A teenager from Scotland is being lambasted all over the internet. Apparently, Ikram Choudhury, 19, got out of his car to take an image in the wee hours of the night and tweet it to his followers. His tweet read, ‘Eeeehm wtf (what the f***)? Some guy just casually lying outside Ocean Terminal’ and was followed up by another tweet of how the man seemed like he was drunk.
The man was not drunk. In fact he was a victim of a hit-and-run and was badly injured in the bus lane. Some of Choudhury’s followers asked him to help and check whether the man was alright or not, some suggested that he remove the image and try and contact the police. Choudhury did contact the police, but did not go around to help the man – an action that could have saved the poor man’s life. Identified as Craig Williams, the man passed away a few hours after reaching the hospital.
The police are looking for any information regarding the hit-and-run. They’re also questioning the teenage Ikram Choudhury, but as yet he has hasn’t been charged with anything but he could face jail for photographing a hit-and-run victim.
What this Scottish teenager did was nothing out of the ordinary. Throughout the world, millions of people are getting so used to sharing the details of their lives and what’s happening around them that they sometimes forget to look around.
According to a report published by Forbes, it’s not only alcohol or drugs that are now considered as an addiction, social media is the addiction for the always-on-the-go Gen Y. A Chicago University study just cemented the analysis when they released data that said people would only just forgo sex and sleep before happily checking and updating their twitter and Facebook accounts.
The sharing where-you-are, what-you’re-doing, what-you’re-eating is actually now a part of the global culture and hence a norm of its own. Food Instagram, celebrity pictures on WhoSay, regular people sharing their daily lives via Lockerz or Twitpics – it all a part of this global culture of sharing, and sometimes over-sharing.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been a part of it – or at least those very familiar with Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. There’s this incessant urge to just, if only for a moment, check what’s happening. Whether your friend vacationing in South of France has put up what he ate for dinner or whether there is some news someone else shared which you just have to read. According to the Chicago University study, we are better off and more successful at curbing sexual urges, sporting inclinations and even our tendencies to sleep and spend money than we are at curbing the desires to check and sign in to see what’s happening on Facebook and Twitter.
In the Scottish teenager Choudhury’s case, this is exactly what happened. Edinburgh is a large city which has quite a well known reputation for being a binge drinking city. He took a picture of sight he often saw and shared it, as usual. Is it a crime? No, not really. However, it shows immaturity and a certain lack of judgment – should he have checked how the man was doing? Definitely, but all of us have been teenagers and bad judgment forms an important part of teenage.
This is just one case which shows how harmful social media is. A couple of months ago, a man on Twitter found out that his father had committed suicide and died before the police could tell him, through a video which a couple of teenagers posted online. Were the teenagers thinking about it? Most likely, no. They saw something which they thought could be documented and that’s what they did, in true internet-culture fashion.
It’s easier to document something from one step back and pass it off as a moment rather than living it – be it good, bad or ugly.
A few years ago, Miley Cyrus deleted her twitter account amidst a lot of hue and cry (she’s back though). Miley’s reason for deleting the account was pretty simple which she captured with a rap song as soon as she deleted the account.
She said, ‘The reasons are simple. I started tweeting about pimples. I stalled living for moments and started living for people.’
That’s exactly what’s happening to a large number of us. And that’s the bubble that we’re living in – a bubble of status updates and tweets. And that’s food for thought, isn’t it?