Like me

Expecting somebody to “Like you” is becoming a easy trap for us these days. If I am eating some food, driving a cycle, going out with kids, drinking beer with friends, everything around me is “Likeable”. Thanks to the omnipresent social media which does not seem to have a “Unlike” option for anything I do- or I pretend to do.

On a macro level there is nothing wrong in somebody “Liking” what somebody else is doing. I would like if my friends are having fun, or spending some time with family, or exercising etc. All good things and nothing “not likeable” in it.

Where I see this as a dangerous trend is that this ‘Like mania” has a potential to change the expectations of youth,  that everything they do – needs to be liked.  Smaller acts like explained above are like worthy and hence deserves likes, what if somebody is doing things which needs to be criticised or abhorred and not “liked”. What choices does social media offer you for this. Un fortunately one does not have a “Unlike” button and hence imbalances the perception of people who are so hooked on to living by the social media.

Some might say that you can comment on something which one doesn’t like and hence there is a balancing mechanism out there. I partially disagree to it. Writing is far more complex and difficult task as compared to simply clicking “Like”. It needs a lot of structuring of thoughts and articulation to write things – expressing by actions like “Like” is very simple. this choice between simple “Like” and difficult “comment” shifts the balance in favour of things being appreciated all the time.

I believe that media has a role to play in structuring people’s behaviour and social media like FaceBook should be open to create space for unlike as much as likes.

You are free to unlike this article, unfortunately even wordpress does both have a unlike option.

Sorry For What – The emergence of a Rebel – without a cause

Fastrack – A Brand known for its irreverence has come up with a new campaign – which takes the positioning of “Care Damn” attitude a notch further. I know they are not targeting me any more – and these opinions don’t really matter to them. However expecting a response from Fastrack is the last thing on my mind when I write my thoughts on why this is leading my young friends to “Rebel without a cause” world.

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While I have nothing against the brand and do admire some of their work and the clarity which their marketing team has which I found in my interactions with them, my observations are around how this attitude is pushing the envelope a lot further then what is needed in todays youth. I have two key observations on why this campaign has got it all wrong.

Too Trivial a cause

Sorry for what is a bold statement indeed. Nobody – not just youth today want to be sorry and hence there is a lot ofself- righteousness and self-respect in this statement. In my views – cracks start appearing only when you dig deeper to identify the context.

If the campaign would have pushed the youth to be self righteous and upright on its views about issues like – not giving way to a bully in college, accepting gay friends, Taming your tomorrow to be in alternative careers etc It would have stood true to its premise of being a rebel – but with a purpose and a reason in mind.

When you don’t feel sorry about shaving your hair or not shaving your armpits, or piercing your body – well by all means you can do so, however it is pushing the entire thought process to be too individualistic. Me not shaving my armpits is absolutely not a reason big enough for anyone to object and for me to feel sorry.

It is too trivial an issue for anybody and a brand like Titan/Fastrack to associate with. While I appreciate that society is becoming more individualistic and hence some may relate with it – it misses the larger context of keeping the communication positive and challenging for the audience it is intended to.

My fear is youth may mis-interpret and get inspired to rebel for such trivial issues and loose the focus of what they need to rebel – if at all they have to – and which they must. If the rebel could be for a cause, which is a boon for the modern world and society – this could be a campaign worth many accolades.

Associating with trivial issues and fanning the rebel feeling is very easiest and too low in my views a thought for a brand like Fastrack to latch on to.

Fanning unapologetic behavior

On a separate note feeling sorry for something, which offends your family and friends, is a good habit – not a bad habit.

My second fear is that this pushes the attitude of not caring for society at large too far. I will do what I want and the way I want – well let us not forget that we live in a society and there are few things which are good for society at large.

A brand pushing this thought using such trivial issues makes one feel that I need not be sorry for anything which I do – trivial it is today – tomorrow it could be much grave issues like – robbery, assault, crime, or softer crimes like – dis respect for laws and societal norms at large.

I think it questions the value system at large – which is not a great thing for any brand to do. A brand must stay relevant to its constituency – yet challenge them to push for more. Question is doing more is not doing more wrong things.

As I stated earlier- this may be actually a compliment to the brand that they have definitely alienated people like me – and that could be a success metrics for them – still I think I must not be “sorry for speaking my mind”.