Sunday, 13 November 2016

A letter to Zuckerberg: Blog# 279

A letter to Zuckerberg

The past week has been nothing short of an opinion DELUGE. There has been a barrage of information all around. Be it the deafening TRUMPet at US or the dark blindfold of black money in India or the corporate opera being performed at the Bombay house in the shrillest of voices, one could not escape opinions.
Zuckerberg, Mark zuckerberg, Facebook, Social Media

I am someone who thoroughly enjoys such dramatic turn of events and is in awe of the fact that how social media amplifies the drama. What got to me though was the umpteen repetitive forwards and posts which kept on coming with no end in sight. Everyone, including me with a keypad at their disposal opined about all of the above topics.

If you are someone who pays attention to social media, you would have heard of how Twitter became too LOUD for anyone to be on the platform and thus led to its limited growth. This was because of too many people taking extreme positions about various subjects on Twitter which led to a lot of hatred and thus people being put off. Somehow I feel Facebook is headed the same way.

Among people, there is almost a compelling urge to put up an update the moment we hear (not learn or understand) about something. We HAVE to show that we too are aware about the ongoing around the world. The only research that goes in before putting up the posts is in understanding of taking which side would enhance one’s social currency. Should I post pro Trump or pro Hillary? Should the prime minister be criticized or appreciated? Should I be on TATA’s side or should I stand with Mistry (as if either of them are bothered).This leads to extreme positions. If one doesn’t put up a status, there is always a “well posted” (not well read) friend of yours asking you if you are aware of the latest event or not.

Now about how the posts are becoming repetitive and thus boring.  No one is taking the effort to think through a situation. Let alone analyzing it. There is no question of reading up about a topic. Almost all of it is borrowed thoughts. There are little or very few posts which explore the grey area.

            I think all of this has something to do with what we are taught in our schools/colleges/workplaces. We are all told to speak up, to express ourselves, to TALK. When was the last time you heard someone asking you to LISTEN? I can’t remember having heard that in the recent past. Almost all the workshops in effective communication is about delivering content effectively. Nobody talks about the need for mindful listening.

            What I would urge Mr. Zuckerberg is to include a ‘Listening’ option on Facebook. This should give people informative, qualified, researched articles about a trending topic which will show the positive and negative reactions regarding a topic. . There should be an option to show to the world that the person is ‘Listening’. Something like ‘Listening about Trump’ or ‘Listening about black money’. This is critical because people HAVE to show that they are in the loop. Such an option will bring back reading, research and will reduce rhetoric. The decibel levels on Facebook will reduce and sanity will prevail.

Let us make listening cool again.

Arun Babu


  1. I agree a researched article article goes well beyond mere banter!

  2. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.