Monday, 19 September 2016

The Rise of Social Media - Keyboard Warriors and the Online Activists

          Ever since the advent of social media, the lifestyle of common man has changed drastically. Each and every one of us has become a judge. We sit comfortably in our offices and pass judgments on people whom we have never even met. When every man has an outlet to express his feelings and opinion in the form of social media, it is more important that one chooses one's words wisely and in a more mature manner. With more and more people becoming keyboard warriors and online activists, I believe it is very important to distinguish between the true and the hoax.

          Online trolls and abusers use their keyboards as swords to kill any opposition for the cause that they might be preaching. People hiding behind the cloak of anonymity are beginning to wreak havoc everywhere. An actress who posts a picture of herself with his close friend is presumed to be a husband cheater and is abused. A sportsperson who posts a picture of himself having his dinner is lashed at for not donating to the poor. Each and every word a celebrity says is twisted and skewed, every sentence is construed to hate religious sentiments and people are getting offended easily. The laying bare of each and every individual's personal life on the online platform have lent an air of intolerance and insecurity among people.

         Men and women keep crying for 'Change' without actually doing anything substantial for the change to materialize. They don't worry if they come across as hypocritical, all they require is that they should register their opinion on almost anything and everything. A man sharing a spectacular video against Child Labour thinks he has done his bit for the society while he forgets the 11 year old boy mending shoes outside his office. There are numerous such instances where people have put up a fake face on the Internet.

          I'm not trying to say such online medium provides only threats to man as a whole. A lot of incidents have been witnessed where the social sites have been used in a productive manner. The December 1, 2015 Chennai Flood is a typical example where the Internet made sure that help reached people even in remote areas as soon as possible. The social media sites served as a platform where people in need posted their grievances and got immediate assistance and relief. That was one incident where humanity rose above the debris of inequality and social media played a crucial role in the overall scheme of things. However, such display of humanity is often marred by terrible incidents where people could have acted more judiciously. A few months back, a young girl was forced to commit suicide by online abusers who kept passing nasty comments on her online page.

          By the look of things, it seems like the Internet and social media are here to stay. As in every other case, the matchstick has been placed in man's hands. It's up to us to either light a candle or burn the house down.

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