Smartphones have become a necessity of time. With the changing time, we have forgotten that to use them we should also be smart enough. The irony is that phones are getting smart and we are getting dumb. Evolution of technology has led to encroachment of our lives by social media more than ever. Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, all social channels are in reach of every common man nowadays, but we have left the basic intelligence to use social media in a constructive manner. Whenever we see a post (better to say a sensational post), we just click on share button without trying to know whether it is real or a hoax. We don’t care for the reputation of anyone, we don’t verify the source of information before sharing derogatory posts or news about someone in social media. We think it’s on Facebook, then it must be true. Really? is it the case always ??
If you can’t relate to the story so far, let me walk you through some of the recent cases which you must have come across at least once.
#Social Story 1
Remember this post? Of course, we do. JNU incident is not one of those that can be put on a shelf after 48 hours. People expressed their anger and support in numerous ways. We saw 1000s of social posts that defamed JNU University and its students. This post was one of them. Without confirming the source and validity of the news, everyone started sharing it on social media. It is difficult to imagine how the people of such an advanced era can click the share button of a fake post and the count of shared is in Lakhs.
After this, officials from TATA had to come forward and clarify that Ratan Tata had not issued any such statement. I wonder whether those people who had shared the post had deleted this or it is still visible on their timeline?
#Social Story 2
How many of you considered this as true news in the first view? Normally everyone does after reading the headline. First, try studying at the content below which is intentionally hazed. Any educated person looking at it carefully would get to know the truth of fake post. The headline is saying something else and description is totally about religious conversion. Even the date printed is 24-12-2013, when there was no Kejriwal and no Hardik Patel in news. Still, when we see these kinds of posts, we click on share button without realizing that it could defame someone who might not be the culprit.
#Social Story 3
We are very much confident that everyone must have seen this post at least once on their timeline. Its origin is not known but the followers shared the post in range of lacks. The popularity of this could be guessed from the fact that Wikileaks had to come forward to state that they have not made any such comment about Modi and this social post is fake.
#Social Story 4
Another rumour spread during Jat agitation in Haryana was that hotel Amrik Sukhdev of Murthal has been burnt. This news was also shared on Facebook and twitter without confirming the truth. It also came out to be fake and owners have to clarify the right situation.
#Social Story 5
Remember this interesting post where everyone got impressed by Samsung’s way of taking revenge. This news was all over the internet but was neither confirmed by Samsung nor by Apple. If we think logically, this story will be proven hypothetical. To pay off 1 billion in nickels, Samsung would have required 20 billion coins. A single nickel weighs about 5 gms, so the total would be 110,000 tons. In order to transport this much weight, 30 trucks would be too less to think of. For this, about 2755 eighteen-wheeler trucks would be needed.
Suggestion lies in the fact that social media is a powerful medium and we should use it smartly. No matter how much you are impressed with the post, a single google search would be enough to validate the news and to get the source. We should try being smarter than our smartphones.