Radar | May 07,2022
Apr 17 , 2020
By Kidist Yidnekachew ( Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at email@example.com. )
It is not uncommon to come across memes of local celebrities wherever Ethiopians congregate on social media. Recently, famous memes show the before and after of celebrities - when they were relatively unknown and after they became famous.
The difference is visible. There was even a series of memes that targeted known public figures showing how different they look now compared to before they rose to fame.
Some of these memes feature a text, “If you want your life to change like this celebrity, then you'll stay at home.”
Most of these memes are funny. All of us change our appearance over time. The juxtaposition can even be provocative. People change with status. As people become more successful, they tend to take care of themselves differently - they tend to eat, exercise and dress better. Likewise, when people know there are millions out there watching them, and they are in the public's eye, they tend to be very conscientious of the way they are presented.
But there is something unnerving about this exercise. Primarily, there are people that dedicate their time to digging up these photos for public consumption. Just as worryingly, the internet manages to keep a massive storage of data on us that anyone can presumably dig up.
It is scary to realise that we are all posting photos of ourselves without really understanding how these will be utilised going forward. Many young teenage girls are guilty of this, posting stuff that is a little too inappropriate for their age. I always get the urge to tell them to think twice about putting themselves out on social media the way they do.
It is fine to experiment early in life, but we should be wary of leaving traces of it for everyone to see on social media. We should aspire to keep our personal and public lives separated.
Under most circumstances, when we look back at the sorts of people we were, we have some regrets. The judgment other people reserve for our past selves will not be forgiving either, no matter how much we have changed. They will use our past against us, either because it helps someone personally or because it is entertaining for public consumption.
Who knows where we will end up in about a decade?
Imagine running for office, and some embarrassing part of our past lives is made known to the public. It could happen. It has happened to many others who have had to learn the hard way.
A friend recently got engaged. She had not been active on social media for a while but decided to reactivate her Facebook account with the intent of sharing the good news with her friends and colleagues.
A few days later, she got into a fight with her fiancé. Even though she has told him about her past, looking at her feed aggravated his feelings. He called her names and threatened to call off the wedding. All this because of some silly thing she posted on social media years ago.
The problem with the gendered world we live in is that this phenomenon affects women more severely than it does men. The memes that target famous people, for instance, usually target women and scrutinise them for their looks. Photos of them with and without makeup are put side by side and a game made out of spotting the differences.
Society does not allow women to have a past as it does men. Women are required to be perfect from the start, making no mistakes and waiting patiently for the man they were meant to be with for the rest of their lives. Some women lie about their past relationships just to avoid being called names and interrogation from their spouses.
Men, on the other hand, can get away with a simple phrase such as "all that stuff I did was long before you came into my life."
Neither men nor women should not be put on trial for the mistakes they committed years ago when they were young. This is a problem that is exacerbated by social media. Let us not pick on people's pasts but instead encourage them for the progress they have made. If there is any reason to scrutinise their deeds, let us do it without personally attacking them.
PUBLISHED ON Apr 17,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1042]
Radar | May 07,2022
Fortune News | Feb 13,2021
Viewpoints | Jan 04,2020
Sunday with Eden | Dec 04,2021
Sunday with Eden | Jun 12,2021
Viewpoints | Aug 20,2022
Fortune News | Jul 18,2021
Fortune News | Sep 11,2020
My Opinion | Jun 07,2020
View From Arada | May 04,2019
Photo Gallery | 69019 Views | May 06,2019
Photo Gallery | 60862 Views | Apr 26,2019
Fortune News | 52832 Views | Jul 18,2020
Fortune News | 52595 Views | Sep 01,2021
Commentaries | May 27,2023
Life Matters | May 27,2023
My Opinion | May 27,2023
Sunday with Eden | May 27,2023
Agenda | May 27,2023
Editorial | May 27,2023
Dec 24 , 2022
Biniam Mikru heads the department of cabinet affairs under Mayor Adanech Abiebie. But...
Jul 2 , 2022 . By RUTH TAYE
On a rainy afternoon last week, a coffee processing facility in the capital's Akaki-Qality District was abuzz with activ...
Nov 27 , 2021
Against my will, I have witnessed the most terrible defeat of reason and the most sa...
Nov 13 , 2021
Plans and reality do not always gel. They rarely do in a fast-moving world. Every act...
Recent headlines seem to augur a global debt crisis. The United States is teetering on the precipice of a self-inflicted default. Egypt,...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country's most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or two...
May 27 , 2023
Tauted as a somnolent giant, Ethiopia's financial scene now stirs, roused by favourab...
May 20 , 2023
The pungent irony wafting from Pretoria last week was hard to miss. Cyril Ramaphosa,...
May 13 , 2023
In March this year, Kamala Harris, the United States Vice President, visited Ghana, T...
May 6 , 2023
The history of the Ethiopian labour movement dates back to the 1940s, marked by perio...
May 27 , 2023
In a triumph over the trials of the pandemic, a rising tide of construction costs and inflation, Zemen Bank has opened a stunning 32-storey...
May 27 , 2023 . By BERSABEH GEBRE
Meqelle is in an animated bid to reclaim control of the management of companies under the Endowment Fund...
May 29 , 2023
Officials at the Addis Abeba City Administration have recently changed the title transfer fees following...
May 27 , 2023 . By MUNIR SHEMSU
The absence of technological equipment to control the contraband trade near national borders and low-qual...
Or see contact page