Transformation of Social Media from making friends to creating opinions!

Posted by in Random Thoughts

Social media was a beautiful platform once and is never the same. I could roughly split the social media platforms into two parts – Pre and Post Facebook. The predecessors of Facebook were many but I used Orkut, MySpace and Friendster. I made friends all over the world and in-fact met few of them when I traveled to those countries. There was no social violence in those days which made it a better place to make friends and know more about themselves. But thanks to the trolls and the thousands of opinion makers who considers themselves as the opinion makers and misguide the whole eco-system. I wouldn’t wholly blame on Facebook for that, but it’s the people who are to be blamed for making Facebook such a mess.

People made new friends on Orkut, MySpace and Friendster but they reconnected with existing friends on Facebook.

The intrusion of Facebook into ones one’s personal life that it can read where you are and what you are doing every second. While it bring a convenience to a lot, it is a serious threat to our privacy which we aren’t realizing. Orkut showed us what social media was all about. I make friends, shared photos with them and wrote them numerous testimonials. Friendster and MySpace were particularly popular in Asian countries like Malaysia, Philippines where I made a lot of friends too. When Facebook came, the other big 3 were on the verge of closing down.

There are certain things which you cannot let go even when you know that it harms you and that’s what I call it as love-hate relationship. Facebook is one such thing where one doesn’t gets any benefit out of it and still uses it.

Every user would have at one point of time would have thought about what are they doing on Facebook? Answer being – looking into others life (which I presume brings a kick to us).

The average person spends more time on Facebook than any leisure activity which is about 30 – 40 minutes a day!

Online Vs Offline Opinion:

We see music videos, comedy clips, check-ins, Memes and most importantly opinions. Do Facebook stifle online opinions? Yes, it is [indirectly] – because we see a forward from someone who shared an Economic times post on a politician and gives his opinion. While a few might disagree, the majority of the people who see the post might blindly read the user opinion than the article because they don’t have time to verify facts. If the same discussion on a politician would have happened offline, I doubt it would have resulted into something concrete because people value their time offline which sadly they don’t when they are webbed into Facebook. Posting your opinion on Facebook is free so people spam it but vocally fighting for a cause offline is much difficult task.

I am putting down few recent incidents which made me write this post!

  • Shaming has become an inevitable part of Facebook now. Sunny Leone, famous cine start in Bollywood was trolled for adopting a kid. I didn’t see any wrong in what she did but people thought otherwise. I always feel that Freedom of expression always comes with a responsibility.
  • Though this was in Twitter, Mohammed Shami was brutally trolled online for posting a picture with his wife because of her choice of clothes. How regressive have we become?
  • While trolling and defaming a part and parcel of Facebook today, Tamil Nadu saw a revolution through a social media for fighting their rights over ban of Jallikattu. An interesting article on how a small spark on Facebook created a Jallikattu revolution in Tamil Nadu.
  • These kind of events have gone to an extent where an extreme rightist with his intensely secular look took the social media by storm by threatening and beating up a guy on FB live to show the consequences of creating MEMEs. What measures can we take to stop this kind of activities: are we even thinking?
  • In another bizarre incident, a Mumbai teen live streams suicide on Facebook as he jumps from a window of a well know hotel? What was he even thinking?

These were just few handpicked incidents and there are hundreds and thousands of videos and posts which instigates people to form a wrong opinion and create hatred among people to divert from different important political issues.

End Note:

Recently I saw a meaningful message which was shared widely by people claiming written/said by Thirumurugan Gandhi – a Tamil activist | While people take so much effort in making a review and criticizing the film maker/actor for a bad movie just because one has paid INR 120 for a movie ticket – What have we done to change the society which is full of BUGS!?