Actor Salman Shaikh, popularly known as Mani, took to social media to share his introspections on the Pakistani entertainment industry. In his analysis, he considered both the traditional and digital forms of entertainment, categorising everything into "content and controversy".
He shared his thoughts on Instagram, along with a picture from his youthful days, when he was new to the industry. That is also where he starts his story.
"In the early 2000s, when I joined the budding private TV channel industry, writers and hosts could only survive if they had good content, which they had to produce week after week. If it got stale the anchor would not get many more chances," he wrote.
Noting the evolution he's witnessed in his many years in the game, he said, "In this era era of the 10 minute attention span, vlog, TikTok, Snack Attack, etc content has disappeared and its ugly cousin controversy has taken over."
This is a popular sentiment today. There is a mutual acknowledgement of the decrease in people's attention spans, like a guilty confession, and then there is the admittance of the eruption of controversial or provocative content across media platforms. Everything, from the most mundane things to the far more complicated situations, is sensationalised in search of viral content. That's where the money and the fame is quick and easy.
Mani echoed this thought, saying, "For 10-minute, or two-minute or 30-second fame, content creators (pun intended with stress) don't create content, they create controversy!"
He regretted that people make fun of others and put others down for those few seconds of fame. He admitted that he too made fun of people in his content, though he noted that his was smart content. "Some put their own careers in jeopardy for that 30 seconds of fame," he added.
"Should we now bury intelligence, intellect, writing skill, wit, pens, paper, keyboards and laptops and load our typing index fingers with 30 seconds of crap and shoot it from our mouths, from which the connection of the brain has been completely severed?" he questioned, taking a stark hit at the creators of today.
"Thanks to google translation," he ended his note, a reference to the new trend of having the robotic Google translate voice read out text in memes.
Do you think he's got a point?