We can be Heroes

We can be Heroes

Industry bigwigs, public figures, influential people, media celebrities among others, carry with their success, power and fame, certain unspoken responsibilities towards others, especially those not as fortunate.

Those responsibilities include always acting in a fair and just manner. And avoiding any form of oppression, directly or by way of others.

This post is for all you salman khan fans; a glimpse into the ugly, and a heavy load of a darker truth. The question being, can you handle it?

For the uninitiated, salman khan is arguably one of Bollywood’s top actors  [Bollywood: a popular term for the Hindi film industry; India’s ‘Hollywood’, if I may?]

Now, when salman isn’t acting, he has been busy being guilty of some crimes like a drunken hit-and-run where 1 person was killed, 4 injured. Prior to that, he and other actors were charged with poaching of near-threatened black-bucks. Pending judgement, he’s been kind enough to have a website built to share developments about his court cases. Talk about information you could live without.

Knowing the pace of our judicial system, I’m guessing judgement will be come when his career has gone south, like was in the case with sanjay dutt, another actor currently serving a sentence for illegal possession of firearms during the Mumbai serial blasts (1993), the firearms themselves traced back to the terrorist implicated in the blasts.

I request you to read the link below, an article I came across online. And then I request you to wonder about everything you admired about this person who has apparently been busy being human for sometime now. And judge for yourself, where our priorities lie. How influence and power can overshadow. How far people can go to exercise influence, and the extent they will go to, to hide the truth.

You say chulbul pandey is dabangg? I say the most petite of actresses he has ever acted with, probably has far more guts to face consequences of their actions.

Here’s the link: [Cyber Bully]

We must choose our heroes, idols and role models with extreme caution. And we must assess them regularly to ensure they are up to remain on the pedestals we have given them in our minds. Else, as  Friedrich Nietzsche said, ‘if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.’

Like Endorsing, Endorse Liking?

We all remember the notorious financial meltdown of 2007-08 that washed away a lot of dreams. We all know why it happened. Some wise (read greedy) people built a huge structure on an extremely very weak foundation (sub-prime mortgage). And then went ahead and added floor over floor to their fantasy at the cost of the masses, till the foundation and everything with it, buckled.

While the ‘Like’ on Facebook (FB) and ‘Endorsements’ on LinkedIn (LI) probably could not, and definitely would not cause any such global shock wave, it is interesting to see how we are adding to its weak foundation, floor by floor, and to see what might happen when it buckles, and buckle it will.

Paid, Forced or Uninformed ‘Likes’ on FB, and ‘Endorsing skills’ without being sure on LI, are really creating a big mountain of unconfirmed information, which at best, is questionable.

Quite some time ago, when I’d see a few hundred likes on an business’s service page on FB, I’d assume it was probably a respectable/ liked business/ service. But once you know that Likes can be bought, or when you get ‘Like Requests’ from friends & acquaintances that almost forced you to like a page (most FB like requests I receive read like this ‘Hi Shrutin, please like this page [link].’), and when you see people around you obliging to such requests, then those hundred likes don’t seem that impressive any more.

On LI, people endorse skills of their contacts. Which, literally is vouching for a skill that your contact claims she or he possesses. I consider vouching a responsibility, especially since that endorsement is public. It means you know, and acknowledge that your contact is good at, or even just knows, the particular skill that you have endorsed them for. And when you get endorsed for a skill by people you haven’t been in touch for a while, and you are dead sure they haven’t a clue whether you even know that skill, that’s when you wonder about the genuineness of similar endorsements showcased on your contacts page. LI’s recommendation option is fine in itself, as contacts recommend based on good interaction or experiences based on past work done; and mentioning it in words gives more credibility than just clicking ‘endorse’ over some key words.

Like Endorsing, Endorse Liking

I recently interacted with an eminent person from the social media industry, at a TiE session. He was speaking on the advantages of social media for business. I asked him whether he saw concern over the  questionable ‘endorsing on LI’ and ‘Paid/ Forced or Uninformed Likes on FB’  that are creating a false world around us.  He, thankfully acknowledged the problem, which meant it existed. And he added that the average person wasn’t affected or bothered much about it, so life would go on at least for a while.

Many people you know might not have a clue as to what exactly you do, or how good you are at what you do. And yet they’ll go endorse you for certain skills. Which, I’ll agree, makes you feel good. And you might be the best your industry has to offer, but knowing that the person who endorsed you for it doesn’t have clue about what exactly you do, doesn’t that make you question the value of the heap of endorsements that you are piling up?

I don’t have any suggestions for the ‘endorsing’ deal on LI, but if you intend to spam inboxes with ‘Like Requests’, here are a few things you could take care of:

  • Write what the page/ company/ service is about
  • Highlight any achievements, differentiating factors
  • Reasons why I might want to like it
  • And last, and only if necessary, request the friend to ‘Like’ the page if they find it interesting and if they can relate to it. Also offer to provide them with more information if they are interested

Here’s a recent article that shows how this hype that’s been going strong for a few years now, is not much more than just a hype [Quality over Quantity]