Internet heroes and the brilliantly brilliant work they so brilliantly do.

Remember Kony 2012? Of course you do, how could anybody forget the biggest Internet campaign to ever happen which turned out to be an overhyped flash in the pan that essentially acheived nothing.

Well, actually not nothing. It gave an undying sense of self-satisfaction to everyone who was saintly enough to ‘like’ the page, making them feel like they’ve truly made a difference in the world. It was the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever seen. Every sucker with internet connection became a preacher for the horrible Child Soldier issue in Africa. What makes it worse is that Kony was already in hiding from UN forces; so all this attention was focused in a completely pointless direction. People were asking me “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO STOP KONY?!?!1!/1/1!?1?one!/1″

Hmm. I guess I did nothing. But what have you done? You’ve pressed one button and then assumed you were the god-sent solution to every problem in the world. In response:

“Thanks so much (insert stereotypically Western name here)!!! Your ‘like’ on Facebook actually brought my mother back to life, made the dictator warlords who abducted me and forced me to kill hundred of innocent civilians see the error in their ways, AND given me enough food, water and shelter to live another day in this hellhole!!!” – said no Child Soldier ever.

Sorry, that was a bit bitter and rude. But the Internet has undeniably injected a sense of ego in everyone; whether it be the ego to write whatever the hell you want on a blog (exhibit: this post) or the ego to feel informed about the issues we’ll never solve on the other sides of the world. This isn’t particularly always a negative thing, but an interesting observation. There’s an infinite amount of easily accessible information on the internet. With Kony 2012, the more naive of the viewers found the viral 30 minute video and after watching it, felt that they were completely informed about the issue and gained undeniably truthful information they could then preach to other people for the self-satisfaction of feeling ‘aware’ and ‘concerned.’ However, much of the controversy around the video was the irrelevant, outdated and over simplified information it presented that may have been detrimental to the cause. Did Invisible Children make it just because they had the technological means to and saw it as a way to cash in? Or were they exploiting the White Savior Complex which has also increased with the immediacy of the internet? These days, we can do anything online. Shopping, banking, communicating, bookings, research etc. So why can’t we end world hunger while we’re flicking between Facebook and ASOS? Privileged middle-upper class teens in the Western World are susceptible internet audiences who will believe a lot of what they read and react in whatever way will make them feel better about themselves. Therefore, when Kony 2012 rolled around, this 13-17 year old bracket became morally outraged after their online 30 minute history lesson (not learning from more reliable traditional news sources) and sprung into internet action, helping the video become the most viral video of all time.

“There’s this idea of rescuing the helpless African which goes back to 19th century missionary complex.” – Tavia Nyong’o, associate professor of performance studies at New York University told Colorlines. The ‘missionary’ idea has just absorbed and developed in response to growing new media; to the point that teenagers behind their computer feel they have the superiority and ‘sympathy’ to attempt to save Africa behind their computer screens.

With all due respect, a lot of people did donate to Invisible Children or buy products such as T-shirts, mugs, bracelets etc. To the point that the organisation’s revenue doubled the year the video came out. But, according to financial reports, 81.48 per cent on “media, mobilisation, protection and recovery” (Source here). In other words, international events, tours and more campaigns was where your T-shirt money went. In other words, it didn’t do anything.

Dr Tanya Lyons said on this article from The Punch“They’re not heroes for clicking on a link. They’re just lazy. And giving money won’t help.”

Bye. ~rant over~

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