The social media, especially Facebook has thrown up many interesting concepts. I explored two interesting phenomenon earlier. First was that of a Facebook Celebrity and the second was that of Facebook Diarrhea. There is one more interesting phenomenon that caught my attention as, I am sure, it would have of many.
In another of my earlier blog I talked about the uniqueness of this social media platform. It hence challenges all conventional ideas of personal and public. If you are on Facebook then you are helpless but to read mundane updates, see selfies, get to know where your friends are, what they are eating and many more of the whims and fancies of your friends or their friends or of people who Facebook thinks you might know or want to know about! This is definitely leading to blurring of the lines between private and public life. What it also does is it gives a platform to instantly express ones opinion about anything under the sky, criticize anyone or appreciate anyone. This freedom is overwhelming and empowering at the same time. Overwhelming because the swelling emotions and pent up feelings have a place to be expressed yet their reach is limited and might not even reach those who it is intended for, yet that people can express and that increasingly organizations or high placed individuals or celebrities are on social media listening to their fans, makes it very empowering too.
What this is leading to, is a phenomenon that I want to call as Facebook Warrior. Let me explain. In our day to day lives we see many wrongs happening around us. Whether it is bribe seeking traffic policeman, upstarts driving in the wrong direction in a one way lane, bribes in government offices, indifferent managers, hurting partners, child labor, violence, poor civic sense and many more. There are some very irritating and stubborn social issues as well that refuse to be washed away. We have many who are going out there and under the umbrella of many NGOs or NFOs are working hard and doing their bit in bringing about a change. Yet, there are many who feel strongly about issues such as these but haven’t figured out what to do about them. Social Media has resolved this dilemma for them. Now they have the all empowering option – they can tweet! They can post on Facebook!
Mind you this breed of warriors is very prompt. They don’t lose anytime in speaking up against what they perceive as a wrong doing. Equipped with smart phones they are the journalist and cameraman rolled into one. Instantaneous videos, on the fly pics and agitated comments are captured and posted on Facebook with amazing alacrity. There are no off days either. These warriors might be lazing on a Sunday afternoon on their couch, but suddenly something they see on the TV agitates them and outcomes the smartphone/tablet/laptop and out goes the fury in the form of words and expressions. The responsible citizens that they are, nothing escapes their acute attention. I have seen some funny instances like, a person who noticed a car not appropriately parked and unnecessarily eating into the adjacent parking space, instead of speaking with the owner of the car, decided to vent out on Facebook with pictures. A person wronged by an Auto driver, instead of reporting it to a nearby police station, waited till he reached home to vent out frustration on Twitter and Facebook. The list goes on.
The posts or tweets are not like articles in the newspaper. They are not dead; they are alive and throbbing with pain and agitation. They attract instant reaction from other warriors online who either agree with the expressed opinion or are completely anti to it. The messages of sympathy and likes and shares they are real victory for a Facebook warrior. The number of likes and messages, obviously, measuring the extent of success. I am sure many among us would identify with the described warrior. Before anybody could even try to raise a finger at me, let me admit, I am one of them!