Came across this one in Facebook recently
A friend of mine had posted this late night in her wall, wherein she also referred to him as ‘kozhi’ (translated as rooster, and a local slang for men who relentlessly pursue women for flirtation/gratifying their sexual needs), and senile. The context? The fact that he’d tried to video-call her at night just to see her, as he himself claims.
I’d written a short article on social media shaming in https://poetrypalette.wordpress.com/2020/06/19/shameless-shaming/ This is the second part, unanticipated.
What is social media?
In a recent article I read, the author Matthew Hughes (In Social media shaming and forgiveness: why nobody’s beyond the pale) calls social media as ‘a dehumanization machine – which is ironic, given that it’s also a great connector’. It’s true. As much as it has the ability to connect people from all over the world, it is also a brutal outlet for emotions, a dump for the debris of the human heart. The aimlessness is disrobed for the whole world to see. Like this one below:-
Such posts are stark realities of the actual social disconnect we are, or already have swum into. An inner debate or a frustration that requires either just our own reasoning or the help of a friend or professional, is, many times, nothing more than exhibitionism on social media platforms.
How has exhibitionism affected us?
The advent of the internet took the world by rage. For us who probably wondered how people spent their time without television once upon a time, the era of internet and it’s limitlessness astounded us like none other. We raced to create our virtual spaces and ‘found’ friends, new and old, in all corners of the world. Which is fine, and like Matthew Hughes said, a great connector as well. Being able to converse instantly with anyone anywhere is a pretty good accessory to our lives. However, this soon became our only life. We inadvertently traded our real friends for our reel friends.
Most of what we put up in these informal virtual spaces are simply showman antics. Sometimes we simply create a fuss, and sometimes we pretend to create one. And sometimes, we don the expert role, the parent role, the pro-master role, the Mr.Smarty-pants role, and what not. We wait for the ‘media-procured’ sensational news to find vent to our frustrations and mindlessly ‘comment’ without thought. Like I’d mentioned in the previous article, ‘ever since the world has been reduced to a micro-globe and accessibility has increased, most of us have consciously chosen to act and speak before we think on everything under the sun’.
Take the case of the first screenshot I shared. The lady in question was clearly over-enthusiastic in sharing and shaming the guy online, and she’d clearly stated that every similar incident will be made public. So a question- isn’t it our never-ending fears and disbelief that makes us paranoid about just instances that we can very easily deal with? Are we so insecure within our own fences that we find it utterly impossible to simply discard/block people we’re uncomfortable with and instead throw the mush at the public for them to dissect? In this instance, all the guy said was that he wanted to see her. What if this is a normal course of interaction for him? Sure, that seems a poor point to progress with, but then again, could it not be our skeptical mind that’s causing us to over-react? Because this undoubtedly falls in that category. The whole scenario could’ve ended when she blocked him. Or if she felt truly harassed, she could’ve resorted to legal measures. We over and again fail to realise that it’s easy to tear apart a life, and once it’s done, there’s no going back. Most of the present generation are free thinking people. But it is the same generation that misplaces the basic nuances of humankind. We keep disregarding the heterogeneity called humanity, and that society is a mixture of elements of which everything isn’t discernable. So why this mudslinging at the slightest provocation? Here, taking into consideration the bare minimum of circumstances, both of them are victims here- one of emotional insecurity and other of online shaming.
To each his own
To each his own, I agree. I’m no one to judge. But shaming on social media can easily turn to bullying. News media have sprouted out like mushrooms and are ultracompetent in twisted reporting. It takes hardly a few seconds to notice that responses to such news are more hasty than thought-out. It doesn’t take much to send media-kill someone, which is potentially dangerous. This can lead to even loss of life, which has happened as well. We need to be more secure with ourselves.
We needn’t kill every bird that pecks on our food!