• The Cons of Living Online, Following What’s Trending

    Recently we saw a video of a cashier at a bank going viral with the title: Fastest cashier in the world. It was uploaded by a Facebook user who thought it to be “entertaining” and went viral, with everyone getting in their sarcastic jibes because the lady in question takes her time counting money slowly, entering information into her computer rather slowly too.

    Thanks to social media, the clip quickly spread like wildfire. The authorities were questioned, asking why an inefficient worker like her was employed. There was no room for benefit of doubt because obviously we do not leave space for perspective these days.

    Or humanity.

    Turns out, the lady in the video is Premlata Shinde, who has survived a paralytic stroke and two heart attacks. Activist Kundan Srivastava, shared this information about Premlata, who works at the Bank of Maharashtra in Pune. Kundan shared her Facebook post that read, “When the video was being shot, she had just resumed her work after medical treatment.” He added that she wanted to finish her service honourably, before retiring next February, and that the bank set up a counter for her to work at her own pace.

    It’s unbelievable how callow we allow ourselves to be online.

    The world today relies on social media not just for entertainment, but for news as well. While this may seem like a convenient platform, considering most of us are on social media half the time, it also has some cons that are overlooked. The credibility of information remains incoherent when it comes to videos, clips, posts on Facebook and other social media platforms. It is easy to put out only one side of the story hoping for a reaction from the online community, but the context behind the content becomes a complication.

    Earlier this year, BGR.com reported how some of the videos that go viral are actually staged/fake.

    In Australia, an outfit company named Woolshed Company has been responsible for videos that go viral on social media. Remember the clip of a bear chasing after an oblivious snowboarder video? Yep, I’m afraid, it was all staged.

    When corporations can push out questionable content, we really need to ask ourselves what is true and what can be trusted. In the age of rationality and questioning, we blindly follow social media trends that make us feel involved. There seems to be this need to be a part of the group [which we've seen offline earlier], which makes an individual follow the path of “trends” without a personal insight.

    How is this any less than peer pressure?

    It’s worth thinking about our obsession with what’s trending. Is sending out any information the purpose, or sending out the right information? Are we taking responsibility of our words? For our insensitivity? These are questions that need to be a protocol for those who live via the online world.

    Feature Image Courtesy: Rival IQ

     

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