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The Ache of a Nation

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

The problem with the recent trend of social awareness, is the vast amount of people who try to fit the ongoing crisis into their “aesthetics” - to twist the horrifying events going on into something small fit into a tiny drawing, or a small infographic. It’s just plain ignorant to reduce the pain and suffering of a war, of the people actually going through the war, into an instagram story or a post, or a facebook status, or a tweet. Yes, these social media platforms bring awareness to the current situation and pass the important news, but it’s important to differentiate between spreading awareness and standing in solidarity with Ukraine, and posting pretty drawings and colorful posts that do nothing but fill a role of being socially “woke” and responsible. Another trend going around is to post an instagram story of a donation to Ukraine. Who brings this money to the people? How does this money and the organization help the displaced people? Nobody bothers to find out, and dozens of the same instagram stories are created that in the end, turn out to be a scam. Why? Because people would rather seem socially woke than seek out information and identify ways to help.

The brutal images of war aren’t what people want to see, but the dazzling posts curated to the masses satisfy the urges to appease the demands society gives. You’re either a saint because you post and share useless drawings, or you’re a Putin supporter for not posting a thousand things. Stuffing a war, especially an ongoing one, into an aesthetically pleasing post is just ignorant and speaks to how a person views the crisis - as something that can be cast into a narrative fit to their social media feeds. The short slogans that condemn Vladimir Putin, shouted like they’re nothing, followed with profanities that are praised. Swearing to get your point across isn't something that’s “cool”, or makes your statement more impactful. It shows a person is incapable of getting their point across (or condemning something) without using profanities.

Another problem that arises, especially on the app Tiktok, are the insensitive jokes. Who are you to make jokes about the ache of a nation? Who are you, to say you wish a bomb would fall, like it did in Ukraine, to postpone a test or a quiz? Who are you to think it’s okay to get a laugh out of the loss and death currently befalling Ukrainians? Today, dozens of jokes were being made in classrooms concerning this matter like it was nothing more than news that excited their life a bit, never once stopping to analyze what they were joking about, and the meaning that really lay behind their words. A form of ignorance takes shape in these jokes that is the curse of younger teens, who claim they “use humor to cope.” This is the ache of the nation - easily impacted generations that turn into superficial, performative activists.

This is not to say that it’s bad to post your solidarity and stance about the Ukraine conflict. But, there is a line, as I mentioned, between your stance and minimizing the struggle of the war.

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Edited by Kato Ambokadze

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