"P" for "Pictivism"

Pictivism is activism in the form of pictures. This article on pictivism motivated me to write my post. You all know about pictivists. Many people change their profile picture to support few causes , to condemn social atrocities , inequalities so on so forth. Among them very few actually travel that extra mile and do some thing in reality to support their cause. Rest all are just arm chair activists. You may question me aren’t the bloggers and few authors the same ? My argument is bloggers and authors write some thing in the hope to bring a change. They try to imbibe hope in to commoners and also they hope that by reading their works may be some polluted brains may actually get cleansed. It’s a different issue that many mavericks actually attack the bloggers thinking the article is written only about them.

There are few bloggers and facebook users who actually condemn anyone and anything with out actually understanding why and what they are doing. I mean there should be some motive behind the reaction but some times I just see that they are kick started and they go on with their mud slinging and bashing till they get zero reaction. For every action there should be equal and only equal reaction is many people’s motto. If some one disagrees to what they say and make their point intelligently they may either stick to their opinions nonchalantly or delete the comment or delete the post or the person:-) 

People make some symbol as their profile pic so as to support a cause. We all know what the pic is for but I always feel lost thinking what help is this gonna do ? The likes on the pic are more funny to me. It looks like they are all nodding their heads and supporting the same cause. Lets believe that a popular person has changed the profile pic to a black dot opposing the frequent crimes of molestation and rape and all his followers and friends follow suite and do the same. By the end of the day there are many black dots all over facebook but I fail to understand their use. If 100 dots bring a change as small as a dot(.) we can expect the down fall of crime even if there won’t be any full stop but I don’t see that happening. I am sure the whole country is getting united to protest. The crowd at India Gate was a live proof post that dreadful night’s sick-to-the -gut crime. I doubt if each and every one who uploaded the black dot profile pic really thought of doing some thing which can actually bring the change. I know this is a sensitive topic to discuss but I have seen many who simply uploaded the pic and then replied to others who asked what is it for ? with a crisp – In the support of the Delhi girl and then just changed it a week later. 

Nirbhaya died fighting. Neither the protests nor the dots saved her and the trial is still going on in court. 

I agree to the pic and what ever is written on it but I really am clueless as to how beneficial pictivism is. I even got requests to change the profile pic so as to support causes. I too signed petitions for the speedy punishment. I signed many pleas to hang the criminals but I just couldn’t make the black dot my profile picture. What has happened has already happened and is happening frequently. I couldn’t show my disgust in the form of a display pic. I wrote many articles for magazines and many posts on my blog but at one point of time I felt like an arm chair activist myself. The girl died on the day we were vacating Delhi. I couldn’t pack my bags. Like many I was also badly effected. It seemed like she was sent to Singapore to reduce the outrage in the country 😦 Every one at airport was discussing the same that evening. I was numb. Many were feverishly updating statuses and pics again . Call me callous. I didn’t feel like doing that or replying to those who did. I just prayed silently and tried to keep my calm. I was happy when Ram Singh committed suicide in Tihar jail. He did what court and law couldn’t do. The trial is still going on in the court and the profile pics are now changed to marriage equality by many!

Marriage equality is a protest where people are fighting for marriages with in the same sex.
Marriage Equality Law now allows same-sex couples the opportunity to order their surnames on child identification papers. The law also raises the legal age of consent to 16, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/uruguay-legalizes-marriage-equality-the-drama-free-way.html#ixzz2QQyJy3aa. When many changed their profile pictures I had to actually dig and read the news. I am neither opposing nor supporting it. I am just neutral to the change. If it happens , it happens. Ya it will definitely provide comfort to many people who actually want to lead a normal social life. Hence it looks fair enough but still I couldn’t push my self to change my profile pic to the below red equal symbol.

Facebook actually provided us with interesting statistics that 2.7 million people showed their support to marriage equality by changing their profile pics. For more read- “here”  The below pic shows the astounding response world wide.

The statistics in a way was helpful as the no. of people who are actually in favor of the change can be tracked. My problem here is all others who did not update their display pics might not be actually opposing the change. Some might be just like me where as some might even have facebook banned in their cities and respective countries. So I cannot accept facebook data as the whole and sole statistical proof but ya as we see that many are supporting  may be it can help in this case. 

Tomorrow some other cause comes up and some other atrocity happens and people will be all set to change their profile pics and those who don’t change the pic like me are not the one’s who are against the change ! It simply means they are not changing the display pic.

I can show my support by sharing the articles , news or my write ups or by actually doing some thing in real however small or big the task may be but I cannot really change the pic. It doesn’t make me emotional and it doesn’t seem useful to me. This post is not to offend the users who have changed the pics. I understand many are genuinely feeling bad but I just want to say I am not in to pictivism. What do you think ? Does pictivism help ?

While you are here do check this interesting ” Facebook Doppleganger week event“. One more crazy event for all the online dwellers 🙂

Doppelganger week, the first week of February, is an internet meme whereby users of social networking websites change their profile pictures to that of celebrities with whom they share appearance traits.The meme started in 2010 (source : “Wiki”)
Have a great day!
This is my 16th post for  “A to Z blogging Challenge 2013” !

