Follow this blog

Friday, January 27, 2012

INFO CUSTOMIZED is INFO LOST!

There was a time when a news bulletin in the evening, on the radio was the most awaited thing for the day. I wasn't born, when such things were prevalent. But similar things continued...

I remember, as a kid, whenever my  family would sit for dinner, we would watch the 9 o'clock news bulletin on Doordarshan. This was an unsaid rule, because there was just one TV channel and you had to go through the national news if you watch TV at 9. And to add to this, my parents were very particular to have dinner at 9, so that we could get to know what's happening in the country.

This made news bulletins a part of our lives. Everyone had an idea of what's happening in the country and the society in general. Friends at school, relatives across towns had common topics to ponder upon. With time, there was cable television and this gave birth to many news channels. The problem with these channels was they were 24*7 news channels. So, they would keep giving us news stories for the whole day, but you would not understand which news is a bigger news than the others, The concept of a family news bulletin was slowly disappearing.

As a result, kids started losing interest in NEWS. Terms like 'Boring' and 'Serious' were associated with news. The kids knew less about what's going on in the country and more of controversies in the political/bollywood front. Sadly, people could choose what news they wanted to see, and ignore the rest. This process was churning out a generation of ignorant and aloof kids in the country.

And then entered the big devil: the INTERNET! It was a huge platform which could give you any information you wanted. You would google 'ABC' and you would get 20 pages talking about ABC, which was magical. But what we did not realise is that it would educate you only on terms you 'searched' for! Now, the idea of the evening family news bulletin seemed as old as the times of the Raj.

People had no clue of the BIG news. They only knew what they heard word-of-mouth or what they searched for.
To worsen the situation enters SOCIAL NETWORKING. With facebook statuses and tweets talking about issues, we only talk about issues which are 'in'. What about the rest?

If someone knows more about the country's politics or the grassroots why is he considered 'Intelligent'. He is actually NORMAL. It is the others who are DUMB. Why aren't we curious to get information about ourselves. We all have heard about wat happened in Egypt last year, but why weren't we curious to know more about the details. With Anna Hazare rising up, we all supported the Lokpal bill, but why weren't we curious to know more about the bill. Did we actually know what we were supporting?

My parents do not use the internet frequently. They are not active on facebook (like me!). But they still sit and watch the 9 o'clock news bulletin everyday on some cable channel. And they are more aware of things than I am. So, is being YOUNG an excuse to be IGNORANT and DUMB?!

It is a society which we live in. When we have so much of technology around us, why shouldn't we know everything that's happening. To support what's RIGHT we need to know what the 'WRONG' is. Let us not just be blind supporters. We are citizens, we take decisions about the country. We can be more responsible.

Years ago when Marshall McLuhan said 'the Medium is the Message'... he hit the bull's eye. There is something wrong with our medium, and hence the message. Use the internet, but don't make it the only source of 'NEWS'. The message/info which the internet gives is selective. Let us not customize the info we get, let's not lose it.

So everyday get your hand on any newspaper and just run through the headlines, but go through the whole paper. And if you don't manage to do that, try the age old 'Family news bulletin' on any news channel. It works wonders.

Let us not be a DUMB generation, let us be a CURIOUS one...

No comments: