“The activist is not the person who says the river is dirty. The activist is the person who cleans up the river” – H. Ross Perot
Are there any of you who are activists? Wandering around looking for experiences and various activities as you pour your hearts and effort for the nation, as well as the world, to be better in the future. Activist is the driving force and anyone can become an activist by contributing their thoughts, energy, anything as long as the broad intention is within.
Activists do not get tired, they always try to actualize their movement. Not only through words, but also implementation and accomplishment. They sell out words and prove them through action.
Take an example from the KontraS (Komisi Untuk Orang Hilang dan Tindak Kekerasan/ Commission for Disappearances and Violence) movement which was specifically initiated for those who disappeared in the 98s. KontraS is one of the organizations that had active activists in voicing victims of 98, such as Munir is a figure of human rights, and Wiji Thukul one of Indonesian poets who has disappeared until today.R
As technology develops, people start to find new ways to become activists. But instead of supporting movements, many are only spamming on social media.
For example, the hashtag movement which was originally used to mark several events so that they could be collected into one big theme for easier access. However, now there are many fake activists who use the hashtag to merely show concern. You might still remember the hashtag #PrayForIndonesia, which until now is still actively enlivened by users of social media, especially Twitter and Instagram.
When you explore the hashtag, there are a variety of wishes, prayers, praise, and even insults aimed at the entire nation. Instead of becoming the drive to bring this nation together, the hashtag turns out annoying.
It is indeed, with the hashtag, our voices and aspirations are heard to all corners of the world, but those are merely words without any actualization in them. Through this, no midday sun burning skin and faces, the frenzied crowd screaming for revolution, and enthusiasm and solidarity as they can only be experienced through the actual act on the street.
While hashtags are popular on Twitter, it is even more strange movement happening on Facebook. The netizens seem to really appreciate the circulation of photographs of starving children and war victims from various parts around the world. With the same caption such as, “Like to show that you care,” and we all know how much likes goes into those posts.
Same but different cases with hashtags activists who armed themselves with gadgets and their aspirational words then uploaded it. Without the burning sun and sweat, that is how they claim their participation in being an activist.
Therefore, is the attitude and enthusiasm of the hashtag activists the same as the real activists?! Hashtags may own the power to introduce issues to the world, but it certainly does not change anything. So, let’s reflect on our action.
The article has been translated & edited by Leon Munandar. This original article was here.