Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Frankly Speaking – the sure shot way of losing your social media friends

Also published on Huffington Post India

Sharing political and religious beliefs on social media is like airing your dirty laundry. It forces your ‘friends’ to show the true colours of their laundry as well. Once you wash your dirty laundry in the same lot as theirs, your pristine whites may get damaged for life. 

If you are tired of being a like enthusiast on Facebook and ‘hahaha good one’ samaritan on Twitter that everybody loves, I suggest you start sharing your beliefs on religion and politics. This is a foolproof method to awaken the dormant Arnab Goswami (ArG) in your dearest online friends. Beliefs, for the uninitiated, is like the softest, worn-out tee-shirt that you’ve held on to for years. All of us have one and we stubbornly refuse to let go of it even as it waits to be reborn as a duster or a mop. Slipping into its soft fabric is the closest we feel to our mother’s womb – where we felt safe from the heartless world of loudmouths. So, when an opinionated cretin’s grating voice such as yours infiltrates their warm, soft cocoon, their ArG comes out in full force.

Interestingly, this process will greatly facilitate in bringing out your own argumentative ArG as well. Pretty soon, we’ll be reduced to a hollering mass as we point fingers accusingly at each other, our eyes blazing with righteousness. Everybody will engage in the fine art of debating each other’s views by screaming more loudly.

The only way to counter your enemy is to behave exactly like them.


Before you begin this exercise, I suggest you develop paper thin skin by scrubbing yourself daily with dailies. The print media ensures we begin our day on a cheerful note by publishing reports on rapes, murders, ungrateful sloganeering students charged with sedition, Jats going on a rampage to show the government who the boss is. Once your skin has reached the correct level of bristliness, power your words with your supressed anger, imagine the audience as your spouse and start typing. Make sure each sentence ends with a string of exclamation marks longer than the Great Wall of China!!!! Be liberal with the usage of terms like pseudo-intellectuals, bhakts, right-wingers, anti-national, presstitute, or feminazi, depending on your favourite bias. Convincing yourself that everyone but you is a fool, helps greatly. Also, make sure you close your mind with a secure lock.


Once you’ve pressed the publish button, simply wait to make the heartbreaking discovery – that when you express opinions, you will be bombarded with counter opinions. Some of it will be abrasive, hurtful and come from your previously agreeable friends.

I understand it is not easy accepting that friends, unlike pets, are capable of having opinions contrary to yours. You will promptly deal with it with a maturity expected only of you by either unfollowing or unfriending these pests. Else you can follow the great thought leader Anupam Kher’s reasoning and call it pest control.



You can finish off by writing an emotional post by lambasting unnamed people for making Facebook such a negative place.

If you are on Twitter, you can experience the delight of being attacked by a mob of blood thirsty patriots who will not only question your loyalty to your motherland but also call you ugly, fat, frustrated and a moron. If it’s is your lucky day, your old tweets will be dugout from the graveyard of the past as further proof of your treachery. Your future will be banished to Pakistan. Since no argument in India is complete without your family members being dragged in, they will be anointed with the choicest epithets. Make sure you memorise them all. They will come in handy when you’re dealing with that entitled a%s^#le when he hits your car while driving on the wrong side.

If all the planets favour you, you might even get arrested for inciting sedition or hurting some unknown person’s religious sentiments. In India, you are guaranteed freedom of speech but nobody can guarantee your freedom when you’ve made that speech.

Such unsavoury incidents would never have happened had you made all your would-be friends sign a contract before accepting their friendship request. Thou shall love me as much as I love myself. In case of an argument, thou shalt always be on my side, which is always ‘Right’. If you question my beliefs and dare to disagree with me publicly, I will question your motives and wonder if you have a hidden agenda behind this unbridled hate. Also, you will be promptly declared an anti-national having ties with Hafeez Saeed.

Alas, life would be much easier for all of us if we could accept that critiquing the government and its knee-jerk reactions is not practising our fundamental rights but siding with the enemies of the nation and disrupting “our great leader’s” dream of development.

And if you find this too difficult to practise, I suggest you stick to sharing exciting news such as ‘Is Mira expecting a baby’? If anybody dares ask, who the eff is Mira, don’t bother replying. Just make sure you make them a Shahid!

Else stick to advice given by the self-proclaimed wise author of this post – someone or the other will get offended irrespective of what you write. Soon you’ll realise that you can’t please them all. Once you stop caring what others like, you will start saying what you really think. Because a debate is about two opposing perspectives. And at times, truth is the casualty. Caught in the crossfire of unyielding righteousness.



42 comments:

  1. Hahaha! Purba...you've nailed it! Of late I've been discovering so many ArG's jn my FB and I'm right now wondering what freedom is������

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  2. This is the truth summed up brilliantly . Equally frustrating is to see some sharing food fads and discussing personal stuff! Wish people do learn where to draw al line!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is Facebook. We don't get to draw lines for others.

      Delete
  3. In India, you are guaranteed freedom of speech but nobody can guarantee your freedom when you’ve made that speech....

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    Replies
    1. No sir! We are all learning it the hard way.

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  4. This is unacceptable to me. And by that I mean the nation.
    I shall personally secure a window seat for you on the Samjhauta Express. Tatkal.

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    Replies
    1. Do you promise to agitate like the Jats to get a reservation for me?

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. Purba, I saw a debate on tv sometime back. One girl said " I put a like for her post but she did not like mine and so we did not talk to each other for some days " this coming from college girls.
    With this kind of mental maturity in the nation what can we expect when sensitive issues are touched upon. It's a crazy world

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    Replies
    1. A crazy world where everyone thinks they are right.

