The Five Senses and Common Sense

We all know about the known Five Senses.

  1. Sight means Eyes
  2. Hear means Ears
  3. Smell means Nose
  4. Taste means Tongue
  5. Touch or Feel means Skin

And then very important sense is common sense—all combined are very essential for survival. Unfortunately, common sense is a rare occurrence, rather very uncommon these days, especially in the smart phone era. I am not sure if a smart phone is making its user smart or dumb so that it (as in the phone) appears smart. In my experience, most of the time it is the latter; because intelligent use of any smart phone can make an individual really smart.

I have come across many Smart People (SP) in the last few years, who are busy (as in super busy) using phones, posting stories, just for the sake of likes and comments, most of which are only for trading purpose—I liked your post so now you like mine, a silent barter in the 21st century. I wonder sometimes have we evolved or the entire evolution is just an illusion. The infrastructure and ambiance changes, but has the behavior? Not sure.

Case-1:

Sometime back, I had travelled with one such Smart Person to a very famous and well known tourist destination where it is required to travel by a ferry. Now, the SP was busy clicking images and making videos and posting them, and during low network connectivity phases, there was visible anxiety switched to bouts of mood elevation when the signal bars increased to three or four as now the posts can be posted instantly. They are supposed to be stories. In my understanding stories are either fiction or non-fiction. But either ways it cannot deny the core logic. And my logic says if a story is posted and if you call yourself intelligent then you will narrate a story that will communicate something sensible to the audience. Otherwise it is mere waste of time. And time is life. Means it is waste of life.

Now, the images and videos were posted with some catchy lines and icons and emojis. Relevant research was done on the Internet to choose places to visit and make the so called instant stories. But the SP did not know the name of either Wharf of both the districts (extremely famous names, movies are made in and on these locations, and a resident of the city has to know it types of general information), which was a source of dumbness that created a lot of confusion and irritation to me (I got tired answering nonsensical questions) as well as service providers (who were managing a crowd of hundreds of passengers during the Holiday Season) as the SP constantly mixed the wharf name with the ferry service provider brand names (there was similarity in the spellings).

To me, it is like knowing a country and not knowing the capital city or the vice versa. It appears as if you were sleeping all the years in your school. Not expected from an experienced working professional. And not acceptable when you happen to be a trained Communication Professional because any communication is to be posted or published only after a thorough research. A little ‘sensible research’ would have been helpful. The instant stories and posts will get likes, but in real life you are collecting nothing but dislikes with incomplete knowledge.

Case-2:

Similar incidence was with another SP acquaintance, who is also very active on the social media. The person had come to me to discuss an interview disaster. This SP was called for an interview on a Radio Channel for a marketing position. Now the interviewer among various questions asked about the RJs – Radio Jockeys are essential to every Radio Channel as they are one of the main sources of content generation/communication and consumer engagement—very important when it comes to marketing a media service. Now guess what the SP did? Named RJs of another radio channel and mentioned that “I am a big fan of that RJ.” And the interviewer replied, “Great, but that RJ works for the competitor channel.”—which meant ‘if we select you, then you will be working with us but promoting the opposite channel on our payroll.’ Again, a little ‘research’ would have saved the face.

Attending an Interview for the position of Marketing Manager without knowing what is to be marketed is beyond dumbness. I don’t even know what to call it. The SP felt it was bad luck. I think it was good luck as it was not me who was the interviewer or else I guess it may have been the last time the person ever attempted a marketing job interview.

Case-3:

Another instance, a corporate communication senior executive working in a Giant MNC chain (Service Sector, Hospitality Industry) posts a selfie on a Monday during working hours on Social Media with hashtags #MondayBlues #BadDay #Boss etc. etc. If I was in the HR department, then my reply to the post would have been #Fired #LeaveImmediately.

Service industry – Hospitality, Hospital, Tourism, Aviation, etc etc. are very active on Social Media to reach the masses and to proactively or actively enhance the services for the consumers. I cannot imagine someone working in any industry, especially in the service sector (many time employees are expected to wear uniform), posting such nonsense on any day with or without the formal dress code.

Some people think owning a smart phone is smartness. Well, above are three cases of the Smart Phone Smartness. I will call these cases as we do in medicine, and not examples, because to me such SP cases appear more like addiction and obsession that requires some intervention. Now, if you have more than one smart phone, then think, think hard.

Any media, social or otherwise is a source of information. It can be News Paper or TV or Radio or Digital Forum or Trade Event or Any Event—it can be any medium of communicating with the audience. However, the basic rule of Communication remains the same: Always Authentic Information. When I say ‘research’ I mean content based on verified facts no matter who writes it. It can be a journalist or an author or a blogger or a social media influencer or anyone, but factual information. Anything otherwise that is nonfactual is a rumour, which is not to be reacted on, unless you want to Laugh Out Really Loud or you want to be Laughed Out Loud.

One should know what to like/share and what not to, when to comment and when to stay quiet, when to be a part of the discussion forum and when to just be an audience, especially those in the marketing and communication professions associated with media. Once you are associated with an organization, you become the brand ambassador for that organization/brand. One comment/like/share/post can have very detrimental effect on the organization/brand (that probably can still be managed) and on your career (that can kill your career).

Coming back to the Five Senses combined with Common Sense:

  1. Sight (Eyes): There is difference between Seeing and Looking.
  2. Hear (Ears): Hearing is not same as Listening.
  3. Smell (Nose): All that smells good is not roses.
  4. Taste (Tongue): Too much sweet is not good for health – literally and figuratively.
  5. Touch/Feel (Skin): Is it a good one? Or a bad one? Make a wise call. One mistake can ruin a life.

I hope you get the message. So once again, the choice is yours: Either LOL or Get LOLed.

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– Ashu Bolar
ashubolar@gmail.com