A typical dinner date in 2016 would go something like this…
- You ask them out to dinner and You take them to the most #trendyplace in town
- Once you’re there you let Facebook know if you’re feeling awesome, sad, nauseous, constipated etc.
- You take pictures of your food and snap-story them till they get cold and take selfies and filter them till it’s no longer your actual face.
- You check-in as to where you are and who you’re with so that your ex, friends, enemies, creepy perverts, stalkers, are all well updated with your life.
- And last but not the least, never forget your #hashtags
Today we live in a very socially driven world. Social media being our force. It’s a world where you can literally say a prayer by clicking the LIKE button, or slap someone, or even show that you love your mother by liking a post that she will never see and don’t forget earning yourself 7-1000 years of bad luck. (I think that’s enough of sarcasm for one article.)
How many of us are familiar with the ways of the goat, the source of our beloved mutton curry. In a herd, when one goat says “mehh” and walks in one direction, the rest of the goats do the same and copies the first goat. In the end you have a herd of goats going in the direction of the first one, all saying “mehh”
This is the foundation of the “mehh” theory. Charles Darwin said that all species follow survival of the fittest. Be up with the times, or get left behind, today it’s survival of the social-est*
Now applying this to today’s social media. Some genuine Star Wars fan, who has followed the franchise since kindergarten will post something about the upcoming sequel, throw in a few hashtags too, now this the first goat saying “mehh”. This post gathers some attention and people start talking about it, soon we have all the other goats (most of them who saw some other goat’s post and the attention it was getting) also posting stuff ripped off a quick Youtube video or Wikipedia, making them instant followers (till the movie runs in theatres of course) all saying “mehh” following the first goat.
Be it blink of an eye Rajnikanth fans to overnight Harley Quinn worshippers, there’s a goat in all of us. In a world where nothing lasts long, from internet packs to marriages, following something or someone constantly through their success and failure just isn’t #trendy anymore. It’s Olympic season and everyone is raving about Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu. With all due respect to their great feat and accomplishment, ever wondered why anyone who is a someone is posting and #hashtagging their name? Well its simple, because some goat said “mehh”.
The Indian Contingent comprised of 119 athletes, all of them with equal burning desire and patriotism to shine for their country. How many of us heard the name Asha Roy? She’s currently the fastest Indian on track but can’t afford even 3 square meals a day and her career in the dust. Sita Sahu, a double bronze-medalist at Special Olympics in Athens 2011, sells vegetables for a living. The women’s kabbadi team who won the World Cup in 2011 (same year as our cricket) came home in an auto-rickshaw, no flower garlands, no interviews. Why? Cause no goat said “mehh” for them, no hashtags.
Are we so shallow we respect and support the winners? We only say “mehh” for them and forget there are 117 brave souls on their own fighting for our pride, for our hashtags and our likes and shares.
But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, this theory is based on a very real phenomenon of social survival. This may sound straight out of a 90s highschool movie where the new kid tries to “fit-in” with the cool kids even when she doesn’t like them, but isn’t that what we’re all doing, trying to “fit-in”. Survival is key to any species and we do what we do to survive.
Taking the above example, lot of other factors are involved like government infrastructure and mass media etc. to bring to light these burdens of these athletes, social media isn’t the only culprit. It’s powerful force that can change the world for the greater good or the worse.
The “mehh” theory is a very interesting concept and I hope the example above helped you comprehend it better. It’s spectrum covers latest movies, events, personalities, just about anything and everything that’s #trending .
– Aswin Michael Kumar
“That Philosophy Guy”