28 thoughts on “"P" for "Pictivism"

  1. Hmm..that really got me thinking Afshan…I am not a Pictivist…I actually don't express many of my opinions on FB..But expressing someone's mind in a form of a pic is okay with me. Yes, we need to do something along with the said 'expression' but it all starts with that expression may be? I have no clue how to look at this coin from any which side. I would be eagerly waiting to see other's opinions. I am sure someone with more insight into this would chime in with a good perspective. And as for statistics…as the expression goes – Lies, White lies, Statistics :-))

  2. Oh, I completely agree with you. I understand that it is a symbolic gesture, so I have not issues with people doing it but I don't choose to do it myself. More than that, I hate the 'like' this photo to show your support/get blessings/feed a child type of meme that Facebook has started! How ridiculous!

  3. OMG, Roshini – all the like/share if you care and the emotional black mail of 'I know only a few would share' and daring you to “share” if you have a mind and a heart and a bullock cart…Those just drive me insane. What is more pathetic is that I see the most intelligent of my friends giving in to those threats! 😦

  4. I agree with you completely Afshan. Symbols and gestures are fine, but at the end of the day we need to think, what change have those symbols brought. Most of them do not even bother to read why a particular pic is posted or why someone shared a particular picture; yet they blindly flow with the tide.

  5. I agree with you though admit here that I changed my DP to black dot after that incident. and these likes thing is just too much…today i saw a pic of some GOD and it was written like in next 3 mins to see some miraculous change in your life by today!!!

  6. @Laxmi, @roshni : I dont get how the pics help and more importantly like a plague it spreads and evrey one starts uploading and liking.
    I dont like the whole concept

  7. A very good post Afshan.

    And i totally agree with you. This does not help. And what is worst is the fact it becomes a fad and people just follow it to show how cool or aware they are. When in reality they might not even be aware of the whole thing forget about being concerned.

    A very thought provoking post Afshu.

    A very happy b'day to you too.

    Loads of love. ❤

  8. Pictivism is akin to armchair activism. I believe changing DPs will not bring about the change, change can be brought out by reforms, better laws, education, changes in outlook…

  9. I agree with you. We can't do anything but talk sitting at the confines of our home. Pictivism is just jumping into the bandwagon and nothing more.

  10. I am neither for or against Pictivism. Those who are for it can change their pics. Probably they think it's a small way to support the cause. I do not change pics to support a cause. I normally like to write about it on my Blog and share it on my FB wall. I've also signed petitions on FB. But the major change has to come from the laws of our country.

  11. ya the pictivists all over my feed forced me to write this 🙂
    THanks a lot Lara for dropping by !!
    Yep all new words. No wonder if dictionary needs to be totally re written

  12. Dear Afshan ,

    I really had no idea what pictivism meant till I read this post of mine and to tell you honestly , even I changed my profile pic to a black rectangle the day Jyothi Pandey breathed her last . Not only that I wrote a poem and a couple of articles on my blog . Forget about armchair activism , for that whole month sleep eluded me at many levels . I was afraid my boys were growing up seeing all this . I was helpless , frustrated . Added to that were many of these pictures which had gone viral on FB almost blackmailing me to “like” or “share” her picture . I could take it no more and a couple of days after new year I deactivated my FB account because I could not see such insensitivity being perpetrated . I don't know whether I am an activist , or an armchair activist or a pictivist or a plain human being who was as much confused and scared as the rest . Sorry for this long comment . Just brought back the memories of the young girl who really was meant to live …

  13. Lots of food for thought here, Afshan and I'm not sure which side to take – but then I don't really have to, do I? I don't change my DP, but I can see why people might. As humans, we need some symbols to cling on to – example, religious, political etc. A change in DP would be a symbolic way to make a protest. It's not always possible for all of us to be take up causes, but to show our support in some form always helps.

  14. Ya at times it helps . Even I mentioned it in my post and I m really meaning offense to who changed . It's about few who just do it in the flow as some important x has done it and also Ask me to do which I don't feel like ! May be m not much in to clinging to symbols . The only thing is many do even with out absolutely knowing what for and why 🙂 anyway thanks for dropping by
    Sorry if I offended any

  15. Hey sridevi

    I can totally understand what you said . There r few like you who were disturbed and made it dp but many were doing in the flow which I didn't understand . The same over flowing news feed made me stay away from fb for long . Believe me new year was so bad that I didn't feel like wishing . I too wrote poems , too many articles and was hoping miracle happens . Still hope !!my only argument is change of dps is an ongoing ritual and when ppl keep on changing ( few ) for various causes and if they req others to do so then it's ridiculous . Anyway sorry if my post offended u in anyway . I didn't mean to

    Take care
    Thank you

  16. No Afshan , your post in no way offended me . More than the profile pics, the “likes” and “shares” that had gone viral during this time offended me 😦 ..you also take care 🙂

  17. I've seen a lot of this, and I have mixed feelings about it. Some people can get really clever, and don't do the whole “Like this if you agree” thing, which I can't stand. I'm especially annoyed when it asks you to like if you agree, and share if you think something should be done about it, and things like that.

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

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