Bring back the girls
As an IT expert I find it easy to just sit down and start writing about some technical issue and provide insights and resolutions. But in this case, I have decided to go against my expertise for once and speak about an issue unrelated to IT.
The topics of rant/rave this time is the #BringBackOurGirls Campain. This campaign is based on the abduction of 276 girls held by Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group that kidnapped them from their dormitory in Chibok, a village in North Eastern Nigeria.
Please get me straight in this article. I have nothing against people showing support for a topic or an issue that they feel they should be involved in. The only problem I have is when people exercise armchair activism and expect it to make a change in a country far away.
I have a young almost 3 year old daughter whom I would move the world over to find if she was abducted. So I have an idea of what some of the parents and relatives might be going through. Some people have decided to help these people with prayers, some have staged real demonstrations to show their support. Some have started efforts for donations to get money to these parents to help them through their struggles. All this very commendable.
Which brings me to the armchair activists. Those that tweet and hash tag #bringbackourgirls. Those that expect Boko Haram terrorists to be moved and swayed by the number of times the hashtag is shared or used on Facebook and Twitter. Those that post photos on social media with the words “Bring Back our Girls” and appear to be doing something. Nothing wrong with showing your support right?
Well, wrong. Telling yourself you have helped someone by hash tagging #bringbackourgirls is as inconsiderate as not doing anything at all. It’s the equivalent of sending pictures of food to people in a starving village somewhere and patting yourself on the back for “at least” having done something and showing your support.
Sharing the hash tags and the pictures on Facebook is not going to help anything. I doubt (I stand under correction) that the terrorists will be active that much on Social media and making their decision making based on public opinion. Because if they did based on the coverage on TV and the actual demonstrations of people in Nigeria they would have given up and returned the girls by now. But they haven’t (I believe eventually they will based on military action).
Of course this is just my opinion. You might also think differently.