I have a new obsession; looking at memes on Instagram. Especially all the memes that spun out of nowhere after the Cambridge Analytica scandal are bound to make you smirk and think at the same time. Due to personal reasons, I had deliberately deleted my Facebook profile last year in October. I shared this profile with my husband for at least nine years, but he hardly used it and in the last three years, I wasn’t actively using Facebook either. So before all hell broke loose for Mark Zuckerberg, I had already decided that Facebook was probably too public, and it ...Read Full Post
I came across a Facebook post recently which made me question the way this society thinks and functions, and raises multiple red flags about the way we live. A man in Lahore can masturbate openly in the streets while looking at a school bus full of teenage girls, and there is no mention of it anywhere. However, when a Facebook post in response to it tries to highlight the problem at hand, the fragile male egos of Pakistani men are immediately threatened. FLASHING, SEXUAL HARASSMENT incident: Today a friend in lahore was in her university van. The van had stopped ...Read Full Post
Many years ago, I read an interview by then Google CEO, Eric Schmidt. The question posed to him was about what Google was doing to protect the privacy of its users. Unlike other executives who go off on philosophical tangents when talking about customer privacy, Schmidt said: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” In the wake of the data scandal at Facebook, this maxim holds as true today as it did when social media was born. The likes of Facebook, Google and Amazon have become part of our daily lives. We willingly ...Read Full Post
It was discovered in 2011 that over 20 million Facebook users were underage. As a result, millions of underage children are susceptible to online predators who could exploit and abuse them. This also means these underage individuals are accessing information that is not necessarily suitable for their age. It was easier back in the day. You had one TV set that barely aired a few channels. When there was something inappropriate, you could switch it off or ask the children to leave the room. It’s doubly difficult today to control the information children receive. If the 50,000 television channels aren’t telling ...Read Full Post
Chaos prevailed for at least a week due to the large-scale protests in which not only property was destroyed, but the daily lives of citizens was disrupted, holding them captive in their own homes. As if that was not enough, violent clashes between the protestors and the police forces resulted in the deaths of at least seven people, not to mention the hundreds who were critically injured. How exactly did it come to this? Was it just the amendment in the clause of the oath that resulted in the rise of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, and hence the bloodshed? The answer is a ...Read Full Post
Did Ahsan Iqbal and Imran Khan not get the memo about not using Twitter? Or was the ban only for the general public?
A bunch of religious hardliners taking over a country may seem like something a government may be able to control, but this being Pakistan, of course this wasn’t the case. After weeks of inaction, when the government finally decided to do something about the Faizabad protesters, it was to deploy the police, and unless one slept through Saturday, everyone is by now aware of the chaos that ensued following the government’s failed attempt at an operation. What undoubtedly added to the panic on Saturday was the fact that both social and electronic media were shut down by the Pakistan Electronic ...Read Full Post
We have all been guilty of indulging in sober conversations, where somehow grave arguments give way to dirty jokes. They might not be appropriate but we nevertheless find them funny. Now imagine a TV show, working with a genre as solemnly serious as true crime and then lacing it with a premise that satirically documents the investigation of a phallus-themed vandalism act. On the face of it, this might seem like a recipe for an extremely absurd concoction of two diametrically opposing cinematic themes, but handled correctly, you get to experience a completely fresh take on a TV show category ...Read Full Post
It truly has been a sad and disappointing week in the regressive, woman-hating society that is Pakistan
Unless you live under a rock, you are not only aware of the Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy vs the doctor debate that has stirred the Pakistani nation, but have also most certainly picked a side. Statistically, it is more likely that you support the doctor, and why not? Poor man, who is also a father of four, allegedly got fired – a reminder to the harassers in the Pakistani population that harassment can also have consequences, a concept they are, of course, unfamiliar with. It all started with Facebook and Twitter – which is probably something we’ll also say about the third world ...Read Full Post
Is Sarahah just another way to put people in their place, without telling them it’s you who has done so?
It feels as though nothing under the sun will ever be new again. The movies are all sequels or reboots, the series all follow similar story arcs and the tech world is glutted with the same kind of boring distractions. The latest fad on our smartphones is a ‘new’ anonymous messaging application called Sarahah, and it promises nothing more. One makes an account, posts the link onto various social media websites that one is in the habit of using, such as Facebook, and your ‘friends’ can send you anonymous messages. Sarahah is essentially an honesty app that gives people the courage to ...Read Full Post
Dear sexist men, your privileged gender is not an outcome of your “biological” qualities, but of social conditioning
Recently, I wrote an article based on two recent videos which went viral. The main idea behind the article was to showcase two outstanding individuals who challenged gender stereotypes instead of conforming to society’s prescribed gender roles, going on to live their individual dreams. For me, these individuals are heroes and, in fact, trailblazers as they have challenged socially constructed stereotypes. These stereotypes play a large role in determining what is expected of men and women from society. By spelling out these expectations and enforcing them through upbringing and cultural norms, men and women are often regimented into different roles and hence, destinies. These different roles also largely account ...Read Full Post