My generation of rebels with so many causes
Mass Hysteria. Social media revolutions. #Outrage. Everyone and her brother is an activist today. Rebels without a cause of the 70s appears to have spawned wannabe rebels who are desperate to involve themselves in every cause we can find.
I wonder if my fellow twitter happy generation ever follows up on all these supposed-to-be social media revolutions. Do we even know, understand and comprehend what we are #outraging about most of the time? Egypt underwent a revolution. The upheaval in Tahrir Square played out on twitter like live commentary. There was enormous #outrage (that damned word again) and then when Hosni Mubarak stepped down, it was celebrated as a big win for tweeters. Tweeting achieved little else than a majority of the general population in the world becoming aware of the revolution in Tahrir square. (Something we should be aware of reading news irrespective of twitter).
Even if we gave the nauseating self-congratulations in twitter all the credit just for the sake of argument and said “Awesome, we tweeted about the revolution and made the President step down”. And then what? I don’t see any more twitter talk about the military rule in Egypt or the fact that democracy is still far away for the country. It appears that we have moved on to another cause – #outrage with Anna Hazare and the anti-corruption lokpal bill. And what happened to that, you ask? I am as confused as Anna about what is going on in that camp right now. The power of the middle class. Right. And then the #outrage of OccupyWallStreet and all the other #Occupy movements that spawned. More power to 99%.
Every single #outrage appears to follow the same cycle at an exponentially more increased pace as the previous one with absolutely no consequence in and of itself. The only achievement of #outrage has become – to muddy the cause and confuse the topic so much that it digresses into 100 different sub-branches being debated 140 characters at a time.
Do we ever see any of these causes come to fruition? Do we even know what it means to have “fruition” for most of these causes? Do we have the patience to take up an issue (even the simplest one), keep an open mind, analyse it at its depth, propose a viable solution, and advocate if not actually execute its implementation? And are we supposed to be doing that on twitter? It almost always is all just propaganda and nothing more.
Are we a generation of hip youngsters who think in 140 characters at a time and move on to another topic worth 140 characters of our effort and time? I think we are and you know what? I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of this, except we have to own up to it. As long as we admit that we are acting out adolescent rebellion on the social network and nothing of what we say is of any consequence whatsoever – we should be ok. It gets annoying only when we take ourselves seriously. On twitter. 140 characters at a time.
I, for one, find it infinitely more satisfying to troll. It is entertaining and hence far more satisfying than getting annoyed at all the self-importance. Nobody is solving any problem ever. Not on twitter, not on tv and not in reality. Might as well pretend to be #outraged, see who takes the bait and troll!