Advertisement
Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Faster Than Truth

WhatsApp did what Facebook couldn’t—it reached most of our tier-III towns and villages alongwith internet and smartphone

Faster Than Truth
Photograph by Amit Haralkar
Faster Than Truth
outlookindia.com
2016-11-03T20:31:04+05:30

It could’ve been an innocuously ‘funny’ forward by my aunt on a family WhatsApp group—one of the many forwards from here, there and everywhere, bound only by a common family ‘ethos’. Lately, that ethos has slipped into war-mongering, anti-reservation and casually communal ‘nationalism’. No wonder my otherwise ‘peace-loving’ aunty thought a virulently communal ‘joke’ could be funny for the rest of us. What had been latent was now in full bloom—that’s what a flood of emotions in the form of jokes, memes and videos can do to you.

The era of mass digital communication is an era of constant engagement. The billion-plus WhatsApp users around the world engage with around 50 billion messages, 1.6 billion pictures and 250 million videos every day. We have never communicated with each other at such a pace, or in so many ways, ever before. WhatsApp took all our existing ideas—phone calls, SMS, MMS, chat rooms, Bluetooth—and tied them together. And being the country with the largest number of WhatsApp users, we know all this too well. Also, how it has changed our lives. As I write this on my smartphone, standing at a busy intersection in New Delhi, I’ve already counted three bikers typing away on theirs as they man­oeuvre their bikes with the other hand. They’ve got to be WhatsApping, isn’t it?

WhatsApp did what Facebook couldn’t—it reached most of our tier-III towns and villages alongwith internet and that advanced pocket computer, the smartphone. It needed no ‘acclimatisation’ with the ‘world wide web’ over the preceding two decades for this sudden connection with the world to be established in the hinterland through smartphones. With that opened the floodgates to jokes like the one my aunty forwarded. That...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Bombay High Court Adjourns Aryan Khan's Bail Application Till Tomorrow

Bombay High Court Adjourns Aryan Khan's Bail Application Till Tomorrow

Former Attorney General of India (AGI) Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, along with his existing legal counsel comprising Satish Manishinde and Amit Desai.

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

On Monday, a lawyer approached the Mumbai police with a complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Sameer Wankhede and five others for extortion in the drugs-on-cruise case.

IPL Controversy: CVC Capital Under BCCI Scanner

IPL Controversy: CVC Capital Under BCCI Scanner

The BCCI on Monday named RPSG Ventures Limited and Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) as owners of the new IPL teams from 2022.

'TMC & AAP On A Mission To Split Congress Votes And Help BJP In Goa': State Congress Chief

'TMC & AAP On A Mission To Split Congress Votes And Help BJP In Goa': State Congress Chief

Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar strongly asserted that the voters cannot be wooed with false promises and money as people are deeply rooted in the Congress.

Advertisement