A digital sisterhood

Context: Social media helps the independent woman find and forge new solidarities.

The rise of social media is a result of loopholes in the traditional society. Discuss these loopholes.

  • Globalisation: Globalisation and the resulting rush of ideas across the world d meant that we are no longer connected only to our physical tribes.
  • This has also meant that we do not feel connected to our families and communities in the way that the previous generations were.
  • Effect on women: This disconnect is far more distinct in women than in men; because men are more inclined to follow the traditional line of thought, especially since that school of thought heavily privileges them.
  • Independent women who have a voice and demand to be heard, who refuse to bow down to the old world order and refuse to fit in with cultural norms of what a woman “ought” to be like.
  • Traditional communities fall short: People need to be understood. Their worldview is so different from ours that we have spent much of our lives in isolation; an emotional isolation.
  • Distance between generations: The isolation of the modern world has not been brought on by technology alone, but by the new ideas and by the distance between the ideas of the present generation and the previous one.
  • Lack of support: Individuals who didn’t conform to normative ideas of social acceptance, traditional communities did not provide much support or emotional nourishment.
  • There is no replacement for the feeling of being heard and understood that one gets in the presence of people who can empathise, and offer advice that enables you to live a life that you want.

How should be social media ideally used?

  • Social media is a supplement: Social media becomes a hindrance and an isolator only when you begin to use it as a replacement for real-life family and friends, ignoring their physical presence when you are glued to your device even in the presence of people around you.
  • Social media is not a substitute for physical networks.
  • Seeking genuine and meaningful engagements: Instead of constantly being in battle mode over politics or religion or the newest debate, we need to attempt to genuinely connect with people at a personal level, at the level of ideas and emotions and empathy.
  • Some of those online friendships could translate into offline friendships too.
  • An additional tribe: There are various support groups popping up on social media now, for this purpose. To help people find their tribes, who would understand them and help them overcome the unending loneliness that is the curse of people whose ideas are vastly different from the physical communities they are a part of.

Way forward

  • In a world that is increasingly becoming a mix of cultures, a mix of identities and a mix of selfhoods, we need a mix of multiple tribes to get through life.
  • The notion of tribes and communities needs to evolve as well.
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