The Influence of Social Media
The reach of the social media is utilized
- to project politically motivated opinions and ideologies.
- to drown the voices of sanity by trolling.
- To generate user content for the business entities which make their millions through it.
- To divide the population into manageable chunks, so that they never become a powerful unified lobby. Issues that can whip up a frenzy of emotion are carefully chosen.
- To divert attention from other issues that can expose the Lobbies. People are busy celebrating ‘never-heard-before’ Days and Weeks, or analysing the implications of an isolated statement, rather than think about the economic issues or corruption in high echelons.
- To crowd-source ideas for rationalization of their actions. The same are immediately repackaged and sold.
- To collect qualitative and quantitative data on opinions and waves, which is used for conversion to vote banks.
- To encash on popular sentiment.
- To collect inputs from the population, and use it to subjugate them.
- To identify loopholes and divides, to aid formulation of strategy.
The Massive response of the Masses
Why do people play into the hands of string-pullers and manipulators ?
- Fear of isolation
The need to belong is a social need of human beings.
- Fear of repercussions
Going with the stream is always a safe mode.
- Being with it
Nobody wants to be left out. Jokes which are “new in the market” carry a premium.
- Giving in to emotional blackmail
“If you love your mother/ country, then forward this …. “ kind of statements.
- Outlet for angst
The repressed anger, frustration and misery from one source all find a convenient outlet somewhere else.
- Display of loyalty
Supporting friend/ family/ community/ profession carries value. Voting lines on reality shows are money-churners for the telcos.
- Instant response to provocative images or titles
Sensational words and images are used to evoke a mass hysteria. Public figures are commissioned, and their popularity misused to generate a wave.
Believing a social media post is easier than probing into the issue, collecting more information and analysing it.
- The instinct of self-preservation
A bogey is raised, or a distant figure or issue is painted as being the ‘annihilator’ that will consume you, unless you act in defence. The gullible audience fails to identify the hidden annihilator in their own environs.
- “Why can’t I” syndrome ?
Logic, intent or the purpose of common good are all defied in the wake of “If X can voice his/her opinion, why can’t I ?”
The string-pullers have thrown a rope at your desperation. To survive, retain your sanity, manipulate or be manipulated is your choice.