Many of my connections on Facebook recently shared a photo of a girl, called Arwa, who had gone missing in Mumbai. It demonstrated their concern about this missing child. I found out today that thousands of folks re-shared this link and the photo. This is not a new phenomenon, such requests have been featuring on Facebook for far too long.
I also found out today that the missing girl was found by the police on the same day that she went missing. There is now a photo of a newspaper article doing the rounds, reporting that the girl has been found. Folks on Facebook are still sharing the link asking people to help find the missing girl.
I find this exercise futile. Somewhere, deep in our psyche, we feel we have contributed to helping find the girl by letting more and more people know that the girl is missing. Apart from that we don’t do much. Maybe some people actually do something about it – go in search of the girl or something to that effect – but most of us let go of the girl after we have re-shared the shared link.
The link that tells you that the girl is found, is not shared as much. Is it that we have an obsession with sensationalism, that we are quick to share the news of the girl going missing but ignore sharing the news that the girl was found? Is it that, it’s all good that girl has been found, and it doesn’t matter whether we tell our friends of the good news? Would we share thoughtfully if Facebook charged us a few rupees for every share? If every share cost you something, would you share as much? For that matter, if you were charged for every like, would you like so many things?
I think a couple of years ago, there was more original content on Facebook. Now, it has become a browser.