I must admit – reading the daily paper these days, or in my case, my news feed, is not a very calming experience. On one hand, you get to hear tales of love and sacrifice and on the other, you have hate and violence.
Consider the following news story:
Actress Neha Dhupia made a comment about Narendra Modi over a monsoon issue in Mumbai on Twitter. She suffered a backlash from the Twitter world, in what many would call, the worst form of trolling (meaning being nasty on account of anonymity) that the Indian internet is witnessing, ever. She was called horrible names and was bitterly made fun of. And she was not the only one — Shruti Seth, another lesser known actress and TV presenter also faced similar backlash when she made a negative comment about the Prime Minister.
I think you see where I am going with this.
You know, writing long commentaries or giving eloquent speeches on tolerance is no way to explain how exactly it works.
Unfortunately, gone are the days of the Mahatma, where he said, “I have no message to give except this that there is no deliverance for any people on this earth or for all the people of this earth except through truth and non-violence in every walk of life without any exceptions.”
When I read this line, the first thought that came to my mind is, “Wow, it can’t get any clearer than that.” What an absolute statement to make. No margin for error or misunderstanding.
And yet, what we see today is, “An eye for an eye; and a tooth for a tooth.”
I wonder why people are so angry today – Angry and upset and frustrated and intolerant. Do you see how all of these negative emotions are so intrinsic to one another?
In the good old days, we walked out of our homes, and into the homes of our neighbours. We spoke to strangers, had meals with acquaintances. We had real conversations.
And what do you have now? The “Edit” button. In a virtual world, you can be the meanest version of yourself, without anyone ever having to know your true identity. Is that why people are surfacing their inner demons because they don’t have to worry about the repercussions?
Violence need not be physical, folks. Violence starts in the heart, and comes out of your mouth. But in our day and age, violence and intolerance are manifesting themselves through the online medium.
Today, having real conversations with people is becoming tougher. Why? That is because the response cannot be predicted, in order to prepare for the next sentence. In an online world, you can think about what you want to say, frame your sentence, edit it if necessary, and then send as per your convenience. Can you do that face to face? No!
But what are you losing from this process? You are losing the human touch. The intrinsic human need to bond with another, to blend with another, to connect to another.
You will be surprised to know how many people today are lonely, depressed and suicidal.
People are lonely, and yet are so glued into their mobile phones and laptops, wondering whether their 200 plus friends “like” their latest photo or not; that they cannot see beyond it, see the real world.
I should get back to my original headline here, Are you losing your cool too quickly?
What have we gotten ourselves into, folks?
Author Bio: Khristina Jacob, works as a Writer & Editor.