Meaningless Online Fashion

Dec 12, 2023

The virtual platforms enable even unskilled and semi-skilled individuals to present things as if with superior skills, thanks to the one-way traffic of communication. A poor dancer, an unqualified teacher, an untrained yoga guru, et al with insufficient skills can show off themselves well to attract and generate followers. That is the new virtue of the virtue world where all that glitters is gold.

Online is the new world order. Indeed, the online platform has many remarkable advantages and several incongruities. Availability of everything at the fingertip makes us happy as we are free from the time-consuming and expensive manual access. We do not need to stand in a queue to pay utility bills. We do not visit an institution or department to file your documents and applications. Everyone does the banking transaction safely and comfortably while sitting at home without a face-to-face with the tellers. Tax filing, processing, assessing and settling are online to greatly relieve the tax filers. Like shopping online we buy travel tickets and take boarding passes online in smilingly comfortable ways. Marriage is arranged online. Patients consult doctors, book medical tests and order medicines online. Astrologers are available online as are temple visits and pooja offerings. 

The availability of many such services online has set us free from all the tormenting services of the past. We praise the great online systems and admire the innovation as it continuously reduces the size of our world. All these are remarkable advantages, thanks to the new world order. But we haven’t yet realised the irreparable deficiency of some parts of the virtual systems, even if generative artificial intelligence and robots power them. The virtual platform has drastically curtailed our capabilities because the system demanded either moderate skill or no expertise.

The online systems enabled many establishments and identity-founding to build clout across geographies. There are cults built around yoga teaching and healing solutions with larger-than-life images. There are many brands of yogas, treatments and worships. All are active on virtual platforms without the need to face the public response. Followers of the cult, who may or may not have required talents, also built their identity by using their superficial skills of presentation and one-way interpretation. They are not bothered about another one questioning their content presentation. The listeners of yoga cannot ask the teacher any doubt. Still, all this lameness did not stop the growth of online wonders without having to answer public doubts. These are irrefutable incongruities of the virtual platforms.

People listen to their performance full or half and swallow their doubts about the presentation. While the lecturers of a virtual class do not face any question of their wards a classroom teacher knows their wards may ask questions. In the true sense of the term, lecturers of virtual classes have only followers while the lecturers of real classrooms have students. A tutor in a virtual class does not need to answer students’ doubts so he could be an ineligible person. He can mechanically read out from a teleprompter and impress the followers but a teacher cannot. In this case, we follow the lip movement of the presenter and listen to the audio helplessly to ask anything further if a doubt arises. Actions impress the followers but not the intellectual input and wisdom that a teacher is expected to possess. The information we get from the virtual classes is heavily rationed and insufficiently fortified. An online Guru does not need to be a guru of any quality but an action hero. Anyone with a videogenic and photogenic face can steal the show and be a guru without the need to be capable of clarifying public doubts. 

Humans followed many conventions across untold generations. We learn not from books alone but from our teachers and parents through close interactions. All teachers, parents and children are not of a standard class. One individual is different from another one. Teachers see students of different intellectual levels. They have the right understanding of each student and take care of every one according to one’s intellectual needs. Their capability of addressing a student’s needs comes not from any pre-training but from generative wisdom and commonsense. A pre-trained template of intelligence works mechanically for a pre-determined purpose. 

With such limitations, we cannot expect online classes and pre-recorded lecturing to be meaningful replacements of conventional schooling. Experts and erudites became irrelevant. We have created a world that compels us to believe all that glitters is gold.