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‘How many likes is my life worth?’

We should stop ‘showing that we care’ and start actually caring

By Caterina Fumero

Photo courtesy via Pixexid

There is this trend now (yes, I said trend) to care about social issues only when you can post about it, and get likes. Since the pandemic, and Black Lives Matter, I think this phenomenon got even worse.

Now, I know what you’re going to say.

It is impossible to address every single issue going on in the world, and many people use Instagram or twitter as the main information media. I understand it.

What I don’t understand is this: how you could post about other people’s struggle only for that period of time that is relevant for the algorithm, and then you will never address that issue ever again.

Plus, I hate to break it down to you, but usually these problems are far more complicated than the five-words posts you are sharing.

Let me give you an example that made my blood boil.

I don’t know if you remember, but after BLM – around May 2021 – ‘the Thing’ was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Overnight, everyone was outraged at the situation, as if it was not something that had been going on for seventy years.

I repeat, seventy years.

And in the past five years that I have had Instagram, I haven’t seen a single post about it.

And by July, everyone had already forgotten about it.

Nothing changed.

Then it was Afghanistan.

Then Ukraine.

Now Iran.

How many of you still remember what is going on in Palestine?

And yet, everyone posted about it.

How many likes should someone’s suffering get in order for you to care?

Also, I understand that we still have to learn how to coexist with social media, because we haven’t figured out that one yet, but sometimes I see some posts and I think “do people think before sharing these things?”

What are the boundaries here?

At the very beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, there was this viral video of Ukrainian soldiers refusing to surrender to Russian forces. Next thing we know, they all got killed.

And from the warmth of our peaceful houses we were all sharing the last words of someone else’s father or brother with the comment “hero” or “respect”.

War is not a freaking videogame where people just get to start the match again if they lose.

Where is the decency and respect for those families who actually lost someone in that island?

Who decided that it was okay to share the last words pronounced by these soldiers, before they all lost their lives?

Where was our respect for those who sacrificed themselves?

I know this article is very uncomfortable to read, but I beg you, think twice before sharing something on your Instagram story. Read more than just the catchy headline. If these issues startle you, talk about them with your friends. You don’t need to post to show that you care.

And if you’re really outraged at something, I guarantee you, to only post something for 24 hours on the web, will not change anything.


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