We all believe that the Internet has become a means for us to express ourselves. A place where every individual’s thought has a value. Where oppressive regimes can no longer curtail what people read and are exposed to, and hence believe in. We believe that the social media allows us to interact with people and makes sure news at one part of the globe reaches the other.
However, it is probably true that in the larger picture, the Internet actually kills the ability of people to communicate ideas. It makes a society so bothered with the mundane, that the larger picture of the world is often forgotten. Think about it. How many posts on facebook or twitter, and how many videos on youtube are simply not worth the time you spend reading or watching it ? And as a result, much of what is going on in the world, not simply in terms of news, but in terms of new ideas is sidelined. A cultivated habit of reading is now replaced by reading of blogs on the internet. While some of these blogs are interesting, they are often not the same as reading a well-researched novel. Moreover, reading of magazines has been replaced by reading certain pieces which become viral. As a result of this, a notion of what is good reading on the internet has become that which grows viral. Hence, the focus of any blog, or any other form of online content has become to make it popular.
So, where is the conspiracy theory ? The theory is that the internet has been popularized for this very reason. To ensure that the thinkers of the day have no one to read them. It has been to shift people’s opinion from political spheres like in the 60’s to cultural ones where we focus on gossip and glorified news and events. And when there are so many people online, all subscribing to the same views, if you were to say, “Look! We have been wronged. We need justice.”, you would find takers only for the meme’s you produce and not for the march you call for. And if you are wondering, ” What about the Arab Spring, or Anna Hazare ? “, I have this to say. When there are millions on the streets, everything is changing, it is radical. But look how quickly the storm clears, and views become normal. How quickly we are ready to re-start our life of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’, consoling ourselves with our ‘virtual’ friends and our never-ending joy of commenting on others. Perhaps, they have succeeded in creating order after all.