Bless the Internet

I am tired and unsatisfied. For the past week I have been stuck in various tasks in my life: learning a new language, trying to write a tutorial for my college grades, and reading about my country’s ancient heritage…all at the same time. And I reach a dead end.  I cannot understand what my forefathers were thinking when they did in USSR what they did, I am sick of random people’s thoughtless viewpoints on the Mahabharata, and I am tired of trying to figure out the many grammatical complexities in this new language that I am learning.

So what do I do? I decide to take a break….I switch on the computer, log on to facebook and start chatting in real time with a friend who is sitting 4 seas and a dozen countries away. Simultaneously, I put on some good music on the Internet radio and do a little jig to the tune playing. I look up the best recipe to make the best coffee and find amazing facts on the ‘golden beans’!

After an hour of relaxing, I decide to go back to my studies, but I cant seem to be able to touch my books. So I just google USSR’s New Economic Policy and choose out of the zillion sites which pop up!

The magic of this wonder-invention has left me flabbergasted. What better source of entertainment, education and relaxation than the very renowned internet? At the click of a button, it seems that the whole world is spread out there on a 14 inch screen in front of me. I can travel to Kerala, and listen to authentic Spanish music at the same time while on my ‘boat ride’ to Italy. I can ‘poke’ someone I haven’t spoken to in a long time. As I learn about the Ramayana on one hand, something about the modern architecture pops up on my laptop beckoning me to explore it. I can watch a football match aired 20 years ago on YouTube like it was just yesterday when Pele made the most amazing goal.

The internet, is thus, and most would agree with me, a wonderful thing.

But, at the same time, I also wonder, how wonderful it actually is….

Sure, it is a great source of good music, and great movies…but isn’t it an equally good source of porn? While 10 years ago, a father could simply hide his porn mags from the son…now, it is easier for the son to just find better stuff on the net.

The line between good socialization and bad socialization is becoming less clear day by day. What was just ‘modernizing and culture dissemination’ a few years back…is now turning into ‘decomposition of culture and ethics’. The use of foul language, bad dressing, and simply rotten mannerisms are now being adopted in the name of learning.

Facebook has become the new medium for mutual flattery and hatred for the new generation. A single sick insult by a jealous teenager triggers depression or even suicidal thoughts in young ‘responsible’ adults. The social image, even in the virtual world has become the most important thing in today’s world.

And of course, is not the internet a haven for hackers, money makers and cons? Do I even need to start counting the number of sited which are potential pests in your bank account, your offcial documents, or even your life.

But then, I also think, how there is a good and a bad side to everything. The crux of the matter is to pick up the good points and work on them. The careful, responsible usage of the internet becomes the foremost concern and safety measure while diving into itsworld of knowledge and entertainment. Keeo your mind open, keep your eyes open.

And please, a message to all my fellow teenagers in this world: Move on…the internet is not your life. One missed email will not ruin your life. One stupid, insensitive insult by some frustrated soul will not push you to the depths of the dark world. But probably, a thousand porn sites will, abusive language will, what you might consider cool and others consider disturbing MAY mean something serious. Pay attention to the right things. Make the right choices…at least attempt to.


Sensationalism and emotions

Someone once said to me ‘There is a fine line between sensationalizing to draw attention, and sensationalizing it so much that the attractiveness of it numbs your mind’. This could not be any more true with the media crossing all lines to attract a bigger audience and make more money.

Having recently seen the last few episodes of Bigg Boss, the Indian counterpart of the ‘Big Brother’, quite a few things about the show have disturbed me greatly. The show lately introduced a new contestant in the house apparently realizing the ‘monotony’ and ‘calmness’ of the show. Any trivial arguments between the house mates would soon be sorted out by a peaceful discussion and all would be happy at the end of the day.

I wonder why the producers of the show were not happy with the show getting on as it was? Ever since the arrival of this new contestant, there has been complete mayhem in the house. Personal attacks, foul language, and conspiracies have reached an all-time high and the ‘peace’ in the house is now a story of the past. The most disturbing bit of the new entrée is that she is an ex-lover of another participant’s ex-husband (yes, mind boggling).  The play of emotions here is simply disgraceful.

The media seems to have forgotten about the thin line between senstitvity and sensationalism.  Mental and emotional torcher seems to have become the new funda for these entertainment channels.

Oh, this is not to say that the news channels haven’t caught up. Who can forget the immense, unadulterated coverage of the Mumbai 26/11 attacks? All that competition to be the first to cover the most of the events cost the victims of the terror attack, the NSG and the country as a whole. Hardly has the media learnt its lessons.

The coverage of the Commonwealth Games’ sites in Delhi vindicates my point.One dirty toilet and one betel-nut juice stain became the focus of an entire 30 minute news bulletin. The amount of exaggeration on the part of the media about the housing facilties, hygiene, security etc yet again has cost the country and the people in a big way. We are still dealing and will continue to deal with the repercussions of all the bad press and the losses the country incurred as a result of this bad press.

So, at this point all I can say is, ‘Thank you very much Mr. Reporter, Mr. Producer and all you jerks who have brought the Indian Entertainment industry to this trashy turn in the history of television . I am disgusted.’