Twitter world was take by surprise when a certain Govind Tiwari emerged as a trending topic( Twitter India). Tiwari is not a politician, Bollywood star, cricket genius or a religious figure. So what makes him so special?
His website,Govind Tiwari a quirky hodge podge of jarring graphics, with equally interesting background music and pictures, turned Govind Tiwari into a Twitter sensation. Aakar, popular Nepali tech blogger, blogged on the sensational Tiwari and soon even Nava Bharat Timeswas reporting on the seismic event at Twitter.
A simple guy, with unconventional sense of design, climbed social media stairs so suddenly that everyone was left wondering. What does it take to make it big in social media outlets like Twitter and what does it mean to “make it big”.
If Govind Tiwari had installed Adsense or any advertising in his website he would have amassed enough to pay for 4 year college in full and then some. Forget that lost opportunity, if tomorrow he comes out to the pubic and claims his notoriety, he could have lucrative 15 minutes of fame.
At what cost? It is obvious that “Govind Tiwari” is not a subject of adulation but of ridicule. His website’s appearance and his unskilled design has turned him into a joke actually. For all he could make out of this situation, is it worth it?
Also, this public ridicule of an unsuspecting guy shows a side of social media that very often we want ignore. We are a group after all, and sometimes we turn into a mob. In this situation, although it is all fun and games, we are a mob. We have shown that it doesn’t take much to get your 15 minutes of fame in the social media. You just need enough people who are ready to pounce and keep at it until the river runs dry.
This nature of social media, can it be tapped to forward issues, and events that actually matter?
For instance, for all the jokes made at Govind Tiwari’s expense, can social media come together and discuss ineptitude of leaders with same fervor? Drought in Africa, corruption scandal in India, Nepal’s constitution fiasco and the list goes on- can these issues generate similar level of enthusiasm? And what does it take to make that happen?
Online activism efforts like NepalUnites and number of platforms created by people around the world, show that people can be engaged in a meaningful way through social media. But compared to the hysteria generated by fickle topics like Govind Tiwari and how bad a Rebecca Black song is, these platforms are generating luke warm response at best.
Is it because we are cynical bunch and would rather pounce on someone than use social network for worthwhile purpose, or are we looking for the right things at all the wrong places?