Social Media & Ethics

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Social media has changed this world. There are no borders when you are using social media. You can interact with anyone when you are on it. And if I talk about ethics, they are the moral principles that direct our behavior. Everyone wants to show ethical behavior to conform to society. We learn ethics from our surroundings, our family our environment. But by seeing today’s social media, I must say we are highly unethical people. I deduced from it that some of us only show ethical behavior when they are dealing with someone they know or who know them.

Mark Zuckerberg said:

“When you give everyone a voice and give people power, the system usually ends up in a really good place.”

The opposite has happened when I see it in my country. Because some people are not educated enough to use this power. I am writing this blog with exasperation. I use to read comments on the pictures of Pakistani actresses for entertainment. But now I get infuriated I feel sad. As it made me question that what kind of doltish individuals are existing in this society.

Yesterday I was scrolling through my Instagram and what made my blood boil was the comments I read on the video of Syed Jibran Khan, a Pakistani actor who was dancing with his wife and children. I found that video so cute that parents are dancing and having fun with their children. But when I pressed the comments tab what I saw was awful. People had typed some miserable remarks like what are they teaching to their children? And this is against our religious teachings. It made me think what kind of nincompoop are present in this world. Like seriously if you are enjoying with your children, you are teaching them lousy stuff.

The parents who don’t play with their children who only deliver lectures to their children are teaching the perfect thing to their kids, right? I know these empty-headed people will give such kind of grooming to their children.

“If you’re insulting people on the internet, you must be ugly on the inside.” ~ Phil Lester

The psychological trauma I received after reading those comments was so intense that I was still in shock. And then I saw another video where a girl was dancing energetically. And people were bashing her like she is dead and she will not read the disgusting comments which they are vomiting under her video. Where is your empathy? I am pretty sure the moronic people who were bashing her must not be knowing the D of dancing.

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.” Benjamin Franklin

Surprisingly the bad comments are mostly only for the ladies. When a boy is dancing, or a boy’s picture is gone viral, we have no issues. When same happens to a girl oh what the hell is wrong with her, she has a controversial character. No joking solemnly! If a girl is wearing something that you consider she should not wear, you think oh she has an atrocious character. If she smokes, oh lousy character, if she goes out late at night, oh unacceptable character. What the hell is this character?

A character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. The concept of character can imply a variety of attributes including the existence or lack of virtues such as empathy, courage, fortitude, honesty, and loyalty, or of good behaviors or habits. It will help if you judge a person’s character by the inner qualities instead of the outer ones.

A woman who wears your kind of clothes can be dishonest and ill-mannered. She can be someone who practices the seven deadly sins, i.e., pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. But no for us the biggest sins lies in the appearance of people and the choices they made.

Before understanding the ethical behavior that we should show while using social media, we should know about the change and why we should accept change. So let’s read about it first.

No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

The trends around the world are becoming similar, and that’s how societies grow.

Societies change with time. Social media users should also accept the change.

Eastern people are adopting western trends because they are a developed nation. Belonging to an under-developed country, we follow their inclinations. They are working on innovation because they already have the resources and we are still striving for the primary resources. So either its fashion technology whatsoever we follow their trends. I am not saying it’s a fantastic thing that is happening. I prefer my eastern clothes and my culture. But I can’t decide what my grand, grandchildren will wear. The way societies are adopting each others’ lifestyle; I think they will embrace the culture in which they are comfortable. That can be very different from mine. But it’s okay because I am very different from my ancestors.

The question that comes in my mind is why we bash people on social media who post pictures of wearing something unconventional? That day is not far when someone from your race will be doing the same thing.

Once a revolution was brought by Coco Chanel in the fashion industry. She changed the style and brought something for women in which they can feel comfortable.

“Fashion has become a joke. The designers have forgotten that there are women inside the dresses. Most women dress for men and want to be admired. But they must also be able to move, to get into a car without bursting their seams! Clothes must have a natural shape.” ~ Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel once brought a change in fashion industry. We should not bash celebrities on social media for bringing a change.

She has brought a revolution in the fashion trends of the west. Their culture of long flared frocks was also abolished. But that’s how things change for a better. Can you imagine women working in offices while wearing such clothes?

I believe that one day the culture and trends of the places that are connected through the internet will become similar. That’s my prediction which can be wrong. That time might bring disasters with it. But who knows maybe, that time can bring more positive changes to the overall world. Honestly speaking in ancient Europe where people use to burn libraries did anyone had dreamed of that one day the place will turn into a liberal arena where innovation will be promoted. So, that’s how societies change. Some of us are very rigid to changes, and some are very welcoming to the changes. But change is something that nobody can stop. Consistency is for the animals’ humans can’t have a consistent environment.

