Choosing Responding Over Reaction As Netizens

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Sunder Pichai’s Cockroach theory has a lot to say –

“At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming out of fear. She was panicky and wanted to get rid of the pest. The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but it landed on another lady and the drama continued. The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter. The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behaviour of the cockroach on his shirt. He grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant. He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos. It is not the cockroach, but the inability of those people to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach, that disturbed the ladies. He further adds, “It is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it’s my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me. It’s not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me. More than the problem, it’s my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life. I understood, I should not react in life. I should always respond. The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded. Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of.”

I belong to the 21st century. I belong to the era of memes, hate pages and Photoshop. If you want to know what my generation is up to, I can take you on an adventure that unravels after I login on my Facebook account.  We are the generation who can be easily bought with objectifying lyrics and can invent a trending topic be it someone’s buttocks or some celebrity wardrobe malfunction. The point is with great freedom and power of information bestowed upon us we only seem even more directionless. We do not build opinions but manufacture reactions. We do not think about solution, we make things viral. In short we seem to combat issues with reactions and overreactions rather than sensible response. With immense exposure to information, opportunities and possibilities, the social-media-frenzied youth are yet to utilize the newly information-evolved present for the better rather than sensationalizing controversies. Generalizations cannot be made but in the era where a song called ‘ Pen-Pineapple-Apple–Pen’ gets a Guinness World Record, there is a need for enrichment of a more cultured, intellectual and reasonable youth.

Sensationalization and reaction

Tablets have replaced books, Terribly Tiny Tables have replaced novels and discussions have been replaced with a like, comment or a share button. In the drive of simplification and quickness, depth has lost its value. Can thoughts go beyond simply liking or sharing a particular topic? Do we even think before we like or share a picture comparing a potato and a singer? Do we need to share everything which says ‘according to research’? Do we need to simply write about what we had in dinner or share a picture which says ‘my laptop- dual core, my phone-octa core and my friends – haramcore’? There is nothing as infinite as what we can put in social media today. Yes we debate about Freedom of Speech and Expression but what happens when we all are simply reducing to a neurotic, narrow-minded, depth-less audience? An individual tiny little ‘like’ might not matter but what happens when it is a whole generation validating, reinforcing and spreading such non sensible disposition? As Pichai rightly says, “Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of.” Sadly for youth, combating an issue has been reduced to a frenzy-motivated reaction. It only remains to be a medium to get more ‘likes’ or ‘share’ rather than a valid answer to a solution.

The Responding Responsibility

Information can be good and bad and we need to understand that it is just a matter of choice which makes use the information in a particular way. Social networking sites can be used to share personal opinions but one needs to know that it is not a diary nor it is a party where you meet people you know and interact. It is a network and a huge ocean of connections without limited ability to control communication. We must understand the sanctity of personal emotions, worries and relationships. Rebuking classmates on the comment section, writing an anonymous letter as an answer to a gossip, eruption of emotions after a proposal etc need not be a status. If one means these personally then it must remain personal. These emotions can be very real and might sound ‘status-worthy’ but it is indeed a wonderful skill to resolve our personal problems without making it a public issue (unless it definitely requires public attention) Therefore one must know how to maintain a personal identity and a ‘social-media-identity’ and do not mix both.

Given the way opinions are expressed these days (through memes, gifs etc) it is difficult to avoid these mediums but we must analyse the content of these mediums before sharing them.  Some messages might be hurting the sentiments of a particular community or ideology and in return it only spreads more unwanted reactions and misinterpretations. One has the full right to agree and oppose anything. Why not find more about it, do more research on reliable sources about it, find the truth and see if we were at all biased? Then if we find an opinion at all lets write blogs, make short films about it etc so that people know more about it. As Netizens we need to be responsible and promote things that need to be heard.

We are the kids of the 21st century and we have a lot mentalities to change, narrow-mindedness to fight and new ideas to promote. Thanks to our quicker and newer inventions which facilitate us with information and social networking platforms to do so. Reducing these phenomenal inventions into superficial tools to cook more chaos and manufacture a neurotic, depth-less and purposeless youth is simply an indication of the making of a newly evolving dehumanized specie.

 

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