MEMES: Outward smiles with inward cries
By Sebastian Aoro
We are living in a generation where people don’t want to communicate or express their feelings for the fear of being judged. In order to curb this, most of us package our pain and wrap them around memes which they relate to. Is that not the best way to share our feelings with friends and family and get honest opinions without anyone pointing fingers at you?
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As if that is not all, this generation has been gifted an agent who is more than capable of helping them achieve anonymity for this purpose, social media.
Social media came with it’s pros and cons but at this point the negatives are outweighing the positives as we try to live up to fake standards set by fake people through social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter among others.
The youth in our country are suffering from depression in silence. We wake up to bright eyes and warm smiles every morning not knowing the tears these people have shed because of the criticism and negative comments on these social media platforms.
Other generations might see us all as wimps and refer to us as a mediocre generation but they haven’t put themselves in our shoes. During their time there were no phones, internet or social media. Take twitter for example, it offers a false sense of belonging only to leave you in a dark hole. Kenyans on twitter are so brutal and ruthless often armed with negative comments and insults which they’ll use on innocent souls at any time.
If Judas was an application then Twitter would be his name, one day it’s for you the next day it’s full on against you. Gone are the days when all that mattered was what our family thought about us and everyone in our lives were there to support us. These are tough times when we , the youth ,do everything just to live up to other people’s expectations and for their approval.
Things do not always go as planned for us therefore we resort to carrying our troubles to the bar, drink ourselves out and expect to come out of these liquor dens problem-free. This generation has deviced a mask of alcohol, memes , drugs and sex which has so far proven to work to our disadvantage. Just like the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a new normal in town for the youth which we can summarize in five words; outward smiles with inward cries.
Just recently, university students all over the country have been sharing a thread of memes of a toy frog in a black hoodie and sharing some disturbing scenarios in a funny way. It’s like cushioning bad news before telling it. Some of us are afraid of being judged by our friends, family and our online following. It is really hard to balance family, school, relationships, partying and a side hustle. Sleeping on an empty stomach while in university is a new norm after which we’ll make jokes to cover the situation. Our parents don’t know what we go through and some of us are not ready to share it out because either way the blame will be on us.
The funny thing about these memes is that they give you a sort of comfort in knowing that someone else is going through the same thing as you. Just knowing that the suffering is all round university makes it fun , strange isn’t it?
There is so much expectations on us the youth one of them being finishing university and getting a well paying job in an overcrowded market place. The way things are going and the way it has been in our country, the market place has respect only for well-connected people and rich people. If you have none then you’d better come up with a business idea of your own and actualize it or go back to your village and spend the rest of your life bragging about your degree even if you don’t have a job.
These are the things that lead to depression. Cases of depression have been confirmed in our country and amongst the youth with some people getting the help that they need while others sadly decide to end their lives at a young age. It is high time that we start engaging our friends and family in real talk and get to know the problems in their lives.
You never know the impact your listening could have on someone’s life. So what are you waiting for? Start sharing thoughts with your friend, send a text message to your long lost neighbors and check on them, call someone today and make their day. Just remember, depression is a cruel hitman roaming around waiting for it’s next target.
Sebastian Aoro is a journalism student at KCA University, email@example.com,