With over 3 billion people using it, Social Media feels like a “Virtual Earth” with the only difference of credibility and sensibility.
Honestly, something which can start a war over binary codes, doesn’t make sense to me.
But Social Media is a big deal now.
Brands are getting involved, people are making a living out of their posts and popularity, hidden talents are flaring up, celebrities gaining/losing their reputation, politicians winning elections, innocents getting defamed, accusations turning to convictions without a jury, people going bankrupt and hate-comments getting normalized.
Well, I believe social media initially meant to connect people and provide a platform to share their thoughts and information. It was never meant to get so complicated and mislead the mass.
Now blanketed opinions are something which is based entirely on hearsay and have literally no authenticity.
With the increasing usage of social media, it feels like everyone needs to have an opinion. Doesn’t matter whatever it may be, you just need to take a stand. That is a very underrated peer pressure.
The constant need for validation is a tiny form of an existential crisis this whole generation is consistently facing.
Let’s Discuss A Hypothetical Situation-
Rajesh logs-in to his Facebook account.
After hours of scrolling, he figures out there has been a conflict between 2 celebrities and people are discussing a lot about it. He has no idea what’s the conflict is about, but gains some rough insight from posts related to it.
He also identifies that celebrity A is getting more public support because B is from Pakistan.
He develops this utter necessity of validation (of course he’s jobless, he scrolled for hours) and forms an opinion not only supporting A but also harassing B.
People supported his opinion.
At this point, neither he cares about the conflict, nor about the celebrities.
All he needs is attention from the crowd, so he goes on bullying B in all his posts. Then he craves for more attention and starts posting Islamophobic opinions.
And mind it, there are millions of RAJESHs out there doing the exact same thing, maybe in different situations.
All Rajesh had was one blanketed opinion, but it made him commit cyber-bullying, which is again a big deal.
In a survey with 2000 school students in the U.S., it was revealed that children with cyber-bullying past are twice as vulnerable to commit suicide as others.
Now Rajesh has fantasized his fan-base.
He can’t afford to disappoint them. So, he starts searching for something to back-up his claims.
Subsequently, he finds a video which not only supports his claim but also over-highlights it.
In that situation, we can’t blame Rajesh for sharing that video without verifying its credibility. He just got a brain-gasming feeling of validation.
That video got popularly circulated in chatrooms, groups, pages, etc., and turns out B lost his career when it was a small avoidable conflict he had with A and all other stakeholders were unnecessarily involved.
So, he has 2 choices,
– Either survive with a failed career which may or may not be retrieved, or
– Choose a different career option;
B may be practical enough to accept the choices and live with them.
But let’s consider he’s a bit fragile and did associate his career with his life all the time. End of his career may instigate him to end his life.
So overall Social Media isn’t so dangerous in itself, but the misuse is!
References and Citations
I’d rather be called an impulsive writer. Although emotion is not something that drives my pen, the utter necessity of Justice does!