Internet talesPosted: February 13, 2012
It is becoming more and more difficult to deny the power of the internet. As Malaysians, we first experienced what the internet could do when the Pakatan Rakyat denied Barisan Nasional a 2/3 majority in parliament during the 12th General Election back in 2008. That was quite a while ago.
Ever since then, people have been turning to the internet more and more. Information has become easy. With just one click or two, the latest news is displayed on your screen.
With modern day gadgets like the smartphones that almost everyone in town carries, it’s not only about getting information from the internet anymore either. It’s also about the speed at which this information can be spread. And this speed can really surprise those who are not ready for it.
Take for example the case of one Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) employee beating one of his customers. This is the kind of thing that happens spontaneously – nobody really expects anyone to be ready with a camera (or a cellphone with video recording applications) to record the entire incident. But that’s what happened. And when this short little video was posted on Facebook, it spread like wildfire. Nothing could contain it. Within hours, hundreds of people shared this video on their own pages, and the rest, as they say, is history.
There are other such cases, but perhaps to a lesser impact. I read that an old lady was going around asking people to borrow RM5 because she lost her wallet and needed money to take the bus home. A young fellow recorded the entire process of the old lady approaching him and doing her thing, and then upon getting the money, went on to ask some other people. Again, this young man posted his video on Facebook, and comments like, “I’ve met other people like this too!” were only too many.
And what about those other videos where the police “ask” the drivers whether they want “help” after being stopped for speeding, or running a red light? Video after video is posted on the internet through Youtube and Facebook and other such platforms which allow users to share their content.
Gone are the days when information came only from approved sources. Gone also are the days when it would take at least one day before the news could get into public realm.
Now, you don’t even need to be at home and have your computer on in order to surf the net and get updated information. You only need to have a smartphone which has access to internet, and even the toilet could be your oyster.
Frankly speaking, this kind of fast-food information, and the speed of which it gets spread out, can freak some people out. After all, especially with the KFC incident, it almost feels like there’s nothing you can do in public that doesn’t stand the risk of being recorded down by some innocent bystander.
Remember when there was a proposal for CCTVs to be installed in public areas? Well, for now, it seems every other person is their own CCTV. And if you’re not careful, the whole world will know what you did last summer. Or in this modern era, they’ll know what you did just a moment ago.