Social media platforms offer us mediums to engage with other people in a manner unthinkable until a few decades ago.
The digital age has transformed every bit of our day to day lives. From how we work, study or even commute to how we communicate and connect with one another. And while this change has brought with it ease and comfort, it has confronted us with challenges as well.
Social media platforms offer us mediums to engage with other people in a manner unthinkable until a few decades ago. From being able to like or comment on a long lost childhood friend’s recently posted photograph on Facebook to being able to get the latest news on our mobile phones without even switching on the television. Life has changed a lot. So have we.
The concept that there is always a consequence to everything is something which has now been limited to the offline world. Every action, every emotion, and every word, until the advent of social media, was considered to draw reaction. Yet, we fail to comprehend that the same rule applies to pretty much everything online.
Then there is the debate whether social media websites like Facebook and Twitter are platforms to engage in meaningful conversations? Sure, there are things like reach and connectivity and engagement that would tempt users – where else does one have the ability to directly engage a prime minister or a president or a favourite movie star? But then, how much real engagement do these platforms offer? After all there is only so much one can really say in 280 characters while ensuring a meaningful conversation.
Then there are those who argue that that is the art of online communication – in fact, the inherent character of online spaces and digital platforms. And while they may have a point, there is always the risk of words being misconstrued.
At the heart of this debate lie the real characters – the ones who genuinely aspire to ensure their words are misconstrued, that they spark a controversy or that they ignite a war of words. These issues require our attention. So this week, we try to understand online trolling and all the challenges that it poses.