In this era, when opinions are formed largely by Facebook, Twitter and 60 words news articles to keep you updated, books and newspapers have taken a back seat. Having opinions and expressing them is fine. What is not fine is endorsing opinions formed with the facts received on a WhatsApp forward, or simply reposting a friend’s/page’s post without any background check. We all know how there is a plethora of fake information on any social media platform today. The paradox, however, lies in the fact that with information made accessible and sharing made easy, we are getting farther away from the bottom line and the real issues.
When the concern is personal and not social, when the aim is minimum following and maximum followers, activism limits itself to emojis depicting Like, Love, Sad and Angry reactions, and unnecessarily long comments section. The aim then becomes to keep alive a certain image you have formed on the social media, sidelining the reality to gain traction, much like our very dear politicians, speaking only on a selected handful of issues which align with your leftist/centrist/right wing agenda. More than a requirement it has become a trend to ally with a certain group, clearly not out of sympathy or empathy.
Starting online petitions gives a sense of complacency like nothing else. From Net Neutrality, Banning Crackers, Justice for Asifa, to bringing Mr. Rajan back to serve his second term and cancelling class 12th CBSE reexamination, we have seen online petitions registering their all-powerful presence over these platforms, often replenishing people with a pseudo impression of smugness. The new cool is to be all political and solicitous about social issues.
The lack knowledge, or more dangerously, half-knowledge, is the reason why we end up debating whether or not Nehru visited Singh in jail, instead of evaluating the government’s works and analysing societal flaws. These altercations are nothing more than a signal of our lost concreteness from and a newly gained low of obscurity in the debates.
A healthy deliberation is the start of a healthy solution. If we keep revolving around issues that are only meant to vent up our cultural, religious or political instincts, we might as well manifest endless nebulous arguments and a void in place of discourse.