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Aditya R DM16102

SOCIAL MEDIA IS A MEGAPHONE FOR IDIOTS


Be relevant by doing interesting things that people want to share, like, and comment
on says, Jeffrey K Rohrs. The present generation is a one which has gone through a time of
unprecedented change, volatility and innovation. This is the age of likes, subscribers,
impressions, fans and followers. We all would have heard numerous stories about the village
idiots, the ones who dont think before they act, invariably ending up making a fool out of
themselves, and teaching us lessons in how NOT to behave. Its now time to look at an
interesting species, which I would like to call Civilised Social Idiots.
Social media platforms are efficient, cost-effective, and one of the most preferred
medium for communication these days. No doubt about that! It has also become a place for
notoriety. And now, with an unprecedented increase in the number of people voicing their
opinions on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, cyber bullying has become
rampant.
Consider the case of recent ethnic clashes in northern India. A spurt of unfounded
rumours, spread by text messages and mainly by social media, warned the north-eastern
people about revenge attacks on them. Like a contagious disease, this spread from one city to
another, one town to another, and this led to panic and exodus of people. Thousands of
migrants from the countrys north eastern states started to move out, shaming our country in
front of the world. The diversity and the ideals of Indian culture were burnt to ashes by those
morons who polluted the social media by posting insensitive and rubbish content.
Muzzafarnagar riot in the state of Uttar Pradesh was again an offshoot of an inciting video
uploaded in YouTube, and there are numerous other instances to quote.
Social media, a technological revelation which can be used to unite and educate
people, when present in the hands of wrong people can cause maim. In case of a crisis or a
calamity, its massive reach can both be utilised for saving lives as well as magnifying the
problem. Today everyone with a smartphone and an internet connection behaves like a
reporter, and the so called facts that they post spread like a wildfire irrespective of its
authenticity. People have stooped to lowest level of decency by using abusive languages,
snooping, and bullying. Just think of the consequences that could arise and the social damage
that could be caused. And now, to add to the existing worries, reports are emerging that
terrorists are using social media to plot terror attacks and spread misinformation.
And hence the question arises; can we regulate the social media? Can we frame a set
of laws to counter these defaulters? The Indian government had earlier resorted to blockade
of certain Twitter and Facebook accounts, which were involved in the hate campaign. The
government had also gone to the extent of blocking social networking sites and curbing the
accounts of journalists, which resulted in a huge uproar. Social media giants like Facebook,
Twitter, and Google have been pressurised by the government to share data and obey the
government orders. In the name of regulation, is the government not putting a lid on the
freedom of speech and expression? When I think of finding a solution to this problem I end
up getting back to the question. Is there a solution in the first place?
It may sound disheartening but nevertheless, I feel there is no way out to completely
clean up the process. I do agree that tough laws are needed, and proper institutions to
implement these laws are also needed. But unfortunately the chaos is here to remain and the
Civilised Social Idiots are also going to stay. We are the best judges and the onus is upon us
to decide what is relevant for us. Lets not blindly go by what we see and hear, but give some
thought to it. As a social media user one must also keep in mind that we must respect others
personal space and opinion.
Concluding, I dont think there is anyone who could undermine the position of social
media. At the same time its a matter of fact that the negatives are also stacking up on one
side of the balance. Its up to the individual to decide whether he is going to be prudent and
smart or going to let himself become a prey to the social media menace. As adage goes- One
who trusts upon his own heart is a fool; but one who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

References:
1) http://www.businessworld.in/news/internet/the-dark-web/1061826/page-0.html
2) http://www.businessworld.in/news/opinion/editors-letter/social-
media%E2%80%99s-antisocial-ways/1062778/page-1.html
3) Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans and Followers by Jeffrey K
Rohrs.