I'm generally the one to be excited and all jumpy like a kid experiencing a sugar rush, especially when we're all gearing up to celebrate the 76th Independence Day and 75 years of freedom. But this time... I really am in a FIX! It's very IRONIC when everyone around me is talking about the Har Ghar Tiranga programme whilst not many are talking about how SHAMEFULLY a professor was asked to resign for what she posted on her private social media platform.
Yes! I'm talking about the Professor from St Xavier's University, Kolkata, who is facing hell for posting a picture of herself in a swimsuit as an Instagram Story and is now being asked to pay Rs 99 crore for the same!
Social Media... Public or Private?
I'm not very active on social media, I've always been the LOW KEY guy online who's more socially active offline. The people whom I meet regularly aren't even on my friends' list but I do tend to post personal stuff once in a while online, THAT'S MY SPACE!
Yes! It's a public forum so there are some guidelines to be adhered to, but if I were to post a picture of me rocking a Speedo, that's my choice. People are free to comment, that's them sharing their views...but to be judged or morally policed for it? Nope!
Social media is YOUR SPACE, YOUR PRIVATE SPACE, wherein, YOU CHOOSE to share information with whom you like. Period! The PUBLIC aspect of it comes up only when posts are insensitive in nature, incite communal violence, encourage anti-social activities, promote substance abuse and hamper the harmony of society in any way and so on.
A WORD OF CAUTION: Our account(s) should be protected, the privacy settings tweaked and it has to be ensured that we only share what we INTEND TO. If our profile is PUBLIC and POSTS VISIBLE to everyone... Then YES! We are liable and can be held responsible for our posts. But the posts equivalent to what the professor posted doesn't warrant what she had to endure.
Be a GOOD CITIZEN but an even better DIGITAL CITIZEN!
On a completely different note, I'm sure many of you didn't even know that something known as digital citizenship exists... Right? Digital Citizenship is quite a lengthy topic that I shall discuss another day. But two aspects of Digital Citizenship that I'd like like to emphasise are DIGITAL ETIQUETTE and DIGITAL RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITY.
This basically revolves around etiquette, privacy, freedom of speech and mainly EMPATHY. To cut a long story short, rather than telling you what to do... Let me ASK you a couple of questions and give you some food for thought.
1. Would you be OKAY if you were in the same situation as the professor?
2. Is it okay for our privacy to be SENSELESSLY INVADED and then our information made public, blown out of proportion and turned into a CONTROVERSY?
3. We speak of women empowerment, women safety, protecting the rights of women and take pride in being PRO-WOMEN... do we walk the talk?
As I let you ponder over these thoughts and follow your conscience, I humbly request and appeal to everyone to not just focus on becoming the BEST CITIZENS of our country, this Independence Day...but become BETTER DIGITAL CITIZENS and LEAD BY EXAMPLE!