Has social media done more bad than good to us as a society

A few days back while having a conversation with my soul friend about how the new Pakistani fashion industry has swept us over, in being a trend setter for a modern day working woman, who had started to give up on the traditional conventional attire. In this pep talk, while we were discussing about the famous designers and their extravagant motifs and style, I started wondering if people like us, who have achieved the education and professionalism, to a level which is as high as it could get in our part of the world, that too on our own and managed to get into the elite class of the society where a decent living is not inaccessible, but still steal a thought to make the final purchase, what about a common man whose earning is not enough to buy him meal 2 times a day. What about a person who doesn’t even know whether he will have the next meal or not. What about those who barely manage to somehow pay the bills with all that they earn and what about him who sees his family going to sleep empty stomach and feels helpless and lost looking at their pale faces and sunken eyes? (But who cares as long as we can afford it, Right?). It filled my heart with resentment and left me petrified, thinking how indifferent a society we have become as a whole.

The problem doesn’t just die with my thoughts here, this is actually a sneak into a much bigger misery whose sole creators are we all. Social media-many of us like to call it a blessing in disguise, some even go a little further to call it a blessing that came later in life (Guys God saved you from a tragedy). I don’t deny the merits and convenience it brought to our lives. It literally made the whole world seem like one big family. But at the same time, it made us insensitive towards the real world around.

The concern I mentioned in the start, gut-wrenching as it is, doesn’t find enough place in this big, busy and corporate minded world, where everyone is in a perpetual race to ascend one level higher in the race of life. While the conversation was just between me and my friend, what about promoting opulence on a larger, open, even more bigger space, a space of SOCIAL-MEDIA. What is the impact that the modern time (developing mind), theatrics of pomp and show, has on the minds of the vulnerable population? Is it an attempt to throw them in the abyss of uncertainty, devoured by the grief of adversity or to create a division in our society based on just some superficial and ephemeral fancies and whims. Is this an attempt to rip this society off its basic moral and social fabric.

There is one famous age old saying, “Cut the coat according to cloth”. And I believe it should be so. There is nothing wrong for someone who can afford to wear a seven meter trail of Ralph & Russo Gown and adorn in Tiffany, but labelling every bit of covering on body from head to toe with heavy (some people can’t event pronounce properly, but can’t beat their compulsion of explicitly mentioning the brand) and inarticulate brand names and run amok with an aggressive spree to publicise on every available social media account,  is a little preposterous. And social media helps propagate such a narrative better than ever; partners in crime are all the sectors of the society, be it a purchaser or a seller. Businesses used to do just great earlier too, even without the advent of social media, with far richer nations than present day. It was introduced to assist not to bog down humans.

The evil consequence of promoting quasi fairy standard of perfection is not only pushing a common man to the edge of a cliff, but is making him feel like an outcaste, forsaken low life, meagre and unfortunate. A person who has done nothing much productive with his life all through his lifetime but just by the virtue of being born in a family of riches and fortune, throwing lavishness of every kind left and right might go un-noticed as one more degenerate, but certifying and validating on social media portals, such behaviour as flamboyant and idealizing such people as ultimate inspiration will consume our society insidiously. This pedant passion of glorification will create nothing but a gulf between people, which we will never be able to fill. This land has seen and endured pain over decades, but it can never hold back the tears if inflicted with despair of dystopic concept of proletariats.

Julius Caesar is remembered by history as one of the greatest leaders, statesman and politician. His great reforms and exemplary intelligence serve enough a witness to his great conquests even without having a social media anywhere near that era. For a moment, even if we assume it to be present at that time, all that it would have achieved would be unnecessary and unsought pressure on common, unskilled, untrained man intimidating him to yield and fight, worse to spill blood on the streets with no purpose at all, but just to register his matter and feed his self-claimed supremacy.

We are all capable of change, we are all capable of making a difference and we are all capable of contributing the best to our world. Glory lies in the work and deeds, that speak for themselves no matter how small (and no harm if you post them on every wall, virtual or real).

“It was not by making yourself heard, but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.” George Orwell, 1984.