When #Hamas devastated the boundaries of #Israel with 5,000 missiles and the much-boasted iron domes shied by giving way to heavy retaliation from #Israel, the social media pages, media houses, newspapers, and the mind of common man of Kerala were swayed in the name of #religion, #politics, #region and started fuming with an unprecedented level of #hatred, #regionalism, #factionalism and #fascism. Those favouring #Israel were stamped as #anti-human, and others were termed #terrorists. All these happened in a few seconds after the bombs blasted some 5,000 kilometres away from #Kerala. As Palestine and Israel are two foreign nations, typically, the said bombing should not have affected the social texture of a place which is far away from it. But in this case, the relationship among the people got damaged, politicians took contrary views based on vote banks, and religious topnotch cashed in the situation in their favour by showing favouritism to their own people. The same had happened in the past in many internal issues such as #CAA, #UniformCivilCode, Farmers Act, Abrogation of #Article370, #RamJanmaBhoomi case, etc and the divide is becoming more visible and wider day by day. If you closely observe, the affected are those active on social media pages and not others!
#Humans are the worst animals that ever existed in the universe. What mitigates the brutality in #Human is the power to think. However, the thought is a double-edged sword when used without discrimination. So, more than that power to think, it is the power to discriminate the thoughts that differentiate an animal from a #Human. If a person is unable to form an opinion based on the facts, he can be wrongly influenced by others easily. Before social media conquered the time, attention, energy and mind of ordinary people, they used to collect information through reading, mutual discussions, speeches and other modes, which gave some reasonable time for their brains to digest it slowly. Due to that reason, forming an opinion was a time-consuming affair, and many had to wait for the next day’s newspaper or bulletin to get a further update on the same. Apart from that, the source of the said information was also limited to very few news channels and media in the vicinity. With the stated limitations, the people have to talk to each other at a nearby teashop or a reading club, library, etc, to convey their independent thoughts about a piece of particular news or controversy. When looking into that from today, the said delayed mode of communication had multiple advantages. At first, the sensitivity of the news withered due to the lapse of time and had only a shallow impact on the people's senses. Then, the eye-to-eye conversations between the people about the controversy removed the wrong presumptions about opposites and, most often, settled as a third-party issue happening somewhere else in the World. And finally, the information being passed on through the qualified media was mostly independent and not dissected instantaneously.
Now, one can get updates about anything and everything on mobile screens every time in no time. At first, the same is advantageous to a commoner, who does not have to spend time reading the newspapers to get information. By scrolling through social media pages, one will get exposed to an information explosion in the form of news items, debates, justifications, opinions, etc, without any effort or mental application. Without understanding reality, the brains will get flooded and cluttered with immense data sufficient to influence their independent thought process. Based on basic instincts, likes and dislikes, the artificial intelligence-driven algorithms of social media pages are prompting only the feeds in the form of reels, news items, etc, which can influence one’s social, political, religious and ideological orientation. Apart from the above, the newsroom debates, with the participation of so-called subject experts, shall paralyse your thoughts significantly and subsume the expert’s opinion to your own opinion. The most dangerous part of this imposed data explosion is the unavailability of the other side of the story. The feeds on your social media pages often prompt a one-sided story with no room to listen to the other side. Due to that reason, the information that is being imposed through social media pages is highly distorted, partial and arbitrary. The feeds shall blind you to the other side and influence your thoughts like a virus.
If you lift your head from screen and look around, you can still see a beautiful world. So, don’t let the feeds feed your thoughts anymore. Give some time to digest the news, read both sides of the story, and sideline the evening television debates by forming your own opinion about the social issues. This will help us to remain as #Humans, uninfluenced by distorted news, with a capacity to discriminate thoughts based on the facts.
Bijoy P Pulipra