Stories about social

Are narcissists bringing social media down?

A great deal is expected from social media here in Pakistan. We are the younger generation’s hope and the older one’s handing-over brigade. We are supposed to act as a check and balance for not only political corruption, but for mainstream media which most of us regard as an out-of-control dinosaur. We are called saviors but I think we may need a little bit of saving from our own selves. This weekend was a busy one for the social media savvy here in Karachi. On Friday, there was Google MapUp held at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) which proved to be ...

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Port Grand, saying no to men

Five years in the making, Port Grand finally opened its doors last month bringing hope of some entertainment to Karachiites. Work on the much talked about project began in 2006. I for one had been waiting for it to open impatiently. The management promised a much earlier opening date but delays and lack of funds meant that it took almost twice the time to complete the project, and when the day finally came, I couldn’t wait to check the place out. My favourite RJs on the radio wouldn’t stop talking about it the day after it opened. I visited Port Grand’s website and ...

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The Capital Vulture: Diplomatic Enclave party culture – The bitter truth

The lot of us pitiful Islooites who are used to night life elsewhere will attest that, come Saturday, a deep panic sets in. Has anyone made a plan? What if no one does anything? It’s happened before. However if you’ve got an invite to any one (or all) of the smorgasbord of embassy associated clubs – you’re on the list and maybe you invite a friend along – you’re all set for the weekend. You can politely refuse other invitations with a wry smile; say you’re, unfortunately, going to the _______ Club. Sorry, man, just can’t make it. But at the end ...

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TEDx Karachi: The Imran Khan factor

TEDx Karachi’s second event, which will be held on the May 27, 2011, has already started receiving tremendous amounts of criticism from the people of Karachi. These include hate messages on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The line-up for the event this time around includes Sarmad Tariq, Mukhtaran Mai, Raja Sabri Khan, Fasi Zaka, Dr Quratulain Bakhteari and Imran Khan. The theme for this year’s event, which is ‘Making the Impossible Possible,’ aims to inspire and motivate the audience through talks by people who have, in their lives, made the impossible possible. Most of the criticism is aimed ...

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‘Shisha is too fun to ban’

A study published in 2008 revealed that there is a link between heavy hookah smoking and incidence of cancer. And yet, the Sindh Assembly’s decision to outlaw the smoking of shisha has been met with much skepticism. Twenty year old Hassan* says: “It is rubbish. They should ban cigarette smoking first!” But will arresting the frequency of cigarette smoking make the ban on shisha more acceptable? “Banning cigarette smoking will show that the government has a clear policy against smoking,” Hassan asserts. “Prohibiting shisha will only affect a small portion of the general population.” The question of acceptability looms like a specter, putting a match ...

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Don’t hate Rebecca Black, she may change the world

On March 14 this year, 13-year-old singer Rebecca Black from California released her song Friday. In a matter of three days, the YouTube video was closing in on 14.5 million views. As of April 3, it has been viewed over 80 million times. Why Rebecca Black? It isn’t uncommon for catchy songs and humorous videos from renowned artists to become viral hits but this song does not fall into either of those categories. Billboard said the song came “straight out of auto-tuned hell”; Rolling Stone characterised the song an “unintentional parody of modern pop”, and CNN called it “an internet sensation for ...

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Raymond Davis and uncontrollable social media

I realised the impact of social media on Wednesday when the news of Raymond Davis’ release was announced on news channels. I am a journalist, but I wasn’t as quick to disseminate information as social network websites like Facebook and Twitter were. The ‘breaking news’ had barely hit the airwaves when my phone, email inbox and Facebook were flooded with messages. People were looking for confirmation of the news, personal opinions and, of course, were venting anger against the government. Less than an hour later, as more information was revealed, discussions and debates began to emerge. I took a keen interest and silently ...

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Scandalous Islamabad: Facebook’s gossip vultures

On an idle Sunday afternoon spent eating pizza and chatting with my sisters-in-law, I was introduced to ‘Scandalous Islamabad’. In case you don’t know what it is, ‘Scandalous Islamabad’ is a Facebook group inspired by American TV show Gossip Girl (remember the mysterious “And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell. You know you love me xoxo Gossip Girl?”) Currently, this Facebook group has a following of almost 5,000 people. The grapevine is active The group that was created in January this year keeps disappearing and reappearing. Apparently, this is because they got hacked. There is a post on their ...

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Aunty Pussy, butterflies and social shenanigans

Don’t get the wrong idea. Aunty Pussy is just the title character in Tender Hooks, a book I just read – and what a crazy read it has been. This little paperback is a piece of work that’s sure to be misunderstood on many levels. I’m not what you call a hardcore reader (I manage to consume one or two titles a month) but this is surely the finest example of “don’t judge a book by its cover” on my bookshelf. At first glance, one co-worker described it as a Pakistani erotica. Another thought it to be an attempt to “undermine Pakistani ...

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Liberals then, and liberals now

The lack of pluralism within our society is emblematic of our intolerance in general. I hate to be cynical, but it has always been this way and I fear that it shall remain so. There has been talk on these pages of a ‘liberal movement’ or ‘liberal activism’ as well as ‘liberal fascists/ liberal extremists’. The fact of the matter remains that left-of-centre social and political thought has never been the ‘done’ thing in this country. Ghosts of a leftist past In the early 50’s right up to the 60’s and 70’s, this country had some semblance of leftist thinking. There was ...

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