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Social media: Crafting a brave new world
In my days, the longest and most amusing acronym was `Bimaru'. It referred to the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Coined by demographer Ashish Bose, it referred to their pathetic 'bimar' (sick) economies, at that time.

Then in early 90s, I heard my daughter using `asap' frequently in her telephonic conversations. It was the hottest acronym those days, but it is already too passe.

After retirement, when I tried to come to grips with Microsoft Windows, I learnt that it had a special command 'undo'. Now I could undo all my typographical sins, which I had committed on the keyboard!

Years ahead of others, Google search started publishing 'trending' lists. No one had realised that these became a lot sought after Big Data, to understand the market trends. Very valuable information for marketing and advertising folks!

But the real bafflement and adventure was awaiting me with the arrival of SMS, Facebook and Twitter! I soon realised, that the English language had lost most of its adjectives somewhere down the line! Now you had just one word 'awesome': if you saw a dazzling beauty, or a debonair gentleman, a crime thriller, or Dubai's Burj Khalifa, or sparkling fireworks or an innocent smiling child, or noticed punctuality of a train, there was only one word left to talk approvingly about them – 'awesome'.

Similarly, if a movie had let you down, or a 'netaji' was mouthing platitudes, you lost your purse, or if your poached egg was messed up by the chef, there was just one word to express your disgust: 's**t'! Any efficiency consultant would give such a writer very high marks, for economy of words.

I had thought that if something or person was dissimilar to another they both were 'unlike' each other. But Facebook taught me a new meaning of the word 'unlike'. If you had made the mistake of hastily liking somebody, you need not regret it, just press 'unlike'. Smartphones have a built-in quality that endows a sense of urgency to the most trifling matter. But hastily committed errors can be just as easily rectified by 'unliking'.

I shudder at the thought that future historians may describe my favourite Emperor, Ashoka the Great as: 'Gr8 Ashoka was a cool dude. It may go on to garner Ashoka's gr8ness with emoticons and emojis. That sure would be history in Technicolor!

After getting used to acronyms like `Bimaru' and `asap', nothing had prepared me for 'LOL': Even after slightly understanding the context, I never understood, whether the writer meant – 'Laughing Out Loud' or 'Lots Of Love'!

She: 'Status: Sweating, all over'.

He: 'Cool. LOL!'

And how do I know when a friend sends me an SMS with just 4 alphabets: TTYL. Again, it's some youngster in the family who informs that, what my very considerate friend meant was, 'Talk To You Later'. Thank you!

Sometime in 2006, Twitter burst on the scene. Technology driven words like @handle or #hashtag entered mainstream journalism. Now governments tweet, Modi is tweeting, Amitabh Bachchan is tweeting, and Trump is tweeting. Not to forget, Smriti Irani and Arnab Goswami! In fact everyone is tweeting, except the birds! Birds now only chirp. House sparrows known for their twitter have completely disappeared.

Even the strict Twitter format of sticking to only 140 characters does not daunt the brave hearts! Even our epics have come under the umbrella of social media. Mythology guru, Devdutt Pattanaik has narrated the entire epic Mahabharata (world's longest poem ever written) in just 36 tweets. Although Maharishi Ved Vyasa, the original author penned 1.8 million words to tell his story, the new upstart compressed the saga in a nutshell. What's more in just 36 tweets!

Even the hallowed Ramayana has been cast in the mould of social media. On LinkedIn, 'Social Networking @Ramayana' relates the full story with episodes, like the one below:

Ram uploads status- "Raavan, u r soo bloody screwed!"
Sita likes this.
Comments: Raavan- Bring it on dude!
Hanuman- M wid u bro..!
Raavan– screwed off monkey…
Soon, Ram writes on Sita's wall- "Dont worry babe, m cming soon.." LOVE U honey… Mmmuuuaaahh"
Laxman, Sita n Hanuman like ths!

Social media is crafting a brave new world. Nobody can foresee, what lies ahead!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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