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  7. In the past few days, I have realized what paper thin skins the most of us - including me ! We need to learn the art of disagreeing without letting our emotions get the best of us.The political turmoil n the country is turning out to be a litmus test for Social Media friendships !

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    Replies
    1. It's tough to remain detached when there's so much unpleasantness around.

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  8. I would only like to share these words of PG Bhaskar that deeply resonated with me: "One thing is clear. In the recent events in India- JNU, Haryana & elsewhere- no one has covered themselves in glory. Not the govt, not the opposition, not the news channels, not the police, news channels, fringe elements, intellectuals, lawyers or students. Nor us piddly pushers on social media who often read/see one side of the story and then snort indignantly and viciously. Hypocrisy everywhere, with most people hiding behind a label, a political party or simply self-interest. Awful. Just shows how deep the rot has set in."

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    Replies
    1. Very well said. I totally agree.

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    2. It's awful when I see friendships breaking, ugly arguments erupt in public space and the refusal to accept opinions other than yours may exist.

      We all need to rise above it.

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  9. I have decided, I am going to 'ape' the legendary three monkeys! Aww, what's the point of it all! Brilliantly put through, Purba! The pathos and hypocrisy of our dirty, rotten politics!

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    Replies
    1. I wish I could be the three monkeys. Life would become so much easier.

      Delete
  10. After the initial honeymoon period, SM has shown how deeply fractious we are. The only people happy with this negativity are the politicians and agenda driven sections of media. If we can't agree to disagree without mocking or calling names, it's our collective loss.

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    Replies
    1. It doesn't help when most of your friends are an opinionated lot :-)

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  11. :) totally with you on this one.. people are saying on social media now what they will not even say in private in earlier days.. it is now tweet first withdraw later syndrome

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    Replies
    1. Just because we have a platform where our voice can be heard, doesn't mean we utter rubbish disregarding facts.

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  12. This is equally hilarious and sad, hilarous the way you described India today, and sad because this really is India today.

    If only acceptance and mutual respect grew in people instead of just their age!

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, maturity has little to do with age :-)

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  13. The dormant Arnab!! So true when it comes to jingoism and doctored posts, questioning one's patriotism when we speak about stifling of freedom of expression. We've already been doctored into this mob culture not sparing social media.
    And The Nation Wants to Know Why!!!

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    Replies
    1. Truth will always have many versions and we will accept the one that suits our preconceived notions on patriotism.

      Delete
  14. You remember reading my post about judgement, right? Everyone judges, was the point. Even I do and the good Lords know I'm not very judgemental :) :)

    I think there is harmful and irrational judgements: racism, bigotry etc that can go to extremes and cause wars.

    Then there is the everyday common garden-variety judgement: How can they put so much sugar in everything?! I don't like green ( or hell! saffron, blue, maroon, whatever!! )

    What I see is happening is quite crazy. There is no way you can have a civilized or academic debate anymore.

    As an outsider looking in, and one given to flights of pedantism, I have some questions:

    When they "send" some to Pakistan are they footing the bill?
    What mode of transportation will they use?
    Will it have fold flat seats ?
    What kind of food will they serve?
    Will they serve steak or just beef curry on the journey?
    Does the transportee get choice of Naan or rice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Send me to any country that doesn't screw the honest taxpayer!

      Delete
  15. Jai Mata di! For telling whatever has to be told on this topic.

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    Replies
    1. Gurujee, just trying to be as great as you!

      Delete
  16. Not just Facebook, and Twitter, but also Whatsapp groups. And that makes it all the more difficult. :( Maybe after some zillion fights, people will learn that they have some other work besides correcting others' wrong beliefs.

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    Replies
    1. When people indulge in verbal assault if their beliefs are challenged, it's more to do with their ego than ideology.

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  17. LOL ! This reflects the current sentiments on FB so well ! The deep polarization that I now frequently witness in the social media. Probably it was always there, but now it's much more vocal.

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    Replies
    1. It's not pleasant to discover the ugly side in your friends

      Delete
  18. Whoever said... opposite poles attract! Polarization has been increasing in leaps and bounds... across our country, in social media and I guess in the whole world too. It is really amusing to see all these catch phrases: "Must watch (almost every video is one)", "Like if you are a true Indian" make the rounds and so many people like or share that without even if there is an ounce of truth in those.

    You have highlighted everything that is wrong with such humor and shrewdness.Simply brilliant writing.

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    Replies
    1. It's amazing to see how easily we get manipulated and provoked and are ready to lunge at each other's throats over something that may or may not have happened.

      And thank you

      Delete
  19. Nice Post (www.babyandnames.com)

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  20. I like to see pictures of my friends' kids. Really. Just casual pics. But not when the caption of the picture is a paragraph explaining how that child is exactly Baby Jesus of our times. Like he is going to save the world or something. It sometimes makes me this devil who hates children altogether. Oops did I say that out loud? Well, I am allowed to. This is also social media :D

    Excellent post as always Purba. Whatever your posts are about, I can't remember a single time I disagreed with you !

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    Replies
    1. Am I glad, Anita! Arguing is exhausting especially when either side is unyielding.

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  21. Aren't you proud that so many people have decided to take up your advice?!! :D Facebook has never been so 'interesting'!!
    Nice one, Purba! :)

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  22. Learn how to speak all over the world and be paid high fees. If you want to work the International Circuit, you need to plan for it. Work out how many days each year you want to speak overseas, the market you want to work and develop an action plan. Speaking frankly

    ReplyDelete

Psst... let me know what you are thinking.

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