I am increasingly accused of not keeping up with the times and for the Digital Editor of a lifestyle and pop culture website, that is not a good thing. But hey, I kept up with the abbreviations, soldiered through the contraction of the English vocabulary, survived trolls, laughed at memes and even took a selfie once in a while (okay, rarely). But I think I am done with the internet finally.
A meme page created an event recently asking people to get together at a Delhi hotspot and scream a line from an unknown Indian rapper’s extremely lecherous song (and later Mumbai followed suit). And people did. The rapper, a certain Omprakash Mishra, who calls himself “Rap King”, also has over 30 lakh views on the track on YouTube. Just like the sudden sensation, Dhinchak Pooja, the Indian youth seems to be enjoying bad music – for fun. Music is now being laughed at more than sung along.
There is an obsession with memes, which are mostly based on crude comedy, and the need to go viral. Stupid things go viral, really. Drunk dog videos, angry cat videos, idiots making silly rap videos and so on. Why exactly are we suddenly a generation that celebrates the lack of talent? The Indian youth is not concerned about politics or global affairs. They don’t care about the arts or investing time and energy in literature (which is why a Durjoy Dutta is still in business). The same number of people did not attend protest marches against Gauri Lankesh’s murder. What do they do after college or their just-out-of-college jobs? Why has silly humour become a daily activity?
The millennials, India’s most important socio-economic bracket with an impressive spending muscle, is not necessarily well-informed or socially aware. They are tech-savvy, yes, but I don’t know how many of them follow news portals online. Or spend time online, consuming theatre, intelligent cinema, dance and global music. Or watch short films other than those picked up by Buzzfeed and ScoopWhoop. That reminds me: how many of them read websites other than Buzzfeed? The internet is a beneficial resource. How many are utilising it?
You think I am being an old uncle? Why don’t you name all the Indian states and their capitals for me and prove me wrong? You think that is not necessary information? Why don’t you STFU and GFY? Yes, I speak your lingo too, kid.