Social media platforms have made it possible for individuals to share and participate in the lives of others. In spite of the negative aspects of sharing, the world has generally benefited from these globalized platforms. However, like in real life, outcry or support for some issues sometimes outweighs others. The Icebucket challenge came and superseded various other equally serious issues in social media fundraising, Americans spread their rainbow love by coloring their profile pictures, the Bring Back Our Girls hashtag produced some interesting reactions in a previously unfazed Nigeria, but not very many people could feign to know about the bloody conflicts in South Sudan, Libya and Burundi or other violent attacks against innocent civilians outside the West.
Consequently, those who care about other issues not equally trending on social media express their feelings by spreading outcry about a certain tragedy during moments of global outrage over a recent tragic incident. There is nothing wrong with highlighting issues that have been ignored on the global stage, but doing it at a time of loss for others does not promote the issue; it unintentionally repeats the very problem it purports to counteract. It says, while you are all mourning the deaths of France right now, I am more concerned about the deaths of Lebanon and those of Kenya. When what we should really be saying is that all lives matter and equally condemning these violent murders—not in the form of comparative tragedy.
As global citizens, we desire that all people everywhere treat the issues of the world equally, but that is not how people operate even in the same neighborhood. Sometimes one’s need for a new sidewalk will fall behind the neighbor’s desire for a better playground. In this scenario, what we need is persistent advocacy for our own causes without belittling the campaigns of others. We should learn to practice solidarity first and then treat the hypocrisy of the world another day.
Ultimately, what goes viral on social media is out of your individual control unless it is as compelling and fun as the Icebucket challenge or you are willing to pay the invisible hands of social media that sometimes select what you get to view, like, tweet, or heart. In final analysis, we can all share, tweet or like what we want, but it is better not to do it in the spirit of comparative pain. Every tragedy is tragic!
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Tags: "joseph kaifala" france tragedy "france attack"
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