Have We Really Reached A Stage, Where We Pose In Funerals, With A Dead Body On The Pyre?

Posted: December 22, 2015

Funeral selfies in social media are the latest trend. What does this tell about us? Where are we as  a society heading?

Something is terribly wrong with the world. I am not talking about the growing crime rate or the alarming pollution in Delhi. I am talking about the parallel world we created for ourselves on social media. And we are all going crazy. It’s like a new toy, that tells us, how great a life we have or how ‘good’ we are. Ofcourse, we have forgotten, that conversations can be civil and people can disagree. In social media the more rude you are, the cooler you become.

But the tragedy is that, the dire need to prove ourselves or make ourselves heard, we have gone a notch higher now. The next step is funeral selfies or photos. A day before, a gentleman in my friends list posted a picture, where he was lighting the pyre of his grandfather. The photo stated that though he was sad, but he had to be strong to lit the pyre. People jumped in with condolences. Have we really reached a stage, where we do pose in funerals, with a dead body on the pyre?

Today, you need not be a model, to get a few professional photos clicked and splash over social media. Everything, we thought only ‘Stars’ did, is within reach of the common person. But the thing is that, have we lost the plot because we got something to flash ourselves.

Not too many days ago, someone lost a child. Someone actually tagged the mother in a condolence message. Needless to say, when the mother checked the status message after a few months, all hell broke loose. We are almost losing our common sense, on where to draw the line. I have seen people tagging someone in hospital, who is going through labor and then putting up the first photo of the baby. And in one incident, the baby died due to pneumonia. So, what do you do with the tags after that?

So, what does it tell about us? That we can’t move forward, without telling the world where we had been. We want everyone to see, hear and acknowledge us. Social media gave us that platform. We can abuse, threaten, kill and put up whatever we wish, without much responsibility. Rape videos are filmed and put up, people pose before pyres, condolences are tagged, we can’t go worse than this, can we?

But this only shows us, how narcissist we have become. If you do not feel any remorse posing before a funeral pyre, something is wrong. Our need to be heard and be right has become so strong, that we are ready to let go, any amount of courtesy  a civil society is supposed to follow. We are sitting with our smartphones, counting likes and spewing venom at anyone who disagrees. Today, you just can’t go through social media, without two sections. One is called Bhakts and the other Liberals. That’s where we took our lives to.

But here is a reality check,  17% of the world population that commits suicides are Indians living in India. We occupy the 11th place when it comes to highest suicides across the globe. The ratio of male female suicide is 2:1. Also, every 9 minutes an Indian married man commit suicide. When it comes to depression, one in every ten Indians is depressed. This itself tells, how we are failing ‘a human being’ in a society.

Social media is no more a way to connect to people. It is mirroring, what we are within.

Social media is no more a way to connect to people. It is mirroring, what we are within. We won’t talk about sex, depression or mental health in our living room, but will shout at someone online. The insane selfies are only telling us, that we as human being still want to be heard, loved and seen. The more narcissist the trend is getting, the more it is telling us, that we are losing the plot as human beings, who need to feel in real life. We are duplicating real life with the screen life. And we all know, when both clashes, real life wins. Aamir does not need to tell, that we are intolerant. The writing is on the wall, we are, intolerant. We have become self obsessed.

The secret is, if we have reached a place, where we want people to like our photos with a death body burning infront of us, we don’t need ISIS to bomb or gun us. We will do it ourselves. We have created a box, where we keep talking about ourselves. It’s a mirror, where we only see what we decide to see and God forbids, if someone else shows us a pimple on our faces, we will go for the kill.

You don’t need to physically kill a civilization. Box the thought process. They themselves will.

Third world war, is already here. It’s not the guns or the bombs, its ‘See me here’ syndrome. Because in reality, no one is seeing anyone but themselves.  Shekhar Kapur is wrong, when he said, that the third world war will be for water, buy my word, it will be for attention. Congratulations, we are already there. Our tweets and comments are our weapons. Let’s kill everyone!

Cover image via Shutterstock

Proud Indian. Senior Writer at Women's Web. Columnist. Book Reviewer. Street Theatre - Aatish. Dreamer.

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  1. Excellent write-up. The ill-effect of social media which we normally discuss has been expressed clearly in this article.

  2. A sincere write up. Though social media has helped in one way, there are also the side effects. The counting of likes, the anger venting up when someone disagrees, posting any and every pic of one’s life has become a norm.

  3. Very thought provoking. It is indeed a disease of modern times to be so needy for attention that we do cartwheels (figuratively speaking)which the world must see and “like” and perhaps be in awe of!! Yes Paromita like you rightly said, we want to be fake celebrities in our own sphere and the irony of it is that many celebrities themselves are often faking it too! So everyone seems to have lost the way and taken a wrong turn but no one wants to stop and ask for directions back to the right road. In the old days it was important to be good and do good. Now it seems that is hardly important anymore- because what has overtaken all that is to seem good, likeable and desirable. The modern industry of advertising and its pervasiveness in every sphere of life -allows for any product of any quality to be presented with a beautiful or clever cloak to hide its flaws and be deceptively likeable and desirable. Being constantly bombarded by this type of deception means we allow others to fool us and we too indulge in making a fool of others. It is a pretentious, addictive, dangerous game to play that can make you mentally ill and unstable over time. Lets go inwards and become aware of the fake, pretentious, illusory bubble we are addicted to creating and perfecting. Honesty is so much simpler to handle in our own and other people’s lives. Deceit is a web of trickery and treachery that can consume your peace of mind and only lead to the creation of your own personal hell.

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