A Million Mutinies: The Social Media

Posted on March 17, 2012 in Media and Culture

By Ankit Varma: 

A ‘blogger’ is a person who has put his ideas and experiences on the World Wide Web for online consumption, but ironically this term has failed to find a place for itself on the aisles of almost all prestigious dictionaries. Does this exemplify the general bias which people have towards the ‘www citizens’? But this hasn’t discouraged millions of people from around the globe from broadcasting themselves over the Internet. With the mushrooming of micro-blogging web sites, it looks like these are on a ‘recruitment bonanza’ which is not ending anytime soon.

But the fact that number of ‘www citizens’ has reached the skies does not tantamount to a conclusion that it is the best avenue the virtual world has to offer, given that most of the content being published on the internet is unfiltered and very few can vouch for its authenticity.

For me or for any right-thinking individual, social networking or blogging is just an extension of our Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression. Being a part a booming economy, a rampaging internet user-base and the World’s Largest Democracy, I am of the opinion that it’s a necessity and, that it, in more than one ways, represents the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. For instance, The People’s Republic of China has the largest standing army in the world and is poised to become the world’s largest economy very soon, but fears Facebook, and does not allow personal blogs. These policies are a common characteristic trait of almost all the oppressive regimes of the world.

For years we have been forced to watch intellectuals of the society bombard and impression us with their versions of truth (and, in turn, defend it).Yes, it was not necessarily a bad primetime watch. But the Radia Tapes and the 2G scam exposed the new avenue of corruption, the media.  This has left the common man desolate and suspecting, and has shaken the unconditional trust he had vested in 24 hour news channels. Blogs and social media might be the best way forward. Maybe the time has arrived where we need to be our own news channels, bringing out candid and fearless opinions from all walks of society.

Social networking is a very powerful tool because the sheer number of people it enables one to reach out to is beyond comprehension. It was said that “One man can start the revolution”, now maybe it should be changed to “One status update can start a revolution”. This is not an exaggeration or an over-statement. The recent storm of protests in many Middle Eastern countries which are on the verge of overthrowing some of the longest ruling dictators started without any political stimulus. This is just an illustration and probably the beginning of the era where a voice can no longer be suppressed or subdued, because no army can stop a virtual revolution which has a million voices but not a single face.

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