As I woke up this morning I checked my Instagram.
The grays of our mundane life coloured by the bright LEDs in our screen.
We cannot deny the huge footprint of social media in our life. Communication is essential to a human, as essential as the need for food; and technology is the biggest medium for this communication today.
Sikkim, the tiny piece of land we all thrive in, is as beautiful as heaven. Like other ‘North-eastern’ states in India, it does not often see itself in the mainstream Indian media. Except being covered as one of the cleanest states in India.
How does the media function in this state then?
Here, we will see the big role of social media in the lives of our people. It acts as a medium for expression, an outlet for the people. Perhaps the reason why apps like Snapchat, Instagram etc. are big in here.
While regional media like Nayuma is present in Sikkim, which provides cable line to houses, it is only aired in the state. In this case, the online media is more effective in shaping the way we receive news, even for people who stay away from home. We rely on these Facebook pages to give us our local news. As of now, there are two major news pages, The Voice of Sikkim which has been around for some time and the newest Sikkim Chronicle that aims at providing us with reliable news.
The other aspect in the multi-dimensional facet of this functioning is the social media used especially by teens and young adults in their daily lives.
It is wonderful to see the pleasing posts of Sikkimese people. Hues of blue and pink, whitewashed walls, flavoursome food, faultless street style, all seen through the rectangular screen. A screen that maybe masks some of the details, perhaps rendering us an image incomplete. It is so ingrained in us that we tend to refer to people in real life by their Instagram usernames.
It has become an undeniably important tool to express ourselves, our art and our craft. Also, to present ourselves to the world in a light that we want to be seen in. A person’s social media tells a lot about them, but not everything. We cannot know the whole person through this. Is it the lack of a proper platform in the state that we find our own way of expression through social media? Or is it simply universal?
The impact of social media is quite visible among all us. In a recent event held by a magazine in Sikkim, people were brought together for a talent playoff known through Instagram. There were also people who were felicitated for being popular in the same. This event shows both the positive and the negative effect of social media.
Who can ever tell what it is based on? Are we all heading in the right direction?
An article in Reader’s Digest shows that 66% say they feel more accepted on social media than in person, 72% feel more important or popular when they receive a lot of likes and 58% feel upset or depressed when they don’t receive a lot of likes.
Isn’t it true to some extent? Don’t we feel a little disappointed when a post we care about gets fewer likes than expected?
Isn’t it time to pause and reflect, for our life has become like the backside of that green MG Marg building with a broken pipe, leaking; a striking contrast of dirty-brown on its wall?