‘Social media overtakes television as the main source of news among youngsters’; This according to a recent study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, with a survey of over 50,000 online news consumer in 26 countries, has further proved that we are plugged in for life! Although we can’t just yet discredit the Idiot Box as dead yet, yet the proliferation of social media in the day to day life has virtually blurred the televised news to a significant lower half of the column, to tweets and re-tweets and shares and viral messages across various platforms.
More and more people across the globe, are getting online – most of them are in the major social media networks, following their family and friends and followers feeds. The feeds have become walls of expression with absolutely no censorship and monitoring.
Although, we must not largely rely on the veracity and reliability of news doing the rounds via shares and reposts in the social media, but that millions do take it for face-value and literally; without a pinch of salt, makes one wonder-is there more to this phenomenon? One cannot disagree to the fact that this major shift is rearing more sheeples and rumor-mills than ever! News have by and large became Views with bare minimum facts as subtexts!
The Headline culture has taken many lives if it has saved quite a few; ousted stalwarts from the office and installed some candidate of choice; made a mess of credibility and reliability! Public opinion is public no more. It`s what the Media-propaganda promotes through 24 hours news cycle. Since people, mostly youngsters don’t have much time to go through the substantial detail and weigh the motive; the outcome is rather destructive; yellow journalism is trending!
There’s no escaping from the fact that this ‘menace’ would erase the slightest rationality left in the post medieval civilized society hard bent on anarchy. Although, the same tide that sweeps the shore, brings in treasure, even a pirate would vie for. Youngsters love sensationalism. This is for the fact that life in general has become mundane and monotonous for delineated smartphone gen glued to the touch screen aura. They are always after the buzz.
Proper channeling and curating of the vile that spreads through can help check effectively manage the same and also leverage proper news and media propagate in the mainstream. But since this is not possible at the expense of the platform and service provider and there can be no consensus on the criteria of censor and curatorship, the best practice could be to bring about awareness through the same media. Educating the students and the youngsters about the menace of yellow journalism and the consequences of ideologies morphed in memes and propaganda or conspiracy videos, messages etc.
Since no agency is liable to culminate the transcendence of this garbage, it`s up to the individual to keep oneself and the concerned from being misinformed and hog-washed by the mostly snoopy news. Society at large in the online domain lacks a set democracy for what goes on in the virtual world, except for the snooping around by any governmental or anti-governmental agency, or hackers trying to bring down sites and information. Too much dependency on the net has what created the next major phenomenon IOT (internet of things- of which we shall deal in the next of this series), this needs to be checked.