Internet has always been a source of information, propaganda, and campaigns, it has also been the source of counter or false of the same, but social media has definitely enabled the reach of this information to your digital doorstep just like a newspaper did. Social media has transformed what you read and share and some say it has become a tool for peaceful activism and some believe it to be the debating platform for the betterment of a society. I am not convinced and here are my why’s.
Front Page News [FPN] factor
In general print media news, the front page is edited by a group of experienced editors who review the accuracy, relevance, language and content of the most important page of the news paper which is the front page, but think about the front page news that you get on your social media. How do you get your news in social media and who decides your front page? Since there are scores of news websites an average person most often depends on “reliable sources” whom the person assumes has already verified the editorial content. The usual reliable sources could be your boy friend, girl friend, favorite star in entertainment or politics or a member of a community. Your FPN could have been ripped out of context, because someone liked it or was moved by it or thought this was their service to society. Unfortunately this is your front page news!
Yes, I call this information pelting because it sounds to me like rock pelting. Ever wondered why people throw rocks in demonstrations, because to an average person that’s all one can get to and prove participation. Same here the person who throws information thinks that this is a peaceful demonstration and nobody gets hurt. That is so untrue! The rate at which information is being pelted across, you can be sure someone has already been hurt though not physically. I have received comments that this is a way to create awareness and have a constructive debate, really? Most often people are more involved in creating awareness about their own greatness and others weakness and never vice versa, isn’t that odd? Which part of this looks constructive? Did you ever find out what constructive thing happened by your pelting? Through every cycle I see more viciousness in the language and actions of people and new seeds for another vicious cycle have been sown already and it every time drains the good from peoples heart. Analysis reveals that most people read 60% or less of a news article and these people tend to share the more, that’s a fact based on measurements. People who read less than 60% of an article are more likely to share them often in social media compared to the person who reads the complete article. I guess the 60% concluded the end and pelted the information anyway.
Social Media Judiciary
Usual judicial process takes months and years sometimes after listening to all sides, but social media delivers verdict at an amazing speed. Of course it’s not because there are some very well qualified justices who did not get any job so decided to participate in social media to deliver verdicts. Most users somehow have no difficulty in instantly assuming the role of an expert religious scholar well versed in all holy texts or the role of supreme court justice well versed and experienced in the law of the land or the role of a moral compass. And some even are so exciting that they adorn all of these roles at the same time with so much of ease. These days if you do not toe someone’s line or even decide to share a different perspective, you could be called out to the extent of being un-patriotic and I was called one myself. Social media is called a debating platform and how could you start a debate by saying “you barbarians on the other side of the debate”. Sorry the verdict is out even before you started reading the news!
The root of the problem is each one is drawing the moral line and races on ahead in the moral high horse completely convinced that theirs is the only right view. A little less narcism and more empathy would help social media express.