Too dumb to understand, but —
Another episode of navigating life
After having some intense discussions with friends from different circles, I think the urgency to respond to contemporary issues is getting stronger. Personally, to me, it would be good to gently push myself out of my comfort zone. Even though for years my personal interest has been revolving around more than just environmental issues, lately my personal bubble is getting denser (and I’m gradually trying to fix it). On the other hand, I’m honestly still facing a dilemma where I haven’t define a clear distinction between amplifying certain phenomenons that I understand well and just letting myself speak like a normal citizen.
I am a part of my generation that joins and participates in the crowd on Twitter, Instagram, and well, Medium. Utilizing those three social media for fun and sharing brainy content without rigid timing is so far the fairest deal that I can have. But do I forget the real feeling of throwing some casual stuff just because I opt to become a little bit serious? Nope. Do I label myself as a social media activist? Nope.
I was thirteen-year-old when I signed up for my first social media account. Around a month after I created my e-mail account, Facebook became a sudden trend. Following the bandwagon, I hit the sign-up button on that social media. Contrary to the trend of Facebook’s user growth, the rise of crime that started from there also occurred. My family warned me, but I was already into the social media scene. Luckily, I still find the positive side of Facebook. With a group of friends and an assisting teacher, we used Facebook as a medium to discuss our science project.
High school years passed by and it was then followed by five and a half years of studying at the university. The first few weeks of freshman year at a typical Indonesian university is popularly associated with introducing the freshmen with social-political issues. Until today, I found no harm in doing that, but the method was not intriguing. In my opinion, seniors tended to romanticize the student-led massive protest that happened in 1998 without opened room for an inclusive discussion for their juniors to independently think the bad, good, and in-between. Students who joined social movements were also portrayed as a group that is identic with denying academic achievements.
I fully admit that my personal status was also a part of my fundamental blocks in disliking those approaches. Coming from an upper-middle-class family brought me the notion that I am not in a vulnerable position. I do not have to worry about what I can eat tomorrow nor my tuition fee until I graduate. Life was shortly easy.
Back to social media matter, my journey as a social media user during high school and undergraduate years was quite intense without serious purpose. I reactivate my Twitter account in 2016 while starting to level up my Instagram game. Even in 2017, I met a bunch of creative kids in Surabaya because of Instagram. Our meetups later brought us to a massive photo-hunting event, in which we partnered with the public relations office of the Surabaya government.
My perception of social media changed gradually after I started graduate school in January 2018. The program that I attended allowed to me discover the triangle relationship between humans, social media, and gadgets while emphasizing the understanding of development issues around the world. Ironically, the fear of being intimidated in the classroom then became a pain that I could tolerate.
I woke up from my nap, one thing that I love more than I used to since the beginning of the lockdown period. I opened my phone and scrolled down and up my Twitter timeline. Tweets on Pride Month, Black Lives Matter, Justice for Papua, and Liberty for Palestine flooded my timeline. Ten minutes later, I closed the Twitter app. It is just strange to live in a world that is connected with artifacts, surrounded by different notions of development, and promotes diversity, but people are likely to end up loving and living illogically in their own bubbles.
Perhaps, I feel overwhelmed.
This writing is a part of my collective memory that I published to look back on how my years of formal education have influenced me. The opinion might change from time to time. If you are interested, you can also take a look at other related pieces of writings.
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