“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” ~ Tuli Kupferberg

Five years back I was watching an American channel while an advertisement popped up. In that advertisement, a girl was wearing a blouse in which her belly button was visible, and she was wearing a knee length skirt. My grandmother was sitting next to me. She said, after a few years people in our country would wear these clothes. I said no Nani it can’t happen because of our religious practices. She said yes in our time not covering head with a dupatta was also a taboo. We have never thought that no dupatta fashion can happen here. But it happened now most people don’t wear it. I realized soon how visionary my grandmother was about the dressing.

Now people are wearing those clothes in an area which were once considered as a taboo by the inhabitants. Trends and fashion changes and when the switch is entirely here than we start to get immune to it. After some time we consider it moral. Either it’s good or bad it’s another debate. If you want to see how was Europe once you must watch Agora, an incredible movie that tells you a lot about ancient Europe. When I watched this movie, I realized that constant is nothing.

Europe was also changed. Social media users should accept people who are different from them.

 “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” ~ John F. Kennedy

So societies are always changing. The people who do not welcome these changes are named as orthodox. Mostly the change is appreciated by the youngsters. That’s probably because they are new to the norms which the society is already following. So young people are the innovators who brought the new changes in society and welcome the changes. But the old ones always oppose these changes. That’s the reason changes in societies are brought not in days but centuries. What was once considered moral can now be regarded as immoral.

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” ~Benjamin Disraeli

That’s the philosophy that societies follow. Because the new generations learn from the mistakes of the old ones. We often say old time, previous generations and our ancestors were better than then us. I was trusting the same ignis fatuus. But then someone who was not a millennial told me that no it is an illusion. Every generation passes it’s knowledge to the new one, and the younger one is always better than the elder. It is so true. We get to know the greatness of our ancestor’s era from our elders because they like the time in which they have spent a significant part of their life. Orthodox are not ready to leave what they consider is right and they believe in the illusion that old everything was perfect.

 “Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant.” ~ Anthony D’Angelo

People who know how to adapt survive. Social media users should learn acceptance.

So, moving back to the topic of social media; I will say whatever is happening on social media is a change that is coming with time. Try to accept this change. I must say we have a lot of orthodox on social media. I know if you are a religious person you will see everything from that point of view, but that’s not how societies work. Being orthodox is fine, but the dilemma is that people forget about ethics while using social media. If a Pakistani actress is seen following western trends, they bash her like anything. Such rude comments, such harsh lines are being used that I thought after reading a few remarks from people that how someone could be so ruthless and insult someone like this. Will you use such a word if the person is standing in front of you? Never! Because you are a coward, who knows that the victim is behind the screen. On social media, you can say whatever you want to, but in reality, as your self is at stake, you will never do that.

“Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.” ~ Erin Bury

To such people who made nasty comments, I want to ask who you are? Who gave you the right to judge someone? After reading comments on some actress’s pictures, I assume that they are a lot of religious scholars in Pakistan. But trust me we don’t need you; please stop spreading hatred in the name of religion culture or whatever. Analyze yourself are you following each and everything that your religion is telling you? We all cherry pick things. Whatever suits us we support that, and whatever is assumed moral by our hearts we practice it. So, religion is a personal thing. Stop judging someone if he/she doesn’t fulfill the judging criteria that you have set according to your understanding of religion. Maybe, you don’t fit that person’s standards. Do think before uttering imbecile words on someone’s personal life. Being celebrity expose you to hatred too. But this doesn’t mean that the viewers get the right to comment on stars personal choices. You have every right to judge their acting skills or other things for which they are famous but don’t forget respect in this process. Would you like such a criticism?

Now let me talk about a thing which is less controversial and more understandable. People don’t only comment about other people dressing their lifestyle. They also discuss their features, their color, and their body shape. And that’s the horrible thing; it degrades humanity. Every human is beautiful if you have lovely eyes. But if your eyes are not pretty, if they are not able to see the beauty, please don’t blame the other person.

Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter.

Such comments make you ugly and not the other person. I have seen star kids being mocked by people for being not that good looking. Have some empathy guys. Will you like to hear such words about your children? When Nadia Hussain abused the woman who abused her children, it became a scandal. Because yes, she was a celebrity. That was not the wisest move, but that was not wrong of her to say that. She is a mother, and if you mess with a mother, you should expect a reaction like this. Scandals should be made out of the comments of the unknown discourteous people to make them learn a lesson.

I have observed one thing if a celebrity gives shut up call to the abusers, people become more conscious about their comments. People start to watch their words while commenting on their pictures. Like Armeena Khan makes replies to the comments. You will see people supporting her, and there are more good comments than negative ones. Which is rare if we talk about other celebs. So, I think Stars have to make these people learn ethics. Because their homes and Schools were unable to educate them on this.

“Replace cyber-bullying with cyber-believing.
Let us build each other up instead of bringing others down. BELIEVE & BUILD” ~ Janna Cachola

In the end, I would say, please show some empathy when you are leaving such harsh comments on social media. On the other side of the screen is also a person who has feelings, who has emotions, who can mind things and get hurt. You ‘should realize that you are not talking about a robot. Consider yourself in his/her place maybe that can make you a better person.


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