Anil Thakraney’s Hard Knocks: The impotent social media

07 Nov,2011

By Anil Thakraney


The social media has become the brand new joint to bond and vent pent-up anger. Even as you read this, tens of hundreds of causes are being launched by eager Facebookers, with many followers diligently signing up. From issues of animal rights to environment protection to fund raising for the needy to just about anything that can change the world. And when problems happen in the metro towns, it’s time to scream, collect fellow networkers and put pressure on governance. This too keeps happening every month. The two recent causes that come to my mind immediately are one, the ‘Meter Jam’ campaign launched with a lot of fanfare to teach the cheating auto rickshaw buggers a lesson. And two, demand for justice for the dead Keenan and Reuben, the young men who died fighting off drunken taporis.


Now while I am happy folks have found a new place to express rage (far easier to click buttons from inside an air conditioned room than trudge to the Gateway of India and light candles), I wonder if the social media has the power to make real impact. The ‘Meter Jam’ effort flopped miserably after a lot of noise. And am afraid the ‘Justice for Keenan and Reuben’ campaign will meet the same fate. Sure, anger has spilled on to the mass media, and the Maharashtra CM has been forced to make a statement, but all will be forgotten soon. Perhaps some of the culprits will get a jail term very soon, but sexual harassment of women and crime on the streets will simply go on. And the rick guys will continue to cheat us, of course. Quite obviously what is required is a massive overhaul in our legal and policing machinery if we want to see real change, and that can’t happen by cribbing and carping on Twitter and Face Book.


But, no matter. Let the causes be launched, let the anger roll. At least people feel a little lighter in the head after clicking the ‘Like’ button. It de-stresses the mind. However, I’d imagine Yoga is a better bet. It’s soul satisfying, and if you indulge in some of Baba Ramdev’s techniques, you could lose some weight too.


PS: Watch this ad for a vacuum cleaner. A superb example of how to use horror in advertising. It’s one genre that’s rarely used inIndia.

[youtube width=”300″ height=”200″][/youtube]

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