Have you seen the posts of Mr X and Ms Y that are doing the rounds on Facebook?
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail’s last night’s tweet was hilarious. Being a person associated with a media house, the questioner must be sure of my 24/7 presence on social media. When someone talks to me about social media trends, posts, memes, etc, I try not to look bewildered; I try not to mutter something incoherent which cannot even be published here.
The reason is: I cannot sit hour after hour scrolling, writing a post, giving a like to a post, sharing a meme, scrolling, scrolling, and so on. Like all other living humans on the earth, I am also on the social media. I visit my accounts, see what those in my contact lists and the contacts of my contacts have posted, liked, disliked and laughed at.
But this does not take more than 12 minutes.
Three minutes for Facebook.
Three minutes for Twitter.
Three minutes for WhatsApp.
Another three minutes to give replies to the messages in WhatsApp, inbox and direct message.
That’s it. I will repeat this after every couple of hours.
Did I miss anything?
Did I commit any crime by not sitting on social media for at least two hours?
Is something wrong with me if I am not indulging in a lengthy debate on Facebook with my friends that Maryam Nawaz’s new print lawn did not look nice? People are taken aback when I tell them that I am infatuated with the social media world. Let us come out of the social media drawing rooms and instead sit in real drawing rooms for a face-on-face chat.
How many of you believe that online debates, brawls and even dates are better (or even worse) from those happening in physical settings? People value transparency and honesty in relationships and debates, and most of the time we cannot judge these two traits in the online world.
The good side of the social media is that it has brought several good people to my friends list who were earlier just strangers to me. I have learned several useful things from my friends and those strangers-turned-friends but all this has happened in my 12-minute visits to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp groups.
Then we have a cohort of social media influencers, who make us believe that all humans have supernatural powers to become millionaires to billionaires in no time if they work smart and if their luck is smart too. These influencers hardly practice what they sell to their followers. An influencer sells the ideas of freelancing.
Does he earn money from freelancing for overseas local customers? No. His source of income is the monetized channel where he posts videos about freelancing. I am not impressed. Then another hot thing on social media is dating. You meet a stranger online and later on you meet for a hi-tea or lunch. What will you talk about? Perhaps, only profiles of each other. Or your posts and comments on them.
Then there are interest groups having thousands of members each. They discuss books, cinema, trade, education, money, relationship, and so on. I have seen hundreds of comments on individuals’ posts. The basic question of transparency and honesty remain alive on social media. An addict can easily say on social media that he or she has never done drugs. They can swear while sitting in a pub that they have never been an alcoholic. With a cigar in their fingers, they can preach a non-smoking world.
Be honest, please!