Last year on Independence day my friend almost got cancelled by the mob because he tweeted that patriotism is dumb. Being a good friend I DM’ed him on why his take was bad. Sharing it here, after slight edits, because it ties to a lot of themes I write about on this blog.
“I don’t agree with the patriotism is dumb take. I myself don’t care about the topic much. I hate all labels. But I can understand why people are mad at you. Let’s accept that life is meaningless. Most of us are looking for things that give it meaning. Things that are bigger than our self. It can be nationalism for some, sports, religion for others. These things make people feel bigger than who they are. Like they are part of something. It gives them identity. See all these idiotic fights between bitcoin maximalists and the rest of crypto junta. All of these are identity games. But people are invested in these identities. And you won’t get away by tweeting that X is dumb. When you attack patriotism, you attack their identity. This is true for India as well as other countries.
Your patriotism is dumb take would have got you a strong response everywhere in the world, not just India. Imagine tweeting what you did as an American on 4th of July when your fellow countrymen are out celebrating with their family. Bursting firecrackers and celebrating their nation. They would get mad too. Yes, you will get a few people to agree with your take, if you go deeper identity politics is somewhat dumb, but you will piss off far more people.
Now let’s come to intention. If your intention was to piss snowflakes and get them to unfollow you then maybe posting a strongly worded tweet like you did was a good strategy. Long back I used to just post shit about the Government because I wanted to get people to either block me, or fight with me, and then I would block them. I did not want followers who would get mad over things I post. And getting thin skinned people out of my timeline was an intentional move. I just want freedom to post whatever I want. If it leads to people unfollowing me, I don’t care.
Generally tweets on these topics always trigger a visceral reaction. So if it was to filter, then good job. Else these takes are pointless. These tweets won’t ever lead to a discussion that you will learn anything from. It will be just blaming and calling each other names. Or people judging you silently. And hoping for you to get cancelled one day.”