions too.

Things have changed a lot since then! These days every other person has a 'smart-phone' (i.e. a mobile computing and communicating device) in his or her hand. They can now connect to the 'social networking' sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. round the clock. The medium of social interaction has changed but... few people still do the crappy things they used to do earlier with mails! 'Send this to 25 people' has changed to 'Let's see how many likes/shares this post gets'!!

In general, we do criticize the press, television and print media, for not being honest and neutral. But, very conveniently forget the way we use social media! I can safely say, the media & press (among other things) are reflections of the society they serve. Good begets good and bad begets... ...! Don't we all really deserve this quality of media?

In recent past, there have been many incidents involving social-media and means of communication (sms-es)! And following these incidents, knee-jerk reactions of both the masses and the authorities! And neither can be blamed for their reactions.. we are living in difficult and dangerous times and its better to be safe than sorry!

In hindsight, I feel there should have been some governance and censorship - either external or self. At the same time, I'm also skeptical about the reasons, motives, actions and reactions and more reactions happening in the recent past. Even the events that are supposedly happening in the parts of the country / world, how much of it is real, as opposed to the stories projected or not projected by media?

And how should people react to such incidents? Should region, religion, race, caste, color of skin, sex or sexual orientation be the basis of our empathy? 

Isn't the pain of victim enough for us to think of them and pray for them, genuinely?

Or does simply shareing a ghastly picture on Facebook completes our responsibility? Yes, there have been pictures which changed the course of history - but they were clicked and shared by people who were in the thick of action! 

Must read wiki-article about the photographer!
Must read wiki-article about the photographer!

This certainly is not equivalent of a 'seemingly worried'(?) person 'forwarding' or 'sharing' fake or doctored or unauthenticated images - that's just plain mockery!!

Any resource when used properly (Facebook's legal page having links to other FB policies) will always yield good results. It was this very media, using which nations toppled their oppressors. And the other way round, this medium is being used by progressive-rulers as a feedback mechanism. What is needed is the maturity and sensibility to seek positive changes by acting positively - not just being an idle, inactive voyeur who's adding more to the trouble and chaos, than spreading peace, tranquility, goodness and hope!


  1. A timely and sensible post. We are now living in an era of social network at its peak and we should exercise restraint whenever possible. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Very true Sandeep... thanks for stopping by and taking time to read and share your thoughts...
      Warm Regards,

  2. hmhm.... I think that social media is like a hungry animal that consumes everything but Today, people would rather get consumed than let it starve. I have nothing against Social Media. I have an active facebook account. i blog regularly. Tweet when I am bored and so on. But somewhere a line has to be drawn.

    I don't write about myself in a personal way in my blog. I avoid posting photos that I don't think are relevant on Facebook. I don't approve everybody who sends me a request to my Facebook account. I don't tweet what I am eating.

    It's when lines are blurred, I think people do something that they later regret.

    Voyeurism is an integrated characteristic of humans. I think social media is feeding on a very subtle and socially accepted aspect of the same.

    1. Very true Muthu - people are ready to be consumed - mirch masala lagaa ke murg tandoor banne ke liye tyyar baithe hain... we should certainly draw our own lines and follow them, then there whould be no need of censorship!!!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts,
      Warm regards,