Back in the day when internet was still an alien concept, opinions used to be widely repressed. If you had lived in the Middle Ages, telling your neighbor that you saw the town priest rolling in the hay with the tanner’s wife would have cost you your tongue. People back then were so used to being subjugated by a higher power that they would instantly cower at the thought of even voicing something out. The town baker’s bread is moldy, you say? Don’t even think of telling it to his face. He might not let you buy bread next time; quite a quandary since he’s the only baker in town. Grumbling about the high rents set by the lord? Don’t you dare whisper it. Before the sun sets, you’re sure to have a heavily tortured limb. A lord is usually not a forgiving man.

The advent of the 20th Century heralded the era of revolutions and counter-revolutions. Rebellions and oppositions against established rules permeated the air. At this point, ordinary people began to think that their own opinions actually mattered; that they have a say on almost anything under the sun — from how their country should be governed and to what color of undergarment they should wear. And so, kingdoms fell, empires collapsed and the mighty kings and emperors were cast down from their golden thrones and generally buried six feet under the ground. And it’s all because ordinary people began to give importance to their own opinions.

From then on, with democracy and freedom spreading through the winds, ordinary people started to exert influence on the order of things. Corporations, politicians and businesses paid obeisance to the common person and his opinion. They became dependent on the whims, tastes and moods of the masses.

And then came the era of the internet and social networking. Continue reading “Are You Collecting Butts?”