Last year, at the funeral service of one of my uncle there was a bit familiar face among many unknown faces. After a couple of minute of struggling, I was finally able to make it, that’s one of my Facebook friends. I thought let me go and greet him but then again I thought, “Why should I go? Let him come to me!” A while later the service gets over yet I am in my world and he in his! Similarly, another day I was in a conference, and my Uncle introduced me to a man of his age. We smiled at each other, shook hands like two strangers meeting for the first time. Whereas by then we were celebrating our 3rd friendsversary on Facebook and giving regular thumbs up on our posts yet we were strangers!
The boon of social media has bridged the gap in connectivity and spaced us to share and care our emotional, ethical and moral values. My friend Sheetal rightly says, “I love social networking because I don’t want to lose my friends. They are very precious to me!” But is it ever possible to give personal attention to 1,385 friends on Facebook alone! Obviously not! I realised how I can say she is my friend when I don’t even have the sense to care about her? Am I mad at becoming a public figure? Am I a friend or a virtual character?
Am I building Connectivity or displaying my territory?
While going through some emotional breakdown moments, I shared my thoughts on Facebook status. And lo and behold, the tap of thumbs ups started flowing but thanks to the Candles Online man, my lovely elder brother CP commented “Bachha, Kuch Bol Raha hai” (the kid is saying something) and on the other side he personally asked, “What happened?”
Thanks to pioneers of social media forums for giving us the space of status to share our current state of emotion but what does it mean in the busy business of I, Me and My world? How many times I have paused and asked my friend, “Is everything okay? Your status story is different, can I help you?”
Has the bane of our hearts plunged the boon of Connectivity?
During 2016, 2nd surgical strike one of my friends posted a picture on Facebook. That’s of a dog pissing on the national flag of Pakistan. I gently asked her to remove that post as it will affect her personal identity and our national identity on the social forum as well. She respected my advice and alongside one of her friend who is a complete stranger to me, sent me the friend request and inbox me “Brother, I don’t know you, but I really like your view. Can I be your friend?”
The boon of Social media connectivity is freedom of speech and expression which has a more significant impact. Then how come my boon appears as a bane?
Am I retracting and abusing my boon?
Connectivity is always boon, but even the slightest retraction from the purpose turns the BOON into BANE!
Today I have given you a choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the decision you make. Oh, that you would choose life so that you and your descendants might live!