Social media Vs Govt Vs public ???

Sep 26, 2022

What is known as smart in our hands is making us daft. A licensed surgery upon our privacy, like prescriptions of wrong medicines that kill us, would finish all the bets.

I still vividly remember my first time with WhatsApp, which is today’s most popular social media. My button phone was changed into a smartphone that was compatible with the App. One day, one of my friends said he sent me a message, which I didn’t see. As usual, I was searching for it in the message inbox. The message was on WhatsApp, which I couldn’t make out. Today such an experience is laughable. Isn’t it? Like me, most of the people of my generation too might have a similar story to share. We came far from the formative days and made it an inseparable part of our life!

That is a strange lady we cannot keep away. Without seeing her before going to bed like most people, my day is not done perfectly. By the time I wake up also, I must see her. In the daytime too if she makes no beep I feel jittery with a fear of being disconnected from the world. The life cycle turns on. Many times, I felt like disembarking her on the road. But she refuses to be dropped. Her accompaniment, thus, continued.

I don’t remember exactly when I started using Facebook, popularly known by its abbreviation, FB. But she is not as nicely glued with her virtual companions as her charming sibling – the WhatsApp is.

The darling Orkut died eight months after it cut its 10th birthday cake, earlier than she could charm more fans. By the time FB began to tame Orkut fans. I never tried to run after Orkut. I also removed FB from my smartphone, though the old friends believe I am still its devotee. I removed the News Hunt also as most of the news in the bouquet was stale and stinky. Such news used to weaken my good spirit of the beginning day with a good omen. I thought I must remove everything, including the rulers’ parcel of threats to hapless people, that causes me anxiety.

I call the pleasant old days the pre-formative days. As time was turning the corner, computers made their majestic presence without the decorative Instagram or other social media. Until then all friends were true friends in real life who did not need to shower praises on our updates, but a smile from deep inside their heart was enough. Those are now only a beautiful remembrance of our old life, maybe a pricy possession of only my generation.

Now can we imagine a life without scrolling up and down our smartphones? Two minutes of idle sitting will urge us to poke through Instagram and WhatsApp to see what is doing the rounds. Even if we are ok with not knowing the next door we are never OK without knowing the world that invaded our smart companion.

Earlier this month the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 passed three months ago, sparked a row after social media like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, etc showed resistance to the Indian law. The resistance made the social media moguls steal the media headlines. The hilarious part of the battle was that the public was hardly interested in knowing the core of the issue, though the policy was linked with each of the social media lovers, especially rumour-mongers. The more hilarious part of the story is the social media’s reluctance to share the details of the sources of fake news, abuse the platforms by sharing morphed images, malignant porn videos and contents, personal, political and business rivalries. At the same time, such orders appear to bully a section. Only a few were worried about the changes in the privacy policy. Others’ irrationally worried only about their disconnection with their sweet fans and shabby sports. Eventually, as a change of the battle track, the tussle was made to be between the government and the users. The government’s disturbance over the uncontrolled online public aggression was understandable. Naturally, the government stepped in to regulate the platforms, most of them of foreign origin. The government showed the social media platforms that Indian rules apply to them and want them to cooperate with the government’s investigation in suspicious and objectionable cases.

Finally, the government passed the rule. Initially, we felt the media would not accept Indian rules. WhatsApp filed a petition against the government. Twitter showed it would rather leave India than be ready to stoop. They did not waste their time on the battle but raised the white flag.

The foreign warriors saved their faces and preferred to hold on to the colossal market of India where there are unimaginable oversized users. US lawmakers, knowing India’s honey pot, would have jabbed to be safe in India. Finally, what was left for them to show was their mother country’s liberal cyber laws.

I am concerned about people’s mentality. Most of them are not worried about their privacy, which they should bother about. Instead, they worry about the fate of their chat space.

We need to be more responsible in using the smart gadget and the smarter “byte” world. No education of the cyber laws and rules could ruin us as badly as the half-knowledge of medical science that contributes to our peril. Be cautious to save yourself from online perils, while delving more into surfing, scrolling and chatting.

Now the government has made a tool to break into your chat room dismantling the safety called end-to-end encryption. Who would tolerate the freedom that the public enjoys so lavishly? Finally, if everything is solely for our benefit of safety and peace, then no more questions and misgivings remain.