LIFE IN A TIME OF SOCIAL MEDIA TRIALS

A young girl walks around a big city, it’s only 7 pm but, she knows she is exposed to the depraved minds of thousands of men. She has learnt to ignore the stares and the mild whispers of lewd mouths.

This evening however was different... a man on a motorcycle started following her. The bike stopped and the rider uttered some unmentionables. It all happened so fast, that no one around even noticed.

The girl armed with her smart-phone’s 12 megapixel camera and its LED flash quickly clicked a picture of the notorious biker. Luck, was ironically on her side as she managed to capture the bike’s number plate and the rider’s face very clearly... because he wasn't wearing a helmet (That's always a bad idea).

Within minutes the picture was up of Facebook & Twitter and half the country had seen it by the end of the next hour. A few blogs and websites instantly picked it up too... it’s all the rage on social media and the internet is fuming over how something like this happened. We've seen this happen so many times now.

The internet does not wait for probable cause, or sufficient proof and innocent until proven guilty isn’t something that makes for a good hash tag either. The internet is free flowing information- you still have to gather it all and make sense of it on your own.



A day later people are already starting to forget about it but, the boy whose face was all over the internet has only just found out.

Maybe he was too busy living in the real world to realize how he had become a villain in the virtual one. No one heard his version, and why would anyone? The story was a classic!

The headlines were bringing in traffic and TRPs on Television news shows were off the charts. Did he actually do something wrong? Was the girl really harassed? Would a girl do something like this just for publicity? Seems unlikely but we don’t know... it’s his word against hers; like in so many other cases.

It appears like it was the guys fault and in most cases people complain only when they’re wronged but, not always. I'm glad the internet facilitates justice but also scared of how social media plays judge jury and executioner all at once.

Everyone loves to hate... yesterday we were all hating a drunken cop in a uniform, then it was this biker and today it’s a 20 year old girl who’s killed a cab driver in Mumbai. Yes, that’s what the headlines say: they declared that she killed the driver, almost as if she were a murder, when it was actually a brutal accident. Was she a rash and negligent driver? Yes, it seems so.  Was she a murderer? We’ve got courts to decide that.

The cop we later learnt was having a seizure. It is possible that the girl could have avoided the accident and that boy on the bike was perhaps quite an 'A'hole but, what do we know?

Very little! It is possible to support the victim without victimizing the perpetrator. Let's offer support, let's stand by anyone who is wronged- so more and more people come forward and complain but, let's not pretend to be gods.

This isn’t about the guy, or the cop, or the girl: This is about what is fundamentally wrong with how we’re using the internet and how promoted posts and provocative headlines are figuratively controlling us.

All of us have the attention spans of a Goldfish when we’re on the internet. We’re quick to judge and share- we all want to break the news to our friend circle, we all want to be the one with the most interesting stories to share during the office lunch break but, very few of us have the patience to read about the things we talk about.

The internet is a dangerous place; it always has been and always will be. With more and more credible organisations and brands taking to social media we’ve begin to trust the internet more than we should. As if the internet were a real person as if it really cared.

I read 10 articles about the above incidents before I began writing this post and I still know too little to pass a judgement about any of them.

I know, that I am Jon Snow (Whaddup GOT reference!) but, a lot of people out there think they’re the Oracle for some strange reason (yes, that ones from the Matrix; I’m on a roll here).

This is not a news story or an article that will give you more dough on a breaking story and tell you what the nation wants to know or exactly where the buck stops. This is just a guy typing ferociously on his laptop telling you the same thing your parents told you when you were in bloody high school!

Don’t trust everything you read on the internet.


Every time you share a post you give the author access to a small percentage of your friend circle: share responsibly. It’s not easy, I’ve shared shitty posts without reading them too but, I’m trying not to... maybe you can too. Also IF and only IF you agree to what’s written here, share this little piece and bless the internet with some 2nd grade wisdom.

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How Little Things Make You Happy

How I Got A Job In 500 Words

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