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John Ogba-Ifeakanwa: This is Why Hashtags Save Lives

Shout out to every ‘victim’ who has spoken out and shared their story. It is never easy to admit to being one. Of course, not everyone would believe, but the people who do start a conversation about it and help their voices be heard. Because they spoke out, rape is finally being addressed, and voiceless women will find justice. As they say, the truth cannot be hidden for too long, neither can it be ignored forever. Their bravery is inspiring.

John Ogba

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It seems that on social media, the time of reckoning has come for many people. Topics that nations ignored for decades have found voices on the internet. Hashtags have become the new ammo – uniting people from all over and giving a voice even to the weakest. I have never been a proud social media user as I am at this moment.

The world is angry. So many things have been ignored for so long. For years, we looked the other way as things went wrong, but now, we’re in focus. The blinders are fixed and locked on things that do not fit in. Cases of rape, pedophilia, racism, fraud, and more are finally being addressed in the best ways. It’s sad to see that so much had to go wrong for all this to happen, but fortunately, it is finally happening.

The world has never been one as much as it is right now. It is the most beautiful thing. People are lending their voices using hashtags, and peaceful protests have ensued – leading to a few amendments. Those are little wins and boy, they do count.

One of my proudest moments on social media was when the Blackout Tuesday trended. Twitter was Black. Instagram was Black. And Facebook too. On that day, the world walked in the same lane, spoke the same language, and protested for one cause. We were all one people, and it didn’t matter who was black or white because everybody stood for what is right.

Social media is the court of law, and we are the jury. We, the little people, sitting in our homes, staring at our screens and thinking “no, this has got to end”.

Here’s what happens when new cases arise. First, there’s the shock at what’s happening, then follows the urge to speak out. That’s when we start typing. Every single one of us. It is even more beautiful when people take to the streets, and protest peacefully while those who can’t support by sharing photos.

Shout out to every ‘victim’ who has spoken out and shared their story. It is never easy to admit to being one. Of course, not everyone would believe, but the people who do start a conversation about it and help their voices be heard. Because they spoke out, rape is finally being addressed, and voiceless women will find justice. As they say, the truth cannot be hidden for too long, neither can it be ignored forever. Their bravery is inspiring.

#BlackLivesMatter, #EndRape, #StandForEquality, #MeToo, etc. These hashtags have become lifesavers. It is imperative that we help push them every day while the world is still listening. We must remember that heart-breaking real-life events have built each one of them. They are the foundation on which they exist, so we must push them till everyone sees them. We, the jurors must speak in support of them and give them a much louder voice.

Social media is more than just a place to connect, it’s also a place to speak and be heard. So we will speak, and we must be heard.

John Ogba Ifeakanwa is the fifth of six children, and a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for writing. He is music savvy and has worked with various blogs and websites. He likes to write thought-provoking pieces that start conversations about things people overlook. He wishes to change the world with words (written & sung). You can connect with him via social media (@singingretro on all platforms).

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