it’s funny how often i get news about my neighbourhood from a newspaper hundreds of miles away. funny how, no matter how hard i try to be up to date, to be keyed in, to allow myself the space and depth to think about as many things as possible, usually i get most of my ‘information’ from my facebook newsfeed, unfortunately the one intangible …(what to call it? it isn’t one screen, it isn’t one piece of paper, it’s a ‘feed’, a word that has now lost its most basic tangible meaning. tangibility, if you couldn’t tell, is really important to me) source my eyeballs are witness to the most in a 24-hour span.
so, beyonce sampled chimamanda ngoze adiche, and hauz khas socialities wondered aloud “so cool!… how do you pronounce that again?” six feminist blogs talk about beyonce and nicki minaj, adoration and mixed responses, respectively. some shade thrown on nicki, and six more thinkpieces on racism within feminist movements. one reasonably argued piece (personal opinion, hashtag hashtag) about how something can be problematic in a capitalist cultural context even if put forth by an independent strong black woman (Hi, Oprah).
too many links. too many articles. many, many opinions. i no longer read comments. anywhere, ever. sometimes to the point that i forget to read or respond to comments on my own posts/links. i forget that there are some opinions put forth in a somewhat personalized setting that matter. i struggle to not tune out my friend who offers her pre-determined opinion about an event i have literally just informed her about. i struggle to not do the same myself. soundbites. hashtags. easily digestible news.
hang on, hang on. the new york times has already covered this and more. what am i even trying to say?
that there has to be more to this. that yes, indeed not everything is bloggable. but here’s the thing. invariably, if you believe in the most rudimentary definitions of equality and justice, then all stories have the right to an equal space where they can be told. so let them be told. you read what you can, share what you feel you must, hope people are listening with genuine interest. show genuine interest yourself. make to-do lists that have less to do with buying toilet paper and more to do with decreasing waste, joining a protest, and reading the national and local newspapers. believe that discussion matters. remind yourself about the time your opinion on abortion changed because of a book you read at the age of 16. ditto trans rights. ditto non-eurocentric versions of history. and over and over.
get your info on the street. take your mobile phone with you but get on the street. talk to your chaiwallah, not as a chaiwallah but as a fellow Delhiite. remember that you are not doing him a favour. you are not a better person because you deigned to speak to someone outside of your social circle. you are trying to be human. more human than is now the bare minimum required to sign up to facebook.
please don’t instagram him. please.