“oh, I Am Offended.” An Open Letter In Relation To The Snapchat Fiasco

Posted by Bhavya Bhatt
April 23, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Dearest “I’m offended”,

I’m glad you take everything seriously and some things even more seriously when they’re apparently offending. I am glad you acknowledge Article 19 of the Indian Constitution and express your views. So here I am, using the very same right and this time of mine (instead of simply getting offended by what others say) to write a letter, because I guess it’s time you see where you’re going wrong. Getting offended is not an issue, really! It’s your right to get upset. It’s your right to perceive things as you like. But this tends to get overboard many a times without you even realizing it.

So let’s get started with the Snapchat Fiasco which trended for about 2 days and later got suppressed by yet another issue, because that’s how the scene here is! The Snapchat CEO said that he doesn’t want to expand services to poor countries like India and Spain. However, there is no direct statement from him on this topic. He didn’t say that India is a poor country publicly. It has been said, in a court document filed by a disgruntled employee, that the Snapchat CEO said he wasn’t bothered with poor countries like India and Spain. “This app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain,” reads the statement that has been credited to Spiegel. The question is, SO WHAT? So what, if the CEO even said the above statement? What makes this piece of news so important that we leave behind all the work we had, just to sit and debate over it? What makes this particular issue trend all week long? 

I know you’re upset and hurt about the said statement. I am too, but  I surely didn’t react the way you did. I didn’t uninstall Snapchat or rate the app with one star. We’re all unquestionably busy, but I see there’s always time for getting offended, right? “Let’s just do the hate commentary on the app, let’s just uninstall Snapdeal (Oh, let’s be unaware too!)” However, what compels me to question you is, was it all worth it? I don’t think so, and I’ll tell you why.

Firstly, almost every hour, every day, there’s a statement that’s passed by us (yes, both you and me) on how backward India is. We surely criticize our country to levels no one can even imagine. We seldom wish ‘Oh! Only if we were born in some other country!’. We also say ‘ISS DESH KA KYA HOGA’ when some things upset us. We think of India as a poverty-stricken country. Yet, do we get offended? NO! There are these politicians we preach, who pass derogatory statements about how certain states are backwards and openly criticize their own motherland. Do we get offended? No!
There are Indian companies who may not want to extend their business in states which lack resources and they too, explicitly and circuitously articulate this to the public about how some states are backwards. Do we get offended? No. We shut our brain and pleasantly agree to all what’s said. When we can’t stand up to people who backlash their own country, I do not think we should stand up to the world. People in Spain did not react, on what discretion are we reacting? Ignorance?

Secondly, had Spiegel really considered India a poor country, he wouldn’t even have provided Snapchat to us. Yet, he did, and that too with the  latest updates. We’re all elated to use the flower filter. We’re all delighted and excited to display our happening life in the form of stories to the world. We’ve all increased our “Snap score”. However, instead of being thankful to the  person to have provided so much in such less time, we condemn him for speaking against us, our country. Dear Mr. Spiegel, I am sorry. We don’t deserve your app.

This joint rebellion against Snapchat by uninstalling the app, rating it as one star and passing hate comments, really doesn’t seem like there’s unity but only proves his point. Oh, some of them are pleasantly doing the same for Snapdeal which is ludicrous, sad and funny at the same time.  The CEO may not have intended the statement to be put that way, however, this disorderly act only verifies his statement that India is poor. India is poor, not financially, but DEFINITELY mentally.  And pardon me when I exclaim this, I am not even apologetic about it.  India may be on the path of progress, India may reach among the top three countries of the world some day, however all of this wouldn’t be of any purpose unless we bring about the much required progress in our minds. A country’s development depends upon the minds of the people and with people getting offended at such a petty thing, progress seems a tad daunting to me. Ignorance is bliss, but not at the cost of the God gifted mind which we could certainly be put into better use.

I hope, I didn’t offend you. Even if I did, does it look I am bothered?

Thank you,

Yours sincerely.

PS: Those who’re re-installing the app, I bow down to you! Kudos!

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