Published:  01:12 AM, 24 March 2018

The pipers of social media and the mechanically driven youth

The pipers of social media and the mechanically driven youth

Spending time on the virtual world is like inhaling oxygen to the young people nowadays. Entertainment or recreation or education whatever the purpose is, young people are indulging more into the virtual world than the real one. This is a known fact now, but I want to draw your attention to another issue which has thrown questions to our upbringing of our children.

Young people are learning the basic manners, behaviors, attitudes, etiquettes, norms from online "motivational vendors" who are selling their "educational products" with a very alluring tone as if these things or ideas they brought from another planet or they cared for our children more than us. Well, my purpose of writing is not to offend any particular class, rather a very sincere effort to give an insight into the purpose of these "motivational speakers" in our society.

We know that a motivational speaker is someone who "makes speeches intended to motivate or inspire an audience. Such speakers may attempt to challenge or transform their audiences". To be a motivational speaker, one must have the winning spirit to win the battle of life.

There is a list of ten best motivational speakers around the world in the internet which is available in the following link https://motivationgrid.com/top-motivational-speakers/.People like me will come to a point of understanding after visiting the link that motivational speakers must have a story in their life where they defeated all the obstacles that came across to the path of their victory. The word successful is a bit complicated one here.

A person who is thoroughly successful in his/her career or life or someone who has not tasted failure in his/her life cannot be a true motivational speaker. Now, the question comes, how many of our motivational speakers have got the taste of failure and how have they pulled up their spirit to fight with their failure?

There was a time when students or young people used to get motivation from their parents, teachers, great literary works, or from the life of those great people having exemplary success of overcoming obstacles. Time has changed. Now we have internet to get any information, news, or online books, but motivation? Well, then we need to think about our youngsters that they are suffering from depression where family members are not good enough to sooth their depressed mind. Young people are getting addicted to their virtual world.

They are learning about life from different sources of social networking sites, especially the so called educational sites. What are they learning from them? In most cases they are learning some tuition, tips, guideline with a subscription fee to the YouTube channels or by liking their pages on Face book. And funnily enough, sometimes these virtual vendors of motivation visit educational institutions as motivational speakers. So, they have created a brand image of their personality and have started campaigning for youth on different channels or TVCs as well.

The motivational speakers of Bangladesh mostly belong to a young age. A person can be successful at any stage in life but talking about life experiences through which anyone can ignite his / her own fire among the young people; experience becomes the key factor then. Moreover, to motivate someone from one's own life stories is not a monetary act. Sadly enough, in Bangladesh it has become a new profession for some talented young people. They are getting name, fame, money and social recognition from this sector.

They have started moving outside their virtual world, in the campuses of universities, fairs, workshops, and interestingly enough, some of them have started acting in advertisement for any particular corporate house or mobile phone company where they teach students about the necessity and benefits of using 4G .They are asking at the end of the advertisement to make more visit to the page of that company. There is nothing wrong if someone acts on a TVC but if someone uses his / her motivational speaker image to convey a corporate message, whether it is morally correct or not this question comes.

Entrepreneur is a term used for those who explore the gaps or blanks in the life of people. The young children or adolescents are swimming lonely in their own thought in our society. So, a group of talented young people finds a way to establish a new business with their rhetoric speeches where name, fame and social recognition are well secured. They have started their business with education and they have become "Heroes" to the youth. Yes! Few months ago there was an event on Facebook of more than five thousand young people to make a motivational speaker the educational minister of Bangladesh.

However, to motivate someone is not an easy task. It is not like subscribing to a channel or liking a page or following someone for some days. It is something life-changing, not for floating desires or trends. If someone gets motivation from someone's words then it is a kind of self-rewarding act.

A life or someone's experiences can be learning experiences for others. It should not be mercenary. But, unfortunately, most of our motivational speakers are somewhat mercenary in their mindset. They are exploiting the failure of our family education in the present time. And here is my main concern.

 If we let this young generation to blindly follow these professional motivational speakers, there will be a time when we may have to repent for our failure to give proper education to them from family and educational institutions. Here I want to recall the story of the piper of Hamelin. Following someone blindly to follow the trends can become disastrous at the end since future is untold, and we are losing our power of thinking by blindly following the pipers of social media.


The writer teaches English literatureat Eastern University. simi.arts@easternuni.edu.bd

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