Social Media Hype
Many voices have been raised in recent times as to what social media can and cannot do. For whatever reasons, Pakistan is one of those countries where people seem to have taken to social media with a lot of hunger. The result has not been in it becoming a lucrative advertising and marketing vehicle or a means of widely disseminating useful and constructive knowledge and information. The areas where the vehicle has become most popular are those of gossip, misinformation, heckling and unnecessarily creating hype about people, groups and events that wouldn’t have mattered otherwise.
A recent example is that of a person called Qandeel Baloch. Her life has allegedly been snuffed out by her brother but the very reason why she developed some sort of ‘celebrity’ following was nothing else but an unnecessary social media build-up of her personality. The platform that she conveniently used to attract people to her photos and other activities was the social media. Qandeel was not a film or TV actress and neither had she done anything else in showbiz that merited so much attention. She was even outrightly rejected when she appeared for an audition in ‘Pakistan Idol’ for putting up a bad show and she did not succeed in doing anything else. How was it then that she became such a popular social media person? It was the social media that created the original hype about her – a trend that was then picked up by the conventional media. There were even reports, while she was alive, that she had been approached by certain TV channels to appear in their shows as this would enable these media outlets to build their own ratings.
The fact is that social media cannot be controlled in any part of the world. This is why many countries impose restrictions on the internet to keep tabs on how this emerging platform is being used by their citizens. While there would be many who would not approve of such restrictions being imposed in Pakistan but the manner in which social media is eroding society and fouling the atmosphere, it is high time that some kind of action be taken in this regard, and things are not allowed to run amok in an uncontrolled fashion.
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