They find online interaction shallow and not adhering to social norms
Their websites and blogs are popular with legions of fans, and they are among the most widely read Tamil writers online. Yet, these modern writers and intellectuals are keeping away from social media for a variety of reasons.
Writer B.Jeyamohan, whose short stories and other posts on www.jeyamohan.in are popular among online readers, says he has deliberately kept away from engaging in social media networks like Twitter and Facebook, because he does not want to engage in discussions with nameless or anonymous persons, who often hold the ‘common man’s grudge.’
“The average person tends to react to celebrities in extremes: either extreme adulation or aversion. The people who hold this grudge against the successful often tend to troll. You can find this even in everyday walk of life, say when a crowd gathers to see a celebrity or a politician. There will always be someone who watches from afar and mouths abuses.”
In the online world, one need not adhere to any social norms. “There is very little space for discussions over ideology in social media. It is often driven by hatred and I don’t think it is worthy of my time. I do respond, however, to people who communicate directly to me through a valid email.” Another popular Tamil writer who has stayed away from social networks despite having a successful website is S. Ramakrishnan. And he talks of similar reasons on why he even does not allow comments on his website www.sramakrishnan.com in which he regularly posts his articles and short stories.
“I am happy to stay within my small circle of life. I have enough friends to relate to in real life that I don’t really want unknown friends online. Besides, constantly sharing information about myself makes it feel all too naked.”
Mr.Ramakrishnan adds that some of his fans had created a fake id of him online and even offered him to take over to run it on social networks but he declined.
Feminist writer Malathi Maithri says she finds online activism on social networks too shallow and unreal. Not many who espouse a cause online would actually appear in person if a protest is called for in real.
“The serious literary circle in reality is a limited group. Whoever feels the urge to find me will take the effort to find me in person. Besides, I don’t feel the need to rally activists online. That never works.”
She also notes that social networks like Twitter and Facebook are hosted in the US and are being constantly tracked by the authorities in the Snowden NSA expose.
She was not keen on the idea that all of her activities are being tracked.