Forward is gradually getting deeply embedded within our social interaction. This isn’t an isolated phenomenon, this is gradually getting all pervasive and as part our inherent tendency to thoughtlessly contribute towards just not gossip, social malice but apathy and an agony to those affected. We were in the culture of rumor mongering but, now – welcome to the culture of forward instinct. It is a new norm, a new reality.
Barbaric not tribal instinct
I got a below message on our home owners community group. This is despite having created norms (we don’t call them rules) and governance. The intent of that group is to serve home owners that matters them directly. Below, please see the message. I removed personally identifiable information to protect privacy.
I knew it was fake but more so, I was concerned, why a message on kidney donation (from India) be seen in US. I contacted the number shared in the message and below is the reply from the gentleman, screenshot for your perusal. Can we call this barbaric? Definitely, this is not tribal. Tribal folks have better norms amongst themselves, so let’s call this criminal.
Is Due Diligence that difficult?
We need to do a little due diligence before indulging in public service of forwarding this message. Our forwards may be causing agony, trouble or harm to those who are directly affected. Even if those are mild, we are burning the bandwidth by taking away time from doing something concrete and productive.
Sometimes, I feel, our sense of social service is restricted to forwarding indiscriminately. We suddenly get that urge, that strong impulse – to forward, may be “kisi ke to kaam ayega”. That forward relieves us of our impulsive instinct and provides a sense of having achieved something for social cause.
The Big Concern
With the volume of messages and our decrease bandwidth, just one instinct dominates, “forward”. I feel, our amygdala is taking over our left frontal cortex, the part that is responsible for intellectual pursuit and decision making. There is another part that dominates the story. Normally, a part in our brain called amygdala, are responsible for flight or fight type emergency responses as well as our perception of fear. When Amygdala dominates Left Front brain, it is equivalent to ‘frontal lobe injury’. Some of these patients end up losing that decision making ability. Most concerning aspect for me is – , Are we getting rewired with these voluminous social media messages?
The Irresponsible within us
Our social media adds more and gives us less. The downside is social agony, malice, cognitive dissonance and pulls us back as those lacking sensitivity. We can’t blame social media, it starts with us. Absolute barbaric behavior such as stone lynching has been widely reported due to irresponsible messaging. We are being exploited and our opinion are molded and dominated by intentional messaging. One of the dominant reason for the recent rightwing political wave across the globe is capturing of intellectual pursuit. Sometimes back, I wrote a blog on this. It is still relevant, so I am sharing the link. https://wp.me/p7XEWW-Uc.
Request all not to forward without due diligence, even if that means good for the community.