Monday, January 30, 2012

PAUPER’S LOG: Social Speak



Social Speak

By Abu Arsh

Nobody can deny that Facebook has altered the landscape of social interaction, particularly among young people, we are just now starting to see solid psychological research demonstrating both the positives and the negatives, Young adults who spend more time on Facebook are better at showing "virtual empathy" to their online friends. Online social networking can help introverted adolescents learn how to socialize behind the safety of various screens, ranging from a two-inch smartphone to a 17-inch laptop. Apart from social interaction on varied issues Social Networking media like Twitter, Facebook, My space, Google+ and others have given us a medium to get to know and hear about issues as and when they happen and get into discussions offering our views on them. 
Every issue that our society faces is like a link of a chain. Each issue is connected to another, either directly or indirectly. The chain of issues in this society that we live in, the strongest links of that chain are illiteracy and ignorance. Illiteracy and ignorance is the mother of all issues as it gives birth to many other issues like poverty, unemployment, child labour, female foeticide, population burst and many more.
Of late, it is heartening to note the number of Islanders flocking to offer their views on e-groups administered by local media like The Light of Andamans, Andaman Chronicle, Andaman Sheekha on facebook and others like Andamanicobar yahoogroups or a recent entrant like our very own MP's facebook e-group. There are no holds bar opinions on issues concerning our Islands and its future. This gives an insight into the pulse of the people and good feedback to the media, officials or politicians on developmental or other issues and policies. There were days when a newspaper would perish or news would die down without any impact, despite reporting a sinister crime being committed by the officials, politician, trader or a habitual criminal. Those days are history today.
People have got voices now, especially the young; be it from the confines of their drawing room or study. The true face of a politician, a bureaucrat, an entrepreneur or an antisocial is exposed in no time. A detailed postmortem of a statement or an action takes only a few minutes after a thread is posted. Great views emerge and everybody is at a liberty to either buy it or take a walk.
There are times when the righteous would have been cyber bullied by small time politicians or messiahs of offenders as being intellectuals. The Jarawa issue at a time was untouchable by many on the pretext of being anti- development. Nobody would have cared two hoots if the question papers were leaked or an official's mediocre son would have got A grades. A spoilt brat would have been caught and let off over speeding or is found with contraband grass. Environmental degradation would have gone unnoticed. A multi-crore vessel would be tethered in one corner waiting till eternity for the first lady to crack the Champagne. Hon'ble Ministers would have come and gone unnoticed and those who interact would have offered pathetic contradictions, Godfathers would have considered themselves above law. Bureaucrat's merrymaking and laid back holiday mode would be on their walls as a trophy. Selfish or self- centered individuals would offer pale justifications for their point of view. A misleading and divisive quote by an official or a politician would have gone unquestioned.
Not anymore. Every thread is retrievable if need be to set the record straight. Cyber world has become a great leveler. The young speak their mind and garner support from all quarters. Scribes have become confident and more forthright. Oppression is not tolerated. People have become very expressive and opinionated. Bluff and blabber is reprimanded and sanity restored. The islands can boast of its own social networking site too as "Community of Andamanis'. Good going indeed for an island which still has long way to go before it can come on the national radar. To be well informed is to be branded an intellectual, so be it; better than being an ignorant moron. Guys keep up the good work and scribes at media would keep clicking the 'Like' button and bell the fat cat.

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