Social media musings…

1. Critic.
2. Opponent.
3. Fault finder.
4. Fact checker.
5. Who differs in opinion.
and lastly
6. Stalker, abuser and one who threatens.

Social media has made all of us philosophers, writers, photographers, videographers, voyeurs, experts, agony aunts, attention seekers and trolls.

Fake story goes viral. Millions page views.
Fake story debunked. Millions more page views.
Particle-antiparticle pairs can be created from nothing.
Same with news!

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

The Indian Lords of Twitter…

twitter-117595_640Here’s looking at some Indian Twitter millionaires who have emerged as the most followed in their particular field…

Bollywood: Amitabh Bachchan.
@SrBachchan, 20.7 million followers.
Amitabh made his filmi debut in 1969 and became a superstar in the 1970s. The Grand Old Man has been around for ages, but he is no fossil. He was one of the first people to jump on the blogging bandwagon and did it quite regularly. He is a regular Tweeter too and has notched close to 50,000 Tweets till date.

Politics: Narendra Modi.
@narendramodi, 19.6 million followers.
So the Indian Twitterverse produces its first ever Prime Minister. That may be a bit of a hyperbole, but Twitter has a big role in Modi’s rise to the top spot of India. No Indian politician comes close. (Many years ago @ShashiTharoor was the leader though). But more than anything is how Modi has used Twitter to fire his ambitions. He has connected with the young in social networking and Modi’s army regularly ReTweet him and fight for him. There are also handles which translate his Tweets into various Indian languages.

Spirituality: Dalai Lama.
@DalaiLama, 12.7 million followers.
The Dalai Lama came to India in 1959 and since then has been a resident here calling himself a “son of the soil”. His Tweets are inspiring and spread a great deal of goodwill and harmony. Incidentally, he is following exactly zero people. He was India’s leader till 2014 but since then has fallen way behind.

Official account: PMO India.
@PMOIndia: 11 million followers.
There was hardly any traction to this account when Manmohan Singh was in charge. However it has zoomed ahead after Modi took over. It’s also always buzzing with activity a sort of government news feed and a lit of achievements. On Twitter Modi + PMO amounts to 30 million plus followers!

Cricket: Sachin Tendulkar.
@sachin_rt, 10.7 million followers.
When Sachin joined Twitter, the Indian Twitterverse went berserk. He picked up tens of thousands of followers in no time. He soon became the first Indian to notch up 1 million followers. However since then many Bollywood stars have left him way behind. That’s probably because of his lacklustre form towards the end of his career and subsequent retirement. Sachin is erratic in his Tweets, but still writes enough to keep his die-hard fans engaged. Virat Kohli is close on his heels with 10.5 million followers.

PIO: Aziz Ansari.
@azizansari10.5 million followers.
Indian Americans are doing very well and on Twitter at least, Aziz is the clear leader. He has his roots in Tamil Nadu and is stand-up comedian who has been part of many tours. He has acted in many TV shows with the most prominent being Parks and Recreation. Aziz visited India a few years back and joked that he could act in a Tamil action movie. Indians may not be familiar with him but may have heard his voice in Hollywood movies like Ice Age: Continental Drift (Squint) and Epic (Mub).

News handle: The Times of India.
@timesofindia: 6.9 million followers.
India’s oldest newspaper and the English daily with the most circulation manages to hold its ground on Twitter too. With close to a quarter of a million Tweets, it continues to pull its weight in the Indian Twitterverse.

Authors: Chetan Bhagat.
@chetan_bhagat, 6.9 million followers.
You’ve got to hand it to Bhagat: Whether you like his books or not, he definitely has built himself as a big brand. Twitter plays an integral part in that. Out of all the celebrities, Bhagat is probably the most active and interactive. He never shies from controversies and his Tweets always make news. Once when he blocked a few people many years back, #ChetanBlocks became a top trend. His open support for Modi got him many bouquets and brickbats. AAP followers also keep attacking him from time to time.

Industrialists: Ratan Tata.
@RNTata2000, 6.1 million followers.
Everybody Loves Ratan Tata! In real life too and also on Twitter. This despite the fact that he’s hardly active on this medium. For ages it used to be @TheVijayMallya who is much more active but has since fallen on bad times.

