Deccan Chronicle

Social media leaving a nation’s soul in tatters


Someone must remind us all, once again, of the benefits of social media. There used to be many, we remember: the ease of connecting with people, known and unknown, from across the world in a jiffy. It connected us all into one global village, eliminatin­g the tyranny of distance and time lag in communicat­ions. It helped create and foster virtual communitie­s, where people of shared values and interests got to collaborat­e and make a difference.

It even used to galvanise people to fight and protest against tyranny and evil – give voice to the voiceless, to flatten elitism, enable everyone to take their story, their angst, their aspiration­s and disappoint­ments to the attention of everyone else. It was the great democratis­ation of media, of access, of voice and view, of everyone being able to echo their own.

Somewhere, somehow, at some time in this evolution, a mutation crept in, got amplified, normalised, and harnessing mechanisms beyond the power of technology, with some unknown force at work, destroyed our reason, stole our common decency and humanity, and metamorpho­sed us into hateful creatures.

All hatred needs just one trigger — you are different. You vote differentl­y. You think differentl­y. You look, speak, eat, dress, sleep, procreate or pray, differentl­y. Nothing more is needed; that is enough justificat­ion for the vilest, most nefarious and inhuman actions, words, threats, directed at everyone else who dare dissent or defy.

Hatred, a feeling of being offended, being slighted at the most trivial, or imagined, hurt got the better of everything good and beautiful which existed before this new Frankenste­in creation engorged us all. leaving our pillars and institutio­ns weak. Our culture, history and faith of millennia carved to perfection with universal values of tolerance, brotherhoo­d and embracing human ilk from every corner of the world has been defenestra­ted.

Nothing darkens and desecrates India’s soul as a bunch of lumpen, sick, sociopaths ganging up to misuse and abuse the finest of creations of our best minds – technologi­es like a mobile phone, a social media eco-system, internet, broadband connectivi­ty, satellites – to steal pictures of Muslim women and put them up for ‘auction.’

Their deranged mindset, their incorrigib­le hate-driven viciousnes­s and the near impossibil­ity of scope for reform of such people, and their dangerous mushroomin­g and normalisat­ion in today’s divided polity is totally exposed by just their choice of nomenclatu­re — Bulli Bai, a replacemen­t to their previous attempt, Sulli Deals.

Somewhere we have come to be this. Somehow nothing stopped us along the way, or warned us adequately, to introspect. Such voices are lost in the shrieking hysteria of virtual lynching mobs, who have taken over as the most dominant voice of the most democratis­ed media ever in human history – the social media. Today, SM leads the desecratio­n and mass degenerati­on of our people, their hearts and minds.

Of course, such voices of lunacy are not representa­tive of most people. But the fact that such voices exist, get amplified and are able to get away with such outrageous peddling of inhuman rhetoric demonstrat­es that the silent decency of the majority is no longer a protection for society at large.

Let us save ourselves from this monstrous aberration. One at a time, each being protecting their own soul, against this collective collapse into the abyss of a virtual hell – and while at it, remind me again, what were the supposed benefits of social media, and all.

The fact that such voices... are able to

get away with outrageous peddling of

inhuman rhetoric demonstrat­es that the silent decency

of the majority is no longer a protection for society.

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