Terrorism is not going to stop because of your cuss words

Written by  //  July 16, 2011  //  Media & Popular Culture  //  Comments Off on Terrorism is not going to stop because of your cuss words

As much as anyone else, I am frustrated with the repeated terrorist attacks on Mumbai. The latest happened a few days ago in three heavily crowded locations in the city killing 18 and injuring scores more. And no surprise, within few minutes of the blast, my facebook stream was loaded with cuss words.

I am not one for Shobha De’s cussing school but that does not make me averse to the idea of venting frustration. I also know that to be able to feel satisfied one needs an audience that will react to and alleviate the pain. Both these reasons make facebook the perfect place for putting up whatever the heck comes to your mind, right?

But here’s my problem: What’s the use of voicing your frustration in a private forum? Is the government listening? Are they worried that you are angry about what happened sitting in your plush home in California or your deluxe apartment in Manhattan? Are the people who actually got injured or lost a loved one going to check a social media stream to allay their suffering?

That’s not all. There is another class of people who love spreading rumours.

There are six bombs. Only three have exploded. Don’t leave your house and tell your loved ones to stay indoors.

Unexploded bomb found in Kalba Devi. The media is not allowed to report this story just yet. There may be more out there!?!

Word of mouth is a powerful marketing technique and facebook only enhances its capabilities. When asked for the source of the information being shared, most act like wary citizens who don’t know the source but out of concern shared the information. Duh?!? That is exactly how rumours are constructed to spread.

I am not one to disagree that it can feel a bit helpless when when such news hit our screens. The immediate reaction may be to do exactly that – update your friends about how you feel or tell them about this piece of information (that you have no idea where it came from but) you believe may save their lives.

There is something constructive you can do. Stop people from spreading rumours. Share information with people that can help them get to the right support services. Sign a petition. Write a letter. Go talk to the media. Don’t use mobile phones if you can avoid it. Check on elderly people in your neighbourhood. But most importantly stay calm and remain patient.

Cussing your heart out doesn’t help. Really.

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