Social media has become part and parcel of our life. A free space, social media, is one of the most popular platforms where anyone can say or share anything. It is now defining our life. Social media platforms, especially Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram have become a hub for sharing photos, videos, feelings, news, connecting and keeping people in touch and what not. Like it or not, in a digital world, social media is all around us. With anything, there is the good, the bad and the ugly sides of it.
Everyone wants to speak their minds, share their life events or achievements on social media. Almost everyone becomes a critic on social media. Now, with hundreds of photos and videos shared online, there comes the question of the right to privacy, dignity and one's security.
For instance, a video of three girls allegedly from the Northeast partying and dancing with two men went viral recently. Moments after the video was leaked, it was shared widely on social media platforms, especially on Facebook and WhatsApp. Many internet users unmindfully shared and forwarded the videos, inviting the so-called keypad critics to comment and judge. They do not care to think how the people involved in the video or their families would feel to find such a video going viral.
It is unfortunate that most of us are judgemental. But the question is, will the so-called keypad warriors react and judge the same way had it been boys who were having fun? Will they be shamed on social media likewise? Most probably, no.
Many would have ignored or pass some humorous remarks. However, most of the comments of the viral video in social media were aggressive and misogynistic, particularly against women from Northeastern India who come to metropolitan cities in search of jobs or education. Online harassment and character assassination and shaming on social media are not new, more when a female from a Northeastern state is involved. But truth be told, no one is perfect. If we realise this, we could be less biased, less judgemental, probably!
Many youths from Northeast states migrate to cities in search of jobs as there is a lack of employment opportunities in their home states. It will not be wrong to say that many desperate youths often fall prey for fraudsters. There have been reports of women who are employed in spas and beauty parlours in cities being sexually assaulted and harassed or even forced into prostitution.
While there may be some youths who go for easy money, not everyone is the same. Everyone is different and unique. There are many female youths from Northeast India who are doing well in their respective professions. It is high time, we stop this attitude of targetting whole Northeast or Northeast girls whenever something unpleasant and unfortunate happens.
One may be commenting against or shaming the particular person involved in the incident, it will be wise to remember that what we share on social media says a lot about us. So, let us be mindful of what we post or comment on social media, less our action or words cause an embarrassment or traumatic experience to others. Let us strive to be less judgmental towards others.
(The views expressed are personal)