Article

“The misuse of social networking”

It was around 12.30 p.m. on the Saturday, 25 th April 2015, I was playing with my son and my phone rang. I knew it must be a message from my husband, so went to check it. Yes, it was a message from him, asking if I felt the tremors, and I said no. Seemingly, he felt them and so did many people in Ahmedabad who were here during the 2001 earthquake. For sure they have become more sensitive to this natural calamity.

Now I checked the news for details and they were very disheartening. There was an earthquake of 8 Richter scale and that too not very deep from earth. I could imagine the forth coming news, of the kind of disaster our neighbouring country has faced. The loss of lives, the destruction …

I spoke to a few friends and family in Gurgaon and Kolkatta to confirm their safety.

Then a friend called, she was in Japan at the time of 2011 Earthquake and tsunami, and she said ‘Vidhi, though I was in Mumbai, it was like a dejavu for me, I think I felt the tremors in Mumbai, after reading the news; re-lived all my horrors.” Well then I laughed with her, but later I thought it must be so difficult for all of those who have witnessed this first hand.

Now I had my mobile in my hand, checking every message and news update. Around 1.30 got a message on a group saying something like ‘The worst tremors are yet to come at around 2.45, this information has been given from NASA, and the Government is hiding it, please pass as soon as you can and take care’.

I felt so sad for the friend who had forwarded this hoax and it got me thinking how fast and quickly do these anti-social elements work and misuse these social platforms. Then there were jokes about the earthquake and soon the whole thing was filled with such dumb messages. People were busy forwarding and nobody thought for a moment how bad things were in Nepal, how true were these messages.

Now I feel these social platforms should do something, so that people think before starting this chain of non-sensical forwards, and all these hoax messages that can actually cause stress to the society.

May be they should keep a certain number of messages free and then start charging, because I know for sure nobody would like to spend a single penny of theirs on such silly things. Now I am not an expert but this is just one of my ideas.

This misuse of social platforms really needs to be checked, we can also do it on personal level by being more aware and not being a part of all this. I would say ‘Use it for communication, not entertainment’.