The Kony Truth: We Can
VOL. 05, NO. 19, April 20, 2012 (Baishakh 08, 2069)
By Shradha Gyawali
Counting 86,682,605. It is the number of views that Kony 2012 received in less than a month. Facts aside, just the number is staggering.
With all this publicity, insane amounts of criticism and controversy also came along. Then the recent arrest of the co-founder of the Invisible Children, who is also the star of Kony 2012, did not help much either.
At this point, most people are responding to Kony 2012 with mistrust and disbelief.
But before all that skepticism, before everyone starts asking questions and getting embarrassed for supporting the film in the first place, before all that, no one can deny that people were inspired. Why else would the video have gone viral?
Maybe it was the editing techniques, the music, the use of cute little child to get the point across—but I think it was something more.
Kony 2012 inspired people because it empowered them. The video told young viewers—where for some reason many of us feel powerless to enact change—that we can change the world simply by putting up posters or by adding video links to our Twitter or Facebook feeds.
And the fact is: that’s true. There is nothing in the world that can stop us if we work together fulfilling small acts of service, of citizen engagement.
So regardless of twisted facts, the allegations, the misplaced money and so on, I believe that at its core the message of Kony 2012 is true and 100% valid.
The video tells young citizens that they can make a difference by working together to make something huge happen. Now that truth is undeniable.
Kony 2012 also served as another awesome example of the power of internet. The internet can be used to amass people beyond state and country lines, beyond the divides and borders we create for ourselves.
There are no borders on the internet. And let’s hope there never will be. The internet is the great equalizer, with the power to bring over 86 million people together with just one video posted on YouTube.
And can I just mention? Kony was one of the first videos gone viral that wasn’t about something inane—it was about something that actually mattered to the people who made it.
Maybe Kony 2012 wasn’t the right movement. But the film paved the way for more films like it, maybe more valid, maybe less; it’s up to us to tell the difference.
Regardless of what it is, when we see something, we have to ask questions. We have to investigate. Sometimes we all need to be our own journalists.
In the end, Kony 2012 did one very important thing: it reminded us about the power inherent within ourselves.
We can ask questions. We can investigate. We can bring together masses of people through the click of a button on our social media pages. We can make our world different.
By ADITI ARYAL
My friend called me after ages some days back. By the sound of her voice, she was definitely not doing well. She begged I accompany her to a counselor she was going to visit. On the way, I could see she was what people normally termed as ‘depressed’. The way she talked about things, she sounded like she desperately needed help. Depression among teenagers is very common these days. The look on the college counselor’s face when you enter his office clearly reflects that. I also had him asking me bluntly if I needed help due to depression I would to wait in a very long list of people.
Talking more about my friend, she was depressed because she couldn’t handle stress in her life. She was being constantly nagged by her parents and most of her possessions were confiscated as exams were approaching. The pressure from teachers and the competition among peers was difficult for her to handle at the same time. Moreover, she was not allowed to go out and see her friends, and her social life was crumbling. Though it sounded like a piece of a very stupid movie to me, this is the reality for most of the teenagers in town today. Many have even ended their lives as a result.
In this so-called fast paced cut-throat world, everybody cannot be expected to achieve. Expectations lead to disappointment and thus pressures pile up. Inability to cope up with this pressure leads to frustration which aggravates to depression. Reasons like being bullied or lack of competence can still be considered a pretty normal reason to be depressed. But here, the reason does not merely limit to failure. There exist the most absurd reasons like, for example, not being invited to a party your friend is attending or not owning the same brand of jeans your sibling did!
Like everything else in the country, depression has been exaggerated. Every fifth teenager undergoes or has undergone depression. It wouldn’t be surprising if the counselors themselves start suffering from depression. Whatever reasons justify depression, it is a very severe situation. People simply do not get depressed by not being invited to a party. Depression also is an excuse for many not to do things. ‘He’s depressed’, is a good way to get away from things and is also a fashion statement in itself.
In the context of today’s people, depression is any emotion which is not happy. That is hilarious and totally wrong! It is a well known fact that teenagers today are more into TV, mobile phones, games and what not. We do not eat a healthy diet anymore with numerous fast food outlets being opened up, and many still survive on practically no food as I see it. Most are sleep deprived, thanks to the low call costs and internet charges at night time. To cut a long story short, we do not maintain a very healthy lifestyle. This is one major reason for various bodily juices not flowing like they should, leading to criss-crossing of emotions, or in other words, depression.
Depression is merely overrated, like making a mountain out of a molehill. Depression among teens is viable but there must be plausible reasons, broken families to name one. It, in its true form, is very dangerous and could lead to psychological disorders as well. The actual proportion of the really affected teens is very less, and they could not be getting the required counselling because of numerous reasons.