Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Has the India on social media gone Berserk?

What has been the most visible side effect of the unprecedented Modi wave that gave a Majority Govt. to India after a long time. Am I talking about the communal/secular debate? No. Am I talking about the complete lack of opposition in the parliament? No. No it is not even about the almost washout of Congress.

In fact - this is NOT yet another political analysis of the Modi wave and aftermath. So calm down. I am talking about almost a mad rush to be present and be heard on the three most active social media circuits - the facebook, the twitter and the whatsapp.

Yes, its almost mad - or am I being modest here. Take a few examples
A publicity hungry KRK - posts that he is already going to Pakistan because Modi has become the PM of the country and the entire generation of super heroes start spewing venom on poor SRK; many even brand him a traitor and anti national.

Since the time Modi won the election comprehensively - his supporters are digging anyone and everyone who might have expressed even the slightest disagreement with Modi in recent past - to score brownie points. To my amusement, I too received a " akash u know that i have strongly support mature person that is certified by whole country but immature people like pappu & ak 49 is badly rejected by whole nation, so 'always sit on right horse '"  from an old college friend.

Whatsapp is full of jokes mostly targetting Arvind Kejriwal, Rahul Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh that vary from seriously funny and humourous to outrightly humiliating and crass.

You are sadly mistaken, if you think I am pained just because I am an Arvind Kejriwal sympathiser or Dr. Manmohan singh admirer (both of which I am - no luck for RG though). I see another race on the social media - to post something, somehow and in such volumes that people may like you - hate you - but cannot ignore you.

For Eg. how many of your friends on an average are shayars - yeah count. I am sure that number is as small as there are in my friend list - but why do I receive at least 20 odd shers everyday and almost every sher comes to me from 10 different friends/groups. Some of these shayaris are plainly "Bakwas" Neither are they funny - nor are they deep. But then so what.

I generally delete at least 70-80 images everyday from my phone simply wishing Good morning - add an equal number of Good night images. First people started sending images that wished me happy sundays - then some of them to score an advance win started sending an image wishing me Happy weekends. I thought the height is when my whatsapp group started informing me how bad a Monday is - but no someone just wished me a Happy Tuesday (and its not a text - its an image). Tuesday?? Really.

On mother's day - half of India in the social media turned emotional. Some smarter ones took a jibe at all these people sending overtly emotional poems, prose and essays on "рдоाँ "

Do you get posts that asks you to click Like on the FB or to simply forward on the watsapp circuit because its new/latest.

And yes Hyperbole is the new cool. So either Modi is a superman who will change everything for good or he is a communal murderer anti-nationalist. Either Rahul Gandhi is the hero of the Congress or he is our version of George Bush. Either Arvind Kejriwal is a revolution that will change the face of the politics in this country or he is a "Bhagoda", "Dharna Ready", "Power Hungry" trumpet blowing his own whistle so loud that he fell flat by getting just 4 seats in the Lok Sabha seat as was predicted a few centuries ago by none other than Nostredumus. And I am sure you all received the Gadkari video talking tough against Pakistan as the proof that in a few days Modi would wrench Kashmir out of Pakistan and that they would be begging of Modi to leave Karachi on its own destiny. :-)

Also the social media is a tool to vent one's frustration in the weirdest possible ways. One of my friend from the IIM days sent me a link to a blog post which weaved the conspiracy theory that RG is a womaniser, drug addict who was in Myanmar making merry when he skipped the farewell get together of Dr. MMS.
Anoher one suggested that now that we have a strong Modi sarkar - the western press has ganged up to ensure that negative image of Modi is stressed which may eventually lead to his assassination (really ???###).

Whats going on? Are we such a repressed society that social media is used to vent all kinds of anger, frustration or simply for targetted leg pulling. The lines of distinction between humourous and slapstick, between free speech and defamation, between fact and opinions, between objective and biases are quickly forgotten and it becomes a game of numbers - majority rules. Volume will make an impact. Gossip is the new truth. Rumours are the new fact.

In fact if you enjoyed reading the last para - welcome to the new gen where the sensational sells. The good old maturity is shortchanged - its the world wide web of showoffs and attention seekers - welcome to the world of Social Media.