Something leaked and the leak becomes a tweet; in between the leak and the tweet jumps in the media, a garbage can that is seldom emptied and what goes in it, rots till it reeks… the reek attracts the flies like us, the people, who feed on the rot. This rot becomes part of us, we too start to reek!
It is sad, immature and absolutely unprofessional for state institutions to communicate with each other over online public social forums. What should be classified “internal” correspondence between responsible national level institutions, often become a matter of public debate and media trial. Knowledge of such disagreements should not be shared with unconcerned people. Notifications should be sent directly to the concerned entities. It is not the first time that a Tweet has escalated into months long confrontation between the concerned institutions, the unconcerned people and the always news hungry media industry. Disagreements and dialogues between departments and institutions are a normal and required process for issues to be resolved and new operational mechanisms to evolve. Our government and our state institutions should follow the notorious Vegas quote “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. The public should be spared the knowledge of insinuations, allegations and confrontations that Ping-Pong between various institutions.
Role and impact of media has changed and grown tremendously in last two decades. First it was the newspapers which used to print with some care and responsibility following journalistic ethics and standards, then came the television news channels and the competition between the channels to present the “breaking news” in the most dramatic and sensational way possible. If this was not enough the rise of the social media and its transgression into the mainstream news and media industry changed the public interaction with knowledge and information completely. Every person with internet access and a social media account or a messaging application became disseminator of unverified information. With a click of a button, a piece of information with dire consequences, can be sent out to millions of people. Its uncalculated repercussions never taken in to consideration.
It will take some more years before new laws will evolve and get implemented where use of social media and its related tools and apps will be clearly defined. Government officials at all levels will have to be educated and trained about the impact of information dissemination into an interactive public domain. Already enough incidents have emerged globally to realize the power of social media. Though a lot of good has also come from this power but irresponsible usage has also created problems of the severest nature resulting in ethnic tensions, conflicts and immature revolts resulting thousands of deaths and human displacements.
For most of the world internet and social media are a relatively new thing and most people believe that whatever is posted on the internet is true. This belief in written word accompanied by images (often doctored) is enough to convince and charge mobs to go out and lynch a suspect or small unprotected minority. Uploaded videos of such acts of lynching and attacks generate a global reaction and create all kinds of divides between ethnicities, societies and even nations. It’s the power… the unchecked power… It gives a very good idea of what would happen if everyone had super powers like superman. Chaos and destruction!
Knowledge is power and ignorance is bliss
So do we wait for the laws to be made and implemented to save us from this unneeded information inflow that is adversely affecting our peace of mind and turning us into e-zombies? I think not. The responsibility lies with every individual who has access to internet or any other source of knowledge. First of all, we need to disengage from all useless information sources, unsubscribe from social media pages, online groups and forums that post unverified information, stop sources of information that do not concern us directly or help us improve our life on day to day basis, if people on your social network are not like minded or their views and opinions bother you, remove them instead of arguing with them. Stop watching programs on television news channels where pseudo intellectuals and self-proclaimed experts are giving opinions on issues that do not concern you. When you see politicians shouting at each other on television, remember they are only there to serve their own selfish agendas, you absorb all their bad vibes and negative energies… change the channel and watch good movie, drama or natural science documentary on Nat Geo or Discovery channel.
The more you cut yourself off from these news sources and start focusing on your own existence the better you will feel. Develop a hobby and do constructive stuff instead of scrolling up and down on your social media page and checking likes you are getting for posting some silly and irrelevant item. Use your phone as a phone only… don’t check its screen every two minutes. Our obsession with screens and technology has become a mental disorder. Use the technology to learn about stuff that can improve your quality of life and not the stuff that complicates it.
We are designed to learn and explore and build. For us knowledge is key to our survival and further evolution. It is knowledge that has allowed us to explore the deepest oceans and send out probes in the endless vastness of space and cosmos. The recent technological advancements in communication have enhanced are abilities to share and acquire knowledge to such levels that we are not fully ready to cope with it. We have to learn to now filter the information coming to us. This takes effort and practice but if we want to survive we will have to adapt and evolve. It’s our moment to define and ensure our future and possibly our survival!
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