By Umika Sharma:
We are a generation of jesters. We can make fun of every random thing. Oh we are so funny. Be it our politicians, our religion, our customs or our movie stars. Name it and we have made fun of it. But sometimes being funny does not really come across as funny anymore. Sometimes there is a thin line between funny and plainly insensitive. Take for instance the latest splurge on the number of jokes on hurricane Sandy. One such example is the picture of an overturned car near a letterbox, with the caption “Sandy doesn’t know how to mail”. Yes, it might be funny for others but not for the person whose car it was. The thing is, are we not sensible enough to realize that Sandy was a disaster and not a big joke? There were people drowning in the city, there was damage to property but all that we do is, make fun.
Maybe it is the sheer insensitivity towards other people’s feelings or maybe it is just the craze to come up with better and funnier jokes to show off on the social media platform. Either way, people’s tendency to joke on every relevant or irrelevant issue has considerably gone up. Name any disaster and its related meme is available online, certainly making fun of the whole scenario.
Surely, the social media has made sharing our thoughts easier but the underlying issue here is about losing sensitivity to people’s feelings and needs. What people fail to understand here is that there is a certain limit to joking and mocking at things. At the end of the day we need to be mature and face realities instead of hiding behind silly jokes.
Another way of looking at this topic can be looking at the lighter side. People sometimes need a refuge from reality and having a sense of humour is not a bad thing. Instead of being serious about every single thing in your life, you can give it a pinch of humour and not feel so bad after all. Cracking a simple joke can cheer up a grim person and it’s true that laughter is the best medicine. Also, our world needs a good number of happy and funny people to make it a happier place. Another thing here can be, bringing out the creative side of people. Yes, cracking jokes is not exactly an art form but it is not everybody’s cup of tea either. Such light hearted jokes are not meant to hurt people but instead try to bring out a funny side of the whole situation.
Then there are people who create a hue and cry over any simple joke. Take for example the issue of the Indian government trying to censor the social networking sites or ‘insensitive’ jokes. Theirs is a whole new line of argument where they justify themselves by saying that they are trying to maintain peace in the society. What I fail to understand is how stopping people from voicing their views is harmful for a country? Another such example here could be of the case of a comedian of Indian origin making fun of one of our famous actresses thus creating a huge controversy where people even went to the extent of asking him to apologize personally to her. Did all this happen because people have become so rigid that they can’t even laugh at a harmless joke?
Believe in whichever argument stated above but the need of the hour is to introspect from both angles. Sometimes, we need to sensitize ourselves towards some issues and not make fun of it. But sometimes we need to relax and have a good laugh instead of taking it in an offensive way. If you can’t change it, might as well laugh about it.