Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Has social media come full circle!

The social media had an element of novelty when it first made its mark. The idea of sharing things with family and friends soon caught up. We made friends in lesser known countries and got to know more about different cultures. It was a pleasant 'discovery of world' for many.

With time the pleasantries gave way to more serious discussions, courtesy groups and blogs. Anonymous people made matters worse with offensive remarks and comments. Privacy issues too cropped up. Naturally the account owners were alarmed. The moderation part became stricter. But, that didn't stop people from voicing their strong opinions. Many started using the various social platforms to support their causes, with utter disregards for others in many cases. It became a bigger issue to handle. Online media laws were taken up more seriously in many countries.

Still the nuisance continued. Online threats, live streaming of suicides, videos showing how to make explosives, mocking of religious figures and a host of others problems penetrating the social media. So much that people were fined and jailed in many cases. At times innocents bore the brunt of this fightback. The virtual world started imitating the real world!

Those trying to set up an online society forget the ills that creep into one if not properly monitored. Absolute freedom is a myth. The progress of social media today is exactly a reflection of how the world societies shaped up. A network that was supposed to bring people from around the world together is now being used to divide people further. You have groups promoting hatred in the name of religion, colour, ethnicity, gender and what not.

As the adage goes, excess of anything is bad. We need to wake up to the truth. Everything virtual, no matter how convincing it may look, may not necessarily be true.

Let's start spending more time with real people in real world. The distant world maybe a click away but is still full of uncertainties and fake identities.

(The article was first published by The Other News.)

No comments: