Like, share and comment are three words that define today’s generation of social media. Until a few decades ago, the world was not as connected in a loop as it is today. The internet was introduced to the masses on August 15, 1995. In the early stages, it was mainly used to obtain information, research or for work inputs. The game turned upside down in the early 2000s when it was introduced to the general public for personal use.
In it’s baby stage, the industry wasn’t aware of the world of the Internet. After globalisation, India started slowly picking up on trends from international markets. Fashion, development and lifestyle: almost everything was changing shade. We were undergoing major changes. Indians were adopting and practicing modernisation. Not many could comprehend that the internet could indeed be used for recreational activities such as communication, interaction and even entertainment. But over the next few decades, the narrative changed completely.
Social media is ubiquitous because it allows its users to have a personalised interactive user experience. It has given them the freedom to speech, a medium of expression, a means to communicate and now, a place to conduct businesses. Considering these blessings, one might marvel at what it was that went wrong. How did it then begin turning into a toxic game?
‘Baba Ka Dhaba’ is one incident where we saw both sides of the coin. While most of the time social media is a battlefield for arguments and trolls, at times, this tendency is inverted with its power to bring back a smile with a contribution. This is what happened when an 80-year-old couple who run Baba ka Dhaba in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar area went viral with a video recorded by Youtuber Gaurav Wasan.
Gaurav’s idea for asking people to help him worked really well: his video could be found on every social media platform in a short span of time. Actors including Suniel Shetty, Sonam Kapoor, Randeep Hooda and Nimrat Kaur extended their hand to help the couple. Actress Raveena Tandon even asked her followers to share their pictures on their visit to the dhaba.
As soon as the video went viral, there were bloggers, mediapersons and the public approaching the couple for interviews and help. But just in a matter of days, the story morphed into something quite different. An FIR has been filed against the blogger for misusing the funds collected.
The number of videos getting viral and reaching the masses is just insane these days. It’s not just thousands of views and the thousands of judgments passed publicly that harm one’s image, the game is much more filthy than it looks. People troll each other, there has been an upward thrust in cybercrimes and people have begun uploading objectionable content material. But the worst of all is the rise in the spread of fake information via these platforms. That has harmed personal as well as community sentiments. More often than not, we are diving into fake news over authentic information.
Despite being the best thing ever invented, social media is more harmful than a gunshot. It is not just a platform that gives boldness to your words, but also a weapon in the hands of the uneducated and insensible: people who do not even understand the seriousness of the ill-effects of this platform.