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The ‘Self’ & The ‘Profile’

The arrival of satellite channels at our drawing rooms in the 1990s, and the increasing usage of smartphones and growing popularity of Social Media in the early 21st Century have successfully changed the cultural tastes of people in South Asia. While nimbleness has replaced aesthetic senses of people, exuberance has overshadowed in-depth knowledge. In a sense, self-exposure has become the USP of this medium. Many get disappointed, if they do not get the expected likes on Social Media. Even breaking up with (virtual) friends is not unusual because of this.

Each and every smartphone gives birth to a photographer, which used to be considered as a specialised job in the past. Status Upload has become the most popular trailer in this medium. Keeping all these in mind, one can say that Social Media play an important role in degrading (cultural) taste of the users in a way, by encouraging them to promote one’s self. With this, the Social Media trigger various problems, such as anxiety, stress, psychosis, sleep apnoea, suicidal tendencies, etc. Ignoring the warnings of the experts, people unknowingly invite these problems.

Poor literary creations in the name of creative writings have also been seen in the last couple of decades. The Social Media, these days, have helped authors become both editors and publishers. With the touch of a finger, one can present her/his works to friends (or readers) through virtual pages. Here lies the greatness of the Information Revolution. This online culture has started destroying the habit of reading. In the name of Popular Culture, low taste and low talent are affecting one’s aesthetic sense.

An author has to meet the editor’s criteria in order to get her/his works published in the print media. Media Houses, too, have to be careful about the selection of articles, as readers purchase their products (magazines or tabloids). No one wants to harm the business by providing readers with substandard literary works. The Digital Media do not face this problem.

The cost of internet usage is much cheaper in South Asia. Nearly 320 million Facebook users and 480 million WhatsApp users spend 17 and 23 hours a month on these two platforms, respectively. The problem is that spending so much time in a consistently low-quality environment degrades both the authors and the readers. It may be surmised that readers often consider shallow writings as extraordinary works. Some of the Quality works rarely get published in the Digital Media.

Once, Premendra Mitra (September 4, 1904 – May 3, 1988), the noted Indian poet, author and film director in the Bengali language, had said: “Writing is not just a leisure activity or an emotional luxury. It is a great responsibility to speak about the terrible virtuous life in the language of life.” His comment is also applicable for the (Social Media) authors.

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