Colombo Confessions: #Hashtag This Bish

Colombo Confessions is all about having a laugh. I’ve had the misfortune of associating with a wide cross-section of Colombo denizens. This column is a look at the lighter (sometimes) side of Lankans in the capital of Sri Lanka. 

Social influencing is a fantastic initiative. Well, actually it was. Until it became a social event to get some attention. Everyone’s an activist these days – on social media that is. (This is just my way – albeit, politely – of saying that some of these hooligans just can’t find gainful employment). There’s nothing quite like rousing up your audience to “feel” for a cause you’re passionate about. 

The current flash-in-the-pan event taking all our social media by storm is #StopEcocideSL. How about #StopTheHypocrisy directed at some of these frustrated so-called influencers who have been sashaying from one corner of Viharamahadevi to the other, caring about whales and trees, all just for the sake of more interactions on their TikTok accounts? What is this but a cheap search for more “engagement”? 

Yes, we know that addiction to dopamine can lead to that forever search for likes, comments and shares by “any means necessary”. But do you really care about the trees, or do you just want to garner more followers? Are you just talking about impassioned youth and their right to shout about a cause they believe in, so you can jump onto a bandwagon of trends to monetise your social “platforms” to sell products that are actually made from trees, or worse, plastic(!)?

I bet you’re having a whale of a time, aren’t you? Perhaps instead of laying your childhood trauma on the rest of society and harming young minds, you can be the woke person you claim to be, and resolve your drama? I know one or two therapists who might help. (Unless they’ll need therapy in their attempt to help you).

I wonder how many trees cried tears of chlorophyll when they were transformed into posters for your part in the soiree at the park, if you even went to the park, as some of you brave (and loud) social warriors have not. Screaming about a problem in public like it’s that time of the month won’t cut it. Trying to trend on social media while wearing a custom-designed sarong and pretending to be today’s Che Guevara is as cheap as me writing this column to draw attention to myself and your stupidity.

Let’s go back to the good ol’ days when Instagram was for our vicarious food shots and pics of heritage sites. Or, at least have a ripped pair of abs if you’re planning on influencing us with something positive. You know that is sure to sizzle our eyes during this cold and rainy season. With all respect to chihuahuas across the world, your collective barks are a complete waste of time. First and foremost – learn to string a sentence together before you verbalise your ineffectual discontent from the comfort of your home.

Or, you could equally hug and kiss a tree instead. Get some of that oxytocin coursing through your veins. That’s sure to sprinkle some spring into your step, which would be of more use than causing traffic jams far and wide. 

Finally, do society a favor and stay away from the parks. As you’d know, you’re a public nuisance and I think the grass and trees would agree. Be like us introverts, unite at home, and put pen to paper and direct your ire at the rest of the world. With time, at least you’ll be guaranteed of getting your verbs and adjectives right. I wonder how many of you were tweeting #StayHomeStaySafe until this new cause caught your fancy.


(Rohitha Perera is a writer, blogger, and content marketer from Colombo, Sri Lanka. He used to be an editor at a lifestyle magazine, and now works in the IT industry)


The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication.