Thoughts on Ukraine and how to navigate through social media responsibly.
A few thoughts from past few weeks.
I don’t know everything.
If you’re going to ask me about the geopolitical landscape of Ukraine and Russia, I’m going to tell you a few surface things at most, I don’t know
everything. I have no idea.
And so, I will try to share information. Try my best to not spread misinformation. If I have to, I’ll also go back and correct myself if I happened to share something that wasn’t factually correct.
That’s how being on Social Media is. I can’t possibly be 100% correct. I find it difficult to look at it with pink tinted glasses and think that it is any different
than our society offline. Internet is a society. And just like I don’t know what the heck is going on offline, I also do not have all the facts here.
Especially when the world is grieving this week on the suffering of innocent individuals, social media becomes the worst platform to be active on. It becomes a place where people are doing the most they can, while on the other end, we also have a group of people who are policing people for not doing the most they can by subjecting them to unfair personal standards, there is constant shaming on who is speaking out and who isn’t. Oh look someone just posted their favourite playlist on their story, they clearly don’t acknowledge their privilege. How can they be possibly thinking about music right now? It’s crazy how complicated it gets.
All the doom scrolling just gets to you, constantly being fed with extremely painful news and not being able to decide what the heck should you be doing,
becomes so overwhelming that at one point, you might just go numb. And that’s something I hope you and I should be able to avoid. As I’m writing this, I can hear someone say. Isn’t this your privilege?
and well, they are actually correct. I’m at a privilege to be extremely saddened by this catastrophic situation, but still remain personally unaffected. Being in this sphere of privilege, it is extremely easy for me to feel guilty, feel like a “bad” person (whatever that means), feel like I’m not doing “enough”. As a result, I only find myself being completely absorbed with free floating guilt.
“Yes, we have privilege and can’t do much about being born with it. So, let’s start right here. Let’s address our privilege and how we can help and
empathise with people who are not on the same lines of equity as us.
Pass the mic, share their stories, talk about the problems and the micro-aggressions, discuss (but not try to debate), empower and spread the
word. Every single word counts. If you can donate, collect, or help people with
resources, do it. If you can educate people who might need to understand what’s happening fortheir own safety, DO IT! The point of privilege is not TO be guilty about it, but to use it to everyone’s advantage instead
of just our own.” Source: @thethoughtco
I don’t have to know everything to do something. Also pondering on why, as I view it, no one should be shaming others on how they choose to
Maybe I am not political enough or not 100% factual enough but I’m awake to what’s happening right now and my immediate response to it is not to
be 100% accurate. It is to be aware of what steps I can take right now.
Spreading the word to amplify voices. Donating (if one can afford) to those who need immediate aid right now. Talking about their problems and the micro aggressions they face, with those who might not be aware of it yet. A prayer for all those in Ukraine at this very moment.
— are all forms of help and support.
There is no one right way to support. Hence, I believe it’s not justified for anyone to judge someone on the amount of social media activism they show. This is not the time to debate. To judge. To boost self ego. This is not about you vs me, this is about us VS them. As I view it, having an expectation from
others to perform how you would like them to, is extremely toxic, and it distracts us from what we truly should be doing, together.
Mental health is real.
I feel frozen when I see graphic imagery of innocent humans suffering. Identifying our triggers and doing the best to avoid them, is so important to be mentally available for ourselves and for those who need our support.
(It may look like this: choosing to read than watch.) While we try our best to help, taking time off social media doesn’t make us ignorant. It’s not ignorant to look out for your mental health and avoid triggers that take a toll on you, we can only support when we are mentally supported. This is also why a person fighting through a mental illness right now may not be able to practice the same level of activism as someone who is mentally healthy: why we shouldn’t compare.