Hereon, I have decided to set aside certain days as "NSMD" which would actually be an abbreviation for the No Social Media Days and something prompts me to think that this might actually be one of my wiser decisions in life.
The act in my context would chiefly include abstaining from Facebook, Twitter, reading blog posts, and online news sites including yahoo, msn and any other platform that might update me on anything that is happening around in the world. I would also prevent myself from reading the newspaper on these days. Of course, it is a different thing if someone were to pick me of all people to start ranting on the latest around the globe. But well, one can only try to a certain extent, isn't it?
The reason? Depression. Frankly, shame aside, I feel small. You know, like insignificant small. And look which wise mama preached about camera angles, eagles and all in the previous post, you say. Wait. I have my rebuttal.
Firstly, I am beginning to feel like the entire media is one big reality distortion tool. Really. Ever been to an awards ceremony? The prize winners or some achiever goes up on stage with the spotlight on him, being clicked voraciously by numerous photographers and then gives a speech. And 'the crowd' sits down, clapping their hands. Now imagine, if day after day, this were to be the only activity that you ever were going to do - attend an award function and look at the prize winners. How would you feel?
In real world, this does not happen. The crowd goes back home, assumes their daily life, have their hobbies, friends, aspirations etc. In real world, an eagle's eye perspective is easy to be assumed. However, the media is not real world. It has merely become one never ending tool of promotion and more promotion.
First, there are the advertisers, who can't just shut up. Every day, a new product has to come, a new discount has to be launched, happy beautiful faces need to show us that they are happier and more beautiful after using them.
Then, there is twitter. Actors, singers, authors and directors have to keep tweeting about their life, work and preferences and there are a zillion people following and re-tweeting this. Every second a person finds something interesting and shares a link to a song, product or article.
Bloggers (me included) get increasingly narcissistic and each wants to think that we have the responsibility of enlightening the world with our thoughts and opinions. Of course, when we meet a person, there are so many cues for us - body language, facial expressions etc, which are actually essential tools to get a perspective on someone. However, while reading a blog, the words become the person. The style and richness of language are our cues. Once you get this right, and also have a lot of followers, you come across as a very confident, independent, intelligent, bold person.
I know I am not making sense. Yet, somehow, the media makes me feel like so much is happening every second and success stories are being created at the speed of light. I am not blaming or ridiculing anyone for what they do or did in cyber space. I am just saying that due to the combined effect of it all, at the end of the day, I am losing touch with the "real" around me. Logging on to the internet has become akin to a trip to the mall - everyone seems to be rich and smart and successful.
The media has created a world inside our heads and I am feeling ridiculously disturbed in this world. It seems to be a filled with highly opinionated, super-confident people but I wonder if in reality we really have this proportion of domination or authority. I hope not.
Platforms are plenty to define, refine and showcase ourselves. And these platforms are even more crowded with celebrity fan worship. Eagle's eye perspective becomes really difficult. For e.g, every where I go, I see references to Chetan Bhagat's latest book. In my media world, then suddenly Chetan Bhagat is a prominent star being talked about by every single person alive - he is the most happening. And I haven't even read his second book completely. Oops!
Yet, what is reality? Hardly 15% of our country men know English and what proportion of that would have read his book? And what proportion of that would have liked it? And what percentage is that of world population? Firstly, what is Chetan so popular? What percentage of his success was through adept marketing?
See my point? However, it is not possible for me to be on such rational guard every second. Years back, there was a lot of research on how advertising is manipulating us. I think the internet and media in general is a thousand times worse, because it is filled with not just professional advertisers but also normal people - advertising themselves, advertising others.
Remember the old adage? Believe only that which can be seen, touched, heard and thoroughly investigated. It seems golden to me today and it seems to translate to "Stay away from the media, idiot!"
(Of course, some of you know me personally. For the others, well, I wonder how my personality had come across before this post. Smart, articulate, bold, rebellious or self-assured? If any of this, take my word, there really is a long way to go for all that )