22 May, 2024
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Seeing users on social media platforms sharing their Anghami and Spotify recap for most listened-to songs in 2022 made me realize two things:

1-I haven’t used my Anghami account at ALL this year, and
 2- 2022 is almost over.

With 2022 approaching an end, it feels like it is also the end of a thriller trilogy- The Pandemic. (Assuming Netflix has already beat me on this one). Seriously though, the time between 2020 till 2022 was one for the books- from an unknown deadly virus outbreak to human loss, to months-on-end lockdowns, to working and studying online from home, to constantly wearing face masks, and to worldwide vaccinations. 2022 marked the beginning of lifting these restrictions and you can barely see anyone wearing face masks nowadays; even when it came to traveling, vaccinations and PCR’s are no longer a mandatory requirement in numerous countries. Keep in mind though that lifting restriction does not mean we solved the pandemic since even after two years we still do not have a full comprehension of this virus.
No doubt that we will still have negative residue leaked from the impact of 2020 to 2023 and the years to come after, especially with the rising economic inflation, and post-Covid health issues; but on a positive note, 2022 is gradually washing away the negativity the pandemic brought by ending the year with the long-awaited World Cup. Whether you are a fan of this international game or not, at least we should be grateful we are all united through the love of sports and not a virus; However, since everyone was confined within these past two years, it is apparent that the whole world is stressed out and some are letting out their anger in this sport. Many people lashed out on their hatred towards official FIFA songs released, many have boycotted watching the tournament as there were allegations of violation of human rights from the host country towards their workers and visitors, and others spoke of the inappropriateness to host the prestigious tournament in a Middle Eastern Islamic country. To add to the list of cons to this year’s World Cup, riots broke out in several countries as football fans descended the streets to celebrate some of their favorite teams’ victories which ended in a clash with opposing fans- causing many to be fearful of a civil war breaking out in their countries after the upcoming final match results. Speaking of wars, in the first months of 2022, the whole world watched in horror as the Russo-Ukrainian war led to thousands of casualties, the destruction of homes, and the displacement of refugees across Europe. The war also highlighted blatantly racist double-standard comments from international media outlets. It showed how a large percentage of western countries clearly stated that war is only acceptable in developing and third-world countries; to “uncivilized” people who don’t have blue eyes and blonde hair. It is extremely disappointing to realize that we might have evolved and advanced in the technological and medical aspects, but some people still haven’t surpassed the notion that some of us have more melanin than others. We are all human after all no one deserves to experience war, hate, racism, and to feel less than others simply because of where they were born, how they look like, and the religion they practice.

Another headliner in 2022 that made people take sides is the Depp and Heard trial. The masses took to social media platforms to share their opinions during the live trial back in April where Depp accused Heard of defamation. We all know who won that one- Johnny Depp won and Heard lost the trial. The actress’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft believed “the vast majority of this trial was played out on social media. I think that this trial is an example of that gone haywire, gone amok. The jury’s not immune to that.” Regardless of whose side you’re on, Heard got her fair share of hate from the internet.  Doesn’t it make you wonder why most highlighted topics are faced with a mob of angry commenters? I mean, freedom of speech is admirable, but I have noticed that online users are being ruthless and unmerciful with their comments towards users or controversial topics. Whoever said “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” obviously never used social media.

It is undeniable that the masses are angry, you can feel the tensions rising on any topic. It is normal to be angry, we have all experienced social isolation, human loss, instability, absence of routine, fear, and uncertainty about what is to come. That is understandable; the sun kept rising and setting every day, animals proceeded to hunt and enjoy the sunrays, trees went on with their photosynthesis, the wind kept blowing, the rain kept falling and rainbows were still forming, all the while humans were captive, sitting on their couches between walls, watching the clock tick away and their days passing by. For things to instantly go back to normal after that, is almost impossible. However, we can find hope in Deepak Chopra’s quote, “If you restore balance in yourself, you will be contributing immensely to the healing of the world.” While for many the confinement during the lockdowns was a negative factor, to others it was a self-discovery journey as they had the time to discover what they wanted in Life. If anything, Covid taught us some valuable lessons- to slow down and to be grateful for what we might have taken for granted. 

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