The right to self-expression

Recently, someone I happen to know posted the news story of a 5 yr old girl’s rape in Delhi, India. His post conveyed the anger he felt with expletives; words that made me wince and detracted me from the news story itself. I, in my good faith and naivety messaged him saying that shouting obscenities on a Facebook status message is about as helpful as doing nothing. Why bother? Besides, if u really want to create awareness, make ur words mean something! Else just, leave it at that – spread the word. That’s enough.

I understand his helplessness, his anger, his frustration. We ambitious young people want corporate jobs with big salaries. But we often find ourselves at odds with our own expectations. Our helplessness comes from prioritizing our own needs. At the end of the day, we feel like there’s nothing we can do “because I’m too young and I need to concentrate on my own career” or “because I have so much else on my mind”
But we’re quick to anger. Cos that’s easy! Just update ur Facebook/twitter feed shouting obscenities at perpetrators, curse them and we feel better! Like my friend said, “I need to vent for my own sanity”

During my interaction with him, he also said something that made me furrow my brows and think hard before I opened my mouth again, or in this case.. typed another admonishing message to him!

He said that while he was fully aware that his anger and facebook status achieved nothing, it helped him vent and finally, it was HIS page and that he had the right to self-expression.

I took a pause and realized that while what I was trying to say was now besides the point, his right to self-expression had encroached my privacy.
That’s when I thought to myself, is that what social media allows us? The right to be obnoxious without reprimand to anyone and everyone present on a social media platform like twitter/Facebook?

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