The generation of Hashtags

I am by no-means underestimating the use of social media
The generation of Hashtags
Representational Photo

Kashmiris through ages have been people of deep thinking, who reflect upon things happening around them. That's why in past Kashmir has been able to produce great poets, scholars, and effective thinkers and have been able to create a joke, poem and a proverb out of situations varying in nature.

For example in earlier times when the cavalry (Pyaadas) of various regimes would take over the share of the state (the tax over grains that were harvested by the poor peasants), some of it was taken as a booty by the cavalry. Hence, the proverb "Bate bate, pyaadebatte" (Cry for rice, after tyranny by cavalry).

While expressing their feelings through folk-lore, Kashmiris on the other hand used to read between the lines, analyze the circumstances and come up with a design to resolve the prevailing issues because of course we were the people of thought and our concern was our dignity. But with time we have forgotten to read between the lines, and our incompetence to think and reflect only grows stronger with time.

Similar to a dead fish we go with the flow, there is a word for it and it's called 'Sheeples', like livestock we go where we are taken and god save us from the destination where we are heading in masses.

We are being fed a tremendous amount of information on a daily basis or I should say 'misinformation.' Like renowned American linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky said, "The general population doesn't know what's happening, and it doesn't even know that it doesn't know."

By keeping the masses busy with materialistic desires which also include desire for fame and getting attention on Social Media, the new world order is being set up so swiftly and openly that even though everything is happening in-front of our eyes, we are still unable to see and recognize the paradigms of the things taking place. Due to the blindness created by the worldly gains.

Talking especially about the Muslims who are in a layered darkness. We have gone collectively mad, it's a collective madness. We make good looking shelves to keep Qur'an only to not touch and read it. We let the dust accumulate over the only light present with us and yet we claim to have the expertise about every matter in the world.

We, like everyone around the world, follow what we are being told to follow. The earthquake that jolted Kashmir valley along with many other parts at 10:34 on 12th Feb carried a strength of 6.1 magnitudes on the Richter scale, forcing people out of their homes. But instead of remembering God and our death, people in masses took to their twitter handles and raced each other to be the first one to announce the tremor.

Nowadays every issue, be it political, social, environmental or moral find their place in the trending section of the social media platform 'Twitter' which are spread by putting a hash '#' before the issue. Leave the issues aside, even the deaths and dead bodies are turned into 'Hashtags' by netizens and so called "Social-Media activists".

You think you can calm and do justice with a mother who has lost her son by saying "Don't worry, the name of your dead son is trending on twitter." How shameless and conscienceless people can we become?

One would have appreciated the efforts of those people who spent their majority of time in building up a 'hashtag' and in making it trending, but the bitter truth is that these 'hashtags' don't last for more than 24-hours and with their disappearance, the issue  also gets disappeared from the society including the minds of the people. So, who controls your mind? Ehhh!

That's not a tough question I asked above but we, first as an individual and then as a society can change its answer by refusing to be controlled through the paradigms that are designed to spread dis-information and to keep people tangled with "Woah! That's trending, let me also tweet about it, champion the cause and pretend to be the expert."

If for the sake of our god-given conscience and to uphold the human values and basic human rights, we as a community want to see changes in the daily life of ours and want to live a dignified life , we need to come out of the virtual world and bring a change in ourselves.

Let me also mention here, that I am by no-means, underestimating or demeaning the use of social media and the internet. Social media is good for socializing but not adequate enough to overturn the tables!

Even if there is some rare case of a particular hashtag being talked about more than a day, the people will forget about it once the hashtag pertaining some other issue, takes over the social media and the minds of the masses.

It's not a surprise that our community and also the people in masses are involved and preoccupied with issues that they can't control and on the other hand they aren't even bothered about the things they can control and the things that matter.

Instead of being a people of action we have turned into a generation of hashtags. Yes, we can make the people around the globe aware about the happenings around us but that doesn't mean we can rely on 'Hashtags' to bring out a "revolution".

We Kashmiris must admit the fact that no one would stick their neck out for us, so it doesn't matter if our "Hashtag" is trending or not, we need to sort our matters by ourselves. PERIOD.

Get out of your comfort zones and start taking action against the ills of society. Joe Biden is not going to make our living style better, It's the people who are the stakeholders.

Individualistic behavior, give it up

The bitter truth about our social activists and netizens is that majority of them don't post on social media to advocate a cause or make the world aware about the happenings but do it for the sake of their own reach, 'Likes, re-tweets and shares', hence individualistic behavior comes into play. It's very unfortunate that this kind of behavior is not only restricted to social media but can be found in the majority of mohallas and colonies as well.

The concern of people has become very restricted in prevailing times, everyone is concerned about selfish  affairs. The streets and link roads are in dilapidated conditions, lower strata of society has been forsaken, even the masajids are neglected now.

And when we don't even bother to ask our neighbor if they have something to eat, what on earth makes us think that our 'Hashtags' would make people around the globe care for us!

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