Politics

Do not forward this on WhatsApp


This was the year of fake news, vile opinions, turbulence and dark humor in the era of WhatsApp forwards. But what does WhatsApp stand for?

WhatsApp is an application messenger acting as a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows its users to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. The name was originally an intended pun on the public usage of the phrase “what’s up?” and an excellent catchphrase for marketing. Arguably this is reflective of the imprint on the promoter(s) who might have named it after being exposed to the Bugs Bunny cartoon show wherein the irritating rabbit constantly utters “what’s up, doc?” However, eight years after it’s inception, it has alarmingly transcended from a mere message sending application to a revolutionised digital platform which is shaping, re-shaping the political structures of countries.

An application which was meant to serve as a simple mean of communication with relatives, contacts, loved ones and Anu aunties has somehow ceased to update of what’s actually up in your life. Mostly, you forward what’s up in other people’s lives with or without the adornment of some disembodies clapping hands, scattered flowers, differently skinned emoticons or a thumb upraised like a benevolent orange bob Trump on a sunny day at the white house.

Not taking the positives away from it- WhatsApp has become a powerful channel of political and professional communication. That primarily has resulted into the locus of abuse, rumours, fake news, constant battling of different wings like the surmise buzzing of a disturbed beehive. In prospective’ the most suitable signature line for WhatsApp would be “forwarded as received, unverified with non-application of mind”. The tagline categorically suggests three possibilities. First, that you don’t have the intelligence to evaluate what people are telling you. Second, that you don’t really care about the content you are forwarding thereto, since pressing the forward button is as easier as inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon di oxide- none requires application of mind. As René Descartes would complain “You forward, therefore you are”. In an era where the lives are being digitalised and de-materialised, the leaving of electronic footprints in muddled waters is a common sign. Hence, third, you have enough arrogance/ intelligence to deny responsibility for the communication’ because you didn’t type the message- it was sent as received. Blame the dilemma of forwards ‘I send, because I’ve received’.

But therefore, it also follows that the life of a chronic forwarder is an empty husk. Nothing to see in there except the scavenged off colour jokes, doctored TC garbs, wild rumours, unverified news, biased political opinions and ill-informed abuses of the majority (Life elsewhere takes a setback). In the year 2017, the WhatsApp landscape was a ‘dark religion, swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight, where bhakts and libtards ignorant armies constantly battled by the night. With the coming of 2018, I am hopeful that these dark WhatsApp days shall pass, venturing into the twilight of future.

After-all, why forward the words and works of others when you are capable enough to convey and communicate your own thoughts.

Yes, this year was relatively uneventful. Despite long list of relatively innovative endeavours by companies like SpaceX, there were very few inventions that actually made an impact on the lives of the users. Even the innovative Apple marked a cross with its ‘X’ this year. But in these times of high flying technology there is indeed a sobering realisation that in the social media times, applications such as the WhatsApp and it’s forwards can be corrupted at will with fake news.

-boringbug


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