Comedians: Kapil Sharma.
@KapilSharmaK9: 5.2 million followers.
Comedy Nights With Kapil saw a meteoric rise and its hero became one in Bollywood movies too. Kapil is a superstar in his own right and was a late entrant on Twitter (he came in June 2013), but he’s on top here too.


Indians are rising in in the Global Top 100 list and we currently have Amitabh, Modi, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Hrithik Roshan. In mid-2014 from Bollywood there was only Amitabh, but with 7 more apart from him and more in the next 100, they are taking over Twitter! Priyanka has a great chance to go even further thanks to her exposure to the West.

While Ashton Kutcher narrowly went past CNN to become the first with 1 million followers, the landmarks of 10 million and 25 million were first breached by Lady Gaga.

The current leader is Katy Perry, the first to get 50 million followers, narrowly edging out Justin Bieber in the race for that landmark. She’s close to 88 million and must be eyeing the 100 million mark.

As far as the next Indian landmark is concerned, it remains to be seen who reaches 25 million followers first.

In terms of ReTweets, Ellen DeGeneresOscar selfie not only became the first to get 1 million ReTweets, but also crossed 3 million later on!

Modi’s victory Tweet got 80,000+ RTs.

© Sunil Rajguru

(This post first came on May 26, 2014. This is the updated version with a lot of changes.)

Why is your display picture…

Why did you change your display picture to France when the tragedy happened and not Lebanon?

OK, Lebanon.

Why not Syria, which is forgotten by everyone?

OK, Syria?

Why not Iraq which is totally busted?

Why not Nigeria where Boko Haram is active?

Why not Palestine?

Why not Afghanistan?

Why not…

Why not…

Why not India, since you happen to be from India? Hundreds get killed, beaten and raped every month? Are those lives any less precious?

Actually every country faces the same problem so…

So why not change your DP to the globe which is full of suffering everywhere?

Actually everyone having that DP would be silly, so please revert to your original DP.

© Sunil Rajguru

Those who don’t have it, shut up. Those who have it, complain the most.

poor-2382641_640In India, there are people with absolutely no access to media or freedom of speech and expression.

Then there are people who have access to newspapers but no TV.

Then there are those who have access to TV but no Internet.

At the top of the pyramid you will find citizens of cyberspace who rant against every topic under the sun and have access to all the information which those at the bottom can only dream of. Yet it is this group of people which will shout the loudest that their freedom of speech and expression is at stake and vital information is shortcoming.

Into ten if you are a celebrity in cyberspace.

© Sunil Rajguru

Columns on the Internet and social media

#ChennaiFloods: Who needs mainstream media when you have social media?
December 2,

Come let’s outrage at the drop of a hat!
March 5, 2015,

#AIBRoast effect: Obsolete laws have to go!
February 13, 2015,

7 Indian Internet laugh sites…
February 6, 2015,

Stand with #AIBRoast or not–Indian humour rocks!
February 3, 2015,

Rise of the Indian media watchdogs…
October 1, 2014,

Rajdeep Sardesai and the Rashomon Effect
September 30, 2014,

Killing them softly with Twitter names
May 13, 2014,

This is India’s social media decade!
May 10, 2014,

The battle of status messages goes offline!
April 22, 2014,

Internet and social media till 2013…

An ode to the Internet…

binary-1327493_640Please sing to the tune of Ben E. King’s Stand By Me

When the night has come,
And the offline world is dark,
And the computer screen is the only light we’ll see,
No I won’t be bored, no I won’t be bored,
Just as long as you stand, stand by me…

And darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh now now stand by me,
Stand by me, stand by me,

If the real world that we look upon,
Should tumble and fall,
And all the non-virtual foundations should crumble to the sea,
I won’t cry, I won’t cry, no I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me, stand by me-e, yeah

Whenever you’re in trouble won’t you stand by me, oh now now stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Darlin’, darlin’, stand by me-e, stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me.

This spoof by Sunil Rajguru

(Original Song: Stand By Me.
Artist: Ben E. King.
Year: 1960)