Dear social media savvy youth, let the grandma sell her papads only to the neighbours

I am watching yet another advertisement having the theme of an old lady helped by social media to sell her homemade product on-line and turning it into a brand.

As the advertisement ends with the grand old lady posing in front of her product displayed in a mall as a brand, I get really amused about the power of the eternal fakery, whereby linking something with a human angle can sell a total lie!

One of the most popular themes of adverting used by internet providers, social media platforms and even the government is to make it appear as if the instant and global reach of the internet is ushering in an age of entrepreneurship of a different kind.

The new age business model appears to have old grand moms and poor village craftsmen reaching the global market thanks to the “open” and “free” platform that the internet/social media offers and finding traction with the young customers filled to the brim by the milk of human kindness lapping up the products of these underdogs to help them grow into large businesses.

Doing business, actually an act of making profit never looked so wonderful, with happy faces all around, as it seem to mean opportunity for the talented as young kids (who appear to have nothing much to do but do Yoga, drink coffee, shop and play with their pets) will give them a market.

We seem to be thinking that we can have capitalism building a world of equal opportunities, a socialist’s dream!

But I am sorry to say that this is as far from truth as New York City is from Augusta, Australia.

The problem with the rosy advertisement of a grandma going global is that it is not showing the actual journey of any business that grows big, as with or without social media and young buyers, a business-building a brutal process of crushing the opposition by capturing their turf.

What the young kids are not realizing is that when one grandma goes global with some influencer kid showing her wrinkled face on Instagram and moving hearts to order her papad, ten more grandmas who are also making papad at home lose their small market.

If a grandma is making papad at home, it is best that she has a small local market, as it will leave room for similar other grandmas and all the grandmas will have enough to survive on. If one grandma is put on the path to wealth by a kid moved emotionally by her “plight”, she will destroy the socialist model of having enough for her needs and force all other grandmas to either go out of their small businesses or join her as workers.

The bitter truth that the young, especially the urban kids need to wake up to is that internet or social media is not a socialist tool.

These technologies are amplifiers and, at this point they seem to head the same old way of becoming weapons for the greedy and powerful to use.

If the young really want a world where everyone is successful and happy, it is surely not going to come through internet and social media augmenting greed.

Such a world will be possible only if the next-gen is able to accept the dictum of small is beautiful.

What the youth need to realize is that a grandma selling papads to a few households nearby is not actually unhappy or unsuccessful.

She doesn’t need to access a larger market or become a brand with the help of social media; and if she does, it is extremely likely that she will be a rich but very unhappy and stressed person.

If young want to live the life they are living on social media and advertisement, it will be possible only if they understand that the world can be a happy place only if it is freed from the greed of amassing and hoarding wealth.

If they feel that building massive businesses and hoarding the millions (that they will never need in most cases) is recognized as success, the story of the next-gen will be the same as all the generations that have passed before them.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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