More from the “Social Media, WTF?” series

It has been a year since I got active again and started to get drowned in the noise of opinions and judgments on desi social media. I remember writing this in my first few months in KL, when I, for the first time in my life, discovered a place under the rock. Blissfully uninformed, void of opinions, extremely unlike my general opinionated self. That bliss didn’t last long because I soon got tired of being void of opinions and started to take active interest in Malaysian politics instead. As a friend commented the day I was going berserk refreshing the Malaysian election result browser tab a good four years ago, “you can take a girl out of Bihar but you can’t take Bihar out of a girl.” I love the drama of politics, who am I kidding! I can’t help getting involved (the angst was missing of course. Now though… Heh).

Here’s what I don’t love though – the unnecessary, incessant exaggeration that has come about since people like me, with their half baked but super strong opinions – started commenting on all things politics, culture, climate, economy and more. In the last one year, I have closely observed (hell, actively participated in) the opinionated junkyard that is social media. And if I were to believe all that is being said there, here is what the past year – and my reaction to all the quick judgments – looked like.

  • India has dropped secularism from its constitution. We are an unabashedly Hindu state now – bleh
  • No cash available anywhere, we are all going to die or go 100% digital, depending on which “wing” you follow more closely online – bleh
  • The summer in Bangalore got over after ONE rain – bleh
  • Bangalore has died and is burning. It’s that hot – bleh
  • We became a certain kind of thingamajing after Yogi’s appointment as CM – BLLLLEHHHH (I am guilty of this, btw)
  • The Indian army only has oppressors and rapists among them – ha
  • The Indian army can be used to shut every argument in its tracks – I am a human eyeroll as far as this one is concerned
  • RW hardliners with egg DPs and Sehwag’s personal opinion fall in the same category of trolls
  • Degrees matter, Modi’s in this case, or mine even – MEH
  • Freedom of speech is done and dusted in India – erm, Modi gets his share of brickbats on most news channels and at least half of Twitter, Varun Grover (who I love, btw) gets away with saying all that he does. Chetan Bhagat is still writing books. I say we need to do away with some freedom of speech. I don’t believe that but seriously, if this is what lack of freedom of speech looks like, I can live with it
  • Women no longer venture out on the roads – I don’t even know where to start with this one. Of course we are a historically oppressed lot, but things are improving, slowly and surely. Maybe go out and see for yourself sometime?

This list is not even close to comprehensive by a long shot and it didn’t even take any significant analysis. These are things that real people said, quickly jumping to the worst possible conclusion after every little development, shamelessly exaggerating like they exaggerate their LinkedIn profiles and job descriptions. I have been one of these quickly-jumping-to-horrible-conclusions people for the longest time, but if I have learned one thing over the years, it is that you’ve got to let things unfold. And till they do, as they say, मुँह बंद काम चालू, Twitterati. Y u so dumb?

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