These modern times are dangerous because at any moment we are required to react with more than just an angry emoji. Things happen that test our peaceful resolves. Students get killed for being acutely analytical and MENSA level intellectual women are only referred to as someone’s wife. Outrageous? How about pillows sold to the government for their weight in gold or, worst of all, someone daring to state Jaya Ahsan is getting old? That would make that fat black Angry Birds bird pop over and over. All these are Avengers level threats. These are world ending events. And they keep coming at us as we check Facebook more than 10 times a day (2019 stats for under-35 users).
We get enraged and we want to protest for right, equality and freedom much like Martin Luther King minus the bullet in the end. We want to contribute to a change. Here’s how we do it step by step.
1. Panic: You see a post that enrages or saddens, and you panic. How do you hide a post?
2. Scroll past: Things are uncomfortably wrong with the world. Cats are not evil like the stories suggest. Are they? Scroll past and maybe it will disappear.
3. Come back: Otherwise what will society think? Also, a friend shared it so it pops up again meaning now you have to react. Do you go for the angry react or the sad one? You think of starting a petition to ask Mark Zuckerberg for a single, all-encompassing ‘Angry Sadness Terrified Outrage’ react.
4. Status update: You quickly share the news because we know how well that works in changing world views. Remember that third world kid who was hungry until everyone started to give a like? Well, he is now a grown man selling all those likes in return for custom Gucci shoes.
5. Imagine the inside of a jail: Suddenly you realise your post that was shared could anger a lot of powerful people. And the inside of our jail is made for 20 people but inhabited by 130 sharing one slightly cracked toilet.
6. Read Nelson Mandela’s autobiography: He enjoyed 27 years for speaking up and trying to overthrow a government.
7. Learn about privacy options on social media: You start by limiting who can see your post. You realise too many of your friends are called ‘Megh Brishti Pori’ and ‘I am Great Political Asset 5’.
8. Someone is always listening: You hear that someone is always hearing what you say and hear.
9. Six degrees of separation to find someone in the immigration sector: You realise this country is getting risky to be a comfortable social activist in. You ask around to find someone who can help process immigration to a more liberal country and Canada.
10. Plan IELTS: You are now preparing to prepare to give the exam that helps you prepare for moving to another country.
11. Find out things are okay: In two days, the news is replaced by something else less threatening. Such as women objectified as kitchen appliances, that too by Sumsang spelled upside down. Maybe Jaya Ahsan has posted another amazing age defying photo and her fans ask for some guy named Bob. These events divert attention from previously serious posts. People forget that a year back school children were beaten and run over for successfully showing the grownups how to manage road safety.
12. Rooppur Nuclear Power plant goes into operation: You sit back in your comfy Che Guevara T-shirt thinking of your brush with infamy as a potential Social Oppression Disputing Opponent for Freedom (SODOFF). You relax and before you know it, it is 2023 or later when our first nuclear power station goes into operation. All that money spent on buying expensive pillows could have been spent on safety gear. Or even better, setting up the plant on Pluto which no one will miss if it disappears because it is not even a planet anymore. If you are a fan of Simpsons, Futurama, Disenchanted, South Park or any real life, true story animation, you will find out people do not actually glow in a cutesy green manner after a radiation disaster. They become rather irreversibly dead.
13. You meet Marie Curie: You finally meet the legend who discovered radiation only for her to tell you it’s a bad idea to come into close contact with. You should have just clicked a sad react and gone off to binge watch GoT upto season 7 to feel good about life.
Ehsanur Raza Ronny is a confused dad, all round car guy, model car builder and cartoonist. Currently Editor of Shift (automobiles), Bytes (technology) and Next Step (career) for The Daily Star.