How has LinkedIn become the new Facebook? The pandemic has made people join social media platforms they normally wouldn’t. First it was Twitter. Usually everything I couldn’t say on my Facebook because of those certain people in the family and friend circle I could just throw out into the twitterverse. Then, March 2020 came and everyone I was avoiding was on Twitter. This means a lot of self-censorship. That somewhat filter-less existence was reigned in. It was a good run though. *insert emo emoji* If you are a woman, white or brown or black or yellow or blue self-censorship is what you do. Twitter is for guys to talk about politics and current affairs and you know … all that heavy stuff that’s going to save the world. Women, on the other hand, can celebrate gham hour. If you’re not desi here is an article on what Gham Hour is though I’d take it with a pinch of salt because it’s not always as profound and is usually just loads of sappy poetry and quotes being shared. Or you can post food pictures (the really prominent line between Instagram and Twitter merges when it comes to food), or share jokes and memes or cricket commentary or ask homework questions. God forbid should you dare talk about the “guy stuff” because they will look for you, they will find you and they will troll and abuse and harass you. Trust me, Liam Neeson will seem like a cuddly teddy bear. So while I was already drafting and deleting any tweets that would get me attention from the trolls now even the jokes and rare insights into my mind and thoughts are also blue-pencilled.
But what hit different was when the same crowd started trickling onto LinkedIn. That’s the holy grail of social media!!! I mean, not as in it’s hard to find but that it’s holy. Maybe I should have used a different analogy but am too lazy so just stay with me. This is where if you got a notification you actually took it seriously and looked at it immediately because it might be a great business or work opportunity. Now, unfortunately, the frandshippers (PLEASE DONT TELL ME YOU DONT KNOW WHAT A FRANDSHIPPER IS https://definithing.com/frandshipper/) have found LinkedIn. You will be sitting comfortably in bed watching Netflix and your notification screen will pop up. “Ooohh it’s LinkedIn. Must be important!” naive little you may think. But it’s one of those “wanna frandship” messages. Dunno why but they always remind me of Johnny Bravo.
Like in what parallel universe or a drug induced state do they think they have a one in a billionth chance of their “wanna frandship” or “hullo you butiful magesty” message to get any kind of reciprocity? My biggest fear is the same happening to Pinterest! OMG JUST IMAGINE! Here is a scenario. You’re casually scrolling through your happy place looking at beautiful images of Ireland and daydreaming about this magical wonderland that you know in your soul is where wonderful things are just waiting to happen to you and suddenly a message pops up, “Are you Lahore ki smog? Because you just took my breath away.”
This is my worse nightmare. Am I digressing? What was this post even about?
Yeah, so we were talking about safe spaces for women to express themselves and their opinions on whatever they want without fearing for their lives and emotional health. It’s so stifling when you are an intelligent person with thoughts and ideas an opinions and you have to stop yourself from expressing them because some virtual stranger might attack you with the vilest comments ever known to mankind. Sadly, it’s not just limited to “controversial topics” any more. Social media has become such a cesspool of toxicity you can’t say anything without offending someone. For instance, I sent out a tweet back in Feb 2020 on missing Hunza (anyone who knows me knows my obsession and love for the place). Feb 2021 someone decides this is offensive.
This is the GOOD tweet. A couple started abusing me for it and I had to block them. So now you either just gloss over your true feelings and opinions or speak your truth and run the risk of ending up at a psychiatrist’s clinic. While social media has given everyone a voice it has also unleashed the monster hiding within most of us – the monster of intolerance and violence capable of the most disgustingly inhumane and insensitive behavior. Is that who we truly are deep inside away from the fear of any repercussions to our selves? Was William Golding right all along? “What are we? Human? Or animals? Or savages?“