Sunday, 8 September 2013

Pseudo Concerns

Facebook makes sure a lot of people get heard. From whining rants to witty observations, the FB status updates cover a broad spectrum. But one of the most striking developments here is how FB is slowly morphing into a voice of social conscience.
When Team Anna was agitating for reforms, the whole of FB was up in arms against the system and the bureaucracy. When Nirbhaya got raped, FB was fuming and ranting yet again. And today, be it the downward spiraling of the rupee or the soaring price of onions, FB is making sure voices get raised and opinions get noticed. Which is all good and fine. After all, who in their right mind would find fault with such a benign influence social media is casting on our lot? Finally, a voice and platform for the collective conscience, a vehicle of thoughts and views driven by public empathy, a worthy weapon for the freedom of expression. Which brings us to a rather pointless question. Does it all really have a point?

The Anna movement has lost its steam. It's not fashionable anymore to root for those utopic ideas and demands. A spate of rapes swept across the country even as Nirbhaya was struggling for her life, and the torrent of brutality and violence against women shows no sign of receding. Rupee continues to fall, onion prices continue to sting our eyes, none of the lofty opinions flouted on social media really make any difference. But we already know that, don't we? The views and perspectives which we so proudly advertise on FB and Twitter will quickly be forgotten. They will inevitably be swept away by the unending flood of new stimuli which is a permanent fixture to urban existence. We all know that. And thus we revel in the five minutes of glory which clever/touching/thought-provoking status updates bring us. It's all about timing. Commenting on a subject while it is still relevant and is making headlines. Discovering the 'in' thing to brandish one's opinion about. It's really simple, silly. Topics will keep on coming. There will always be an appalling issue hammering the nation's conscience. There will always be an inept administration making gaffes which will become the butt of jokes. There will always be celebrities going too far in more and more outlandish ways.

And herein is the truth of the matter- the most 'in' thing to do these days is not to be really bothered about anything. Blissful apathy. Flaunt your concern or sympathy or rage or other blah through well-chosen words on FB. Tickle people's funny bone, fill their hearts with sadness and sorrow, make them marvel at your penchant for words. But most importantly, DON'T ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. It's not required, you see. You let out your steam on social media. You got thirty plus comments and fifty plus likes. You can die happy for the day. In your own private little world, you've established yourself as a person of importance, someone whose opinions matter and evoke responses from people around you. What's there left to ask for? Your intellectual narcissism is burping after a hearty meal. Your ego is rubbing its tummy with a satisfied purr. The issues you exploited to fetch that attention for yourself can be damned. So what if rupee is peeing all over the place, so what if the onion is costing more than petrol, it's all cool as long as we get to talk about them on FB, right?

Heaven forbid the day when the nation won't be having any problems. What would be left to post updates on? What you had for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Spare me the horror. I'll take an unstable, decaying and corrupt socio-economic system over it any day.

P.S.- The post should be taken with a pinch of salt. 

Swarnali Das

1 comment:

  1. GOod one swarnali. Venting out on social networks is fine but doing it on routine basis and actually doing nothing about it troubles me too.. Incidentally I Wrote somethng similar hence could feel connected to this post .
    Good one !


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