Each year – or rather, each passing season, there seems to be a trend of finding one social media star who we in Pakistan, either make our hero or hate till their lives face actual grave consequences. They become fuel for social media pages, material for memes and then in many cases, a business to grow from. But, that my dear social media, needs to stop.
— ARY News (@ARYNEWSOFFICIAL) December 17, 2016
We’ve created countless careers in the last few years to name through the power of the Internet and that’s no lie.
Just look at the examples – people found the Justin Bieber Girls from the squalor of rural lives, the brooding Chaiwala from a tea-stall in Islamabad, Lyari Underground from the gang-war turfs of Karachi, Nasir Khan Jan from a conservative piece of land in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and now little Ahmed Shah, from a simple morning show stint.
But, it seems we often forget and rather don’t remember, at what cost this is happening.
How long does that fame last? And truly, what happens when that same chart to instant success takes a nosedive for the worse after the initial 15 minutes of fame?
— shaimaa khalil BBC (@Shaimaakhalil) March 9, 2015
Exploring exactly that, we look at the ‘do’s and ‘don’ts’ that social media needs to collectively understand…
1. Don’t treat them like shiny objects
The biggest problem we – as in collectively the modern human race – have is that we are an excitable bunch who tend to jump to each new thing with full energy, be it a new product or in today’s case, a new social media entity. Look at the situation it creates, do we really need to plaster images of Ahmed Shah everywhere? Yet you’ll see it happening.
2. Don’t treat instant fame as success
— عادل (@aurAdil) November 27, 2016
If there’s one thing that needs to be understood, it’s that fame doesn’t necessarily equate a good life. For many, it becomes an opportunity to grow from or escape from the harsh realities of life. But then, what happens when you’re not able to? We’ve seen them struggle after the initial uproar goes away and during that time, there is no one to help them out.
3. Don’t create a media circus
In solidarity with #NasirKhanJan. First they insulted Qandeel Baloch with their TV shows and now Nasir Khan Jan. Why these urban Paratha guys have so much complex that they insult everyone with free hand. @reportpemra should Ban such talk shows that are tend to insult people.
— Jalila Haider (@Advjalila) May 8, 2019
A point which the countless media industries budding in the country forget is often that not every news in breaking news, and that not every social media star needs to be turned into an object for media virality. Yet, each time a new name pops up, you’ll find them doing everything from morning shows to Ramadan game shows. What does that simply do? Overkill.
4. Do create sustenance
It’s simple, if for example, you like to see the cute little Ahmed Shah on your television sets or on your smartphones today, then understand you might not see him there tomorrow, just simply because people like you got bored. Let’s not do that. Let’s understand that this human capital has ACTUAL people behind it. They need to survive in the long-run, and if you appreciate them today, then perhaps, help them build a life out of it?
5. Do Respect them
— ABP News (@abpnewstv) December 23, 2016
You make them the social media entities they become and that should be enough to understand that the power of positivity works better than the constant trolling and hate that goes on. They are as much prone to harm as any other human who gets bullied, and we need to understand that. A little love goes a long way.
(2.) Bullying a little kid #AhmedShah shows how low Pakistanis can go in bullying someone. Instead of blaming the kid, blame the parents who exposed this little kid to such a cruel, trp hungry media who is taking advantage of his innocence. Shame on us!
— Khalid Raza (@iamkhalidraza) May 19, 2019
So dear social media, before you find your next victim of attention, please understand you’re only adding fuel to the fire which you don’t know how to control if you can’t be understanding of these things.
What do you think? Tell us in the comments section below.