Gone are the days when cricket and football were the most popular games, PUBG and blue whale are the only games that people play today. A warm welcome to all the people present in this room. Today I Sparsh Sethi is here to talk about the ill effects of social media and the negative impact that it has had on each of our lives. Let me make one thing very clear, I am not here to criticize social media, I am here just to state the facts. Facts which never lie. The manipulation of public opinions over social media platforms has emerged as a critical threat to public life. I have found evidence of formally organized social media manipulation in over 48 different countries this year, which is 28 countries up from last year. Social networking nurtures short attention spans. People may think that it helps us to communicate, to them I have just one question. What was wrong with a call? Believe you me, I have spent majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social networking, social approval, physical appearance and what not. I escaped but some of us are stuck so deep into it that they don’t realize its delusional powers and the impact it has on our lives. A lot of people in this room may think about the successful campaigns that social media has lead with. Me too for example, well I have no choice but to agree. But let me remind you that there have been as much as 90 cases where people have falsely accused others just to get back at them. So all I want to say is that everything isn’t really as neat as it looks.
You might have heard this saying, even a thousand criminals may go free, but not a single innocent shall pay. For those who haven’t already guessed what I am talking about, I am talking about the blue whale game how many children needed to lose their lives for us to realize that it isn’t worth it.
Now let’s head towards a major failure of social media in my opinion of course. Facebook, many of my friends consider it to be a connecting block between them and their families. Well I respectfully disagree. Let me be very clear everyone, I despise Facebook. Why on God’s green earth would I need a computer to connect with those around me, why should my relationships be mediated through the imagination of a bunch of super geeks in California. What was wrong with the pubs? Facebook is profoundly uncreative; it makes nothing at all it just mediates the relationships that would have happened anyway. People might say that social media helps you find your life partner, but hey tinder was launched in 2012 and my parents had a love marriage in 1999.
I’d like to share this incident with you, my best friend Aryan Relia had an accident on 13th may 2016. While he lay bleeding on the road people didn’t take him to the hospital, you know what they were so busy doing, making videos. When he finally reached the hospital 53 minutes after the accident to be exact.
The doctors said and I quote “you’re 10-15 minutes late.” That was the moment in which I realized that social media may be a revelation in many fields but we sure as hell aren’t ready for it.
I conclude my session by telling you all that it isn’t about me, it never was, it never will be. Its about you, you and you and all of us sitting here. What’s happening to all of us, that is what scares the shit out of me.
You can say or make any statements that you want on social media, and you know what the fact is, that it doesn’t even have to be true.
BA Eng Hons