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The twitter, Facebook pages and now, the cause pages has made it much easy for us to pursue a cause. It is easy to pursue, easy to get angry and as violent as the non availability of physical media could permit on the Internet. It is at the same time as addictive.
We closes the twitter at night with anger and wake up in the morning, all charged up with renewed fury, scouting for the latest annoyance to get furious about. Supported with a glib keypad, we shift from one annoyance to another, swiftly with the grace of an expert dancer.
The social media has brought down the walls a bit too much. While in the older, saner times, it would take a great deal of deliberation, thought and effort to decide on the friends we had. We had the liberty of time, and it was taken up with well-deserved seriousness. Becoming a friend was not something to be taken lightly, it was a life-defining activity. You would take days, weeks and months, before graduating someone from being an acquaintance to being a friend.
We would chose friends with great deal of thought, with those, who even if not matching us in temperament, but in line with our fundamental thoughts of right and wrong eventually allotted a space in our lives, our minds and our thoughts. With social media, it became easy to be friends.
All it needed was the click of a button, twitter called those you consented to be in touch with by an ego-boosting term called 'follower' , which many are late to discover after getting the venom thrown at them by so-called follower on account of some belief held dearly by them, as totally misleading as erroneous.
It is so easy to get angry on the social media, that I feel at times, it is causing two way damage. One, it brings too much of negativity in the thought, as it is so easy to get angry on the social media. You need not think great deal about how to project it, how to follow your anger through to a logical conclusion. Two, very soon the seriousness with which your beliefs ought to be taken fizzles away.
To quote a case, I had a classmate in the college, much to religious in his thought and way to fundamentalist in his approach. We would meet up at time, and with a proper address for the time of the day, went our way. We never sat together, eat together or drank together. When I came across the same person, many year later on Facebook with a friend request, I agreed. So on the social media we were friends, while as I had explained, when we were at a physically knowing distance earlier, we never could go beyond being acquaintance. I was spared of his militant religious thoughts and he was blissfully left in peace unburdened by my religious thoughts bordering at times to utter atheism.
When connected on Facebook, my thoughts were as much in his face as his were in mine, to the discomfort of both of us. I understood long back that we both have lived long enough with our respective thoughts and convictions to consider any conversion. But I am not sure he shared the view. The ease of propagating the thought on the Internet probably prompted in him a desire to mould my thoughts and those like me and thereby change the world. I used to be known to slip easily into violent actions when young, but this gentleman, who at that time was quite a good citizen of the small republic of our college, turned out to be quite belligerent in his thoughts. Very soon after we connected, we went into an argument where he proposed that indian army should get into a war with our neighbouring country, and I posited otherwise, proposing that we should take a stringent position without going to a war. He called me unpatriotic and coward in some well camouflaged words, and I did not like it anyways. I thought it was a healthy debate till then as I pointed out that such belligerence seeking soldiers to die on the whims of citizens sitting in our respective comfort zone, me selling technology and he trading stocks. Thankfully, neither of us was in a policy framing mode, but the sudden drop of decency as I was blamed for something which I was all my life sure I never was and never will be was shocking.
I thought about it for some time, then thought about the time when we were together in person and chose never to connect beyond a level. The answer was there, we were never friends, and that was because we were so different. This easy connect on Internet, offered immediate access to my thought and a strife devoid of any sense of mutual respect. The message was clear, I immediately disconnected from being a friend.
I can only share my thoughts with those who I am sure to have some respect for them, even with dissent. Your thoughts are precious, no one should be allowed to trample over them. You are your thoughts.
Thus I resolved to a. Be selective of those I connect on social media, and be ruthless in disconnecting those who are discomforting to my basic beliefs and b. to be selectively with causes, so my anger, my fury on the causes which I follow do not become too discomforting for my own being. It is important to be watchful about the causes your pursue, and not be addicted to an eternal, ever-present sense of disgust and anger. The responsibility to ensure that our causes do not become too common place rests with us, also does the responsibility of maintaining our own sanity.