Everyday News-outlets inform us of what’s happening worldwide and those topics that are trending. What happens to those trends after a day or two? It is replaced with new trends; this is the natural process. What I do find alarming is how interested we are in the trends that matter and those which do not and for how long we are interested in them. For each person, this may vary based on our interests, livelihood etc. But there are certain topics that we should seek to always keep trending. To help you understand a little better what I am ranting on about, let’s rewind a decade or so back.
2005: The year of 2005 was wrung-in with heart ache and global sadness with the after effects of the deadly 2004 Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami. But that year was a global eye opener for many. It featured another record-breaking earthquake in Kashmir, hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma terrorizing the Caribbean and North America, cyclones, typhoons and floods in the Asian Sub-continent, terrorist bombings in London, the stampede of pilgrims in Baghdad, the beginning of trial for Saddam Hussein and Angela Merkel assuming office as the first female chancellor of Germany.
2011: This was the year I graduated but it wasn’t the highlight of the year. This year brought about the Egyptian revolution, the death of Bin Laden and Gaddafi, the Royal Wedding and was another year plagued with natural disasters and economic turmoil.
Be honest with yourself, how many of these events have you kept abreast with? What happened to all of those victims of the natural disasters or what has Merkel achieved since in office? But I am sure you remembered creating your Facebook profile, Kim’s 5 second wedding, hash-tagging every selfie with #lemmetakeaselfie and watching worldwide videos of the Harlem Shake. Guilty?
A few weeks ago, my mom found a receipt for which she had donated some funds to the United Nations’ fund for the victims of the 2004 earthquake. I had the strangest brain jolt and realized that I never educated myself on the after effects of that disaster. Yes, I read the news about trending topics but I have never taken time to inform myself of them. For example, the 2004 calamity had helped precipitate the peace agreement between the government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement ending 3 decades of bloody conflict. I am positive that you are not aware of it either. Thanks to social media, we are always updated with current affairs and pop culture but this is iffy as it is still dependent on what we subscribe to, the pages we like and the media we follow. We need to keep updated on the events that have passed. I understand that we must not look too much into the past, but it is the past that has shaped the present and possibly the future.
We must take some time and realize that we still live in a world where females are being denied an education and voting rights, where the highest statistic of rape was recorded, that countries are still censored and denied freedom of speech, potable water and food are inaccessible, where we have more rights to guns and ammunition than rights to proper health care, and human trafficking is a profitable business.
Certain topics should be continuously trending . This may be difficult as we live in a world where reality television shows take up the media coverage and celebrity news take precedence over important matters. But we don’t need to know what are the details of Brad and Angelina’s breakup or how big a celebrity Butt is or the cost of the outfit a celebrity’s child wore.
We need to be aware of the issues of climate change, poverty, human rights, disarmament, human trafficking, racism and economic changes. These are the trends that matter. These are the issues that are affecting the world; the same one in which we live and the one in which we will birth our children.
Take some time out of your day to read about some of those global issues. Use your social media to share your opinions, re-post and educate those around you about said issues. We must teach our generation to give priority to those issues which deserve recognition. We must not just read and forget, but we should TRY to be well-informed on these issues. They matter.