The age of the ‘bubble’

The age of the ‘bubble’

When laws fail to protect people and start to serve as a tool to create a protective shield around the financially and politically powerful, that’s when democracy and equality walk away. That’s when chaos starts. Societies begin to fall to pieces, become polarized and environmental issues are undervalued; shortsightedness and corruption spread like the plague.

Under severe stress and insecurity created by poorly executed laws, populism and power games, our responses have changed. With the existence of authorities whose main goal is to protect their influence and power, individuals in society find new ways to survive other than “flying” or “fighting.”

They create a “bubble.”

In the new age, where maintaining power on one hand and political agendas on the other hand matter more than human life, your existence is always at stake, whether you are aware of it or not.

Polarization undervalues human loss by creating lies and confusion. I feel for the parents of the victims of the Florida school shooting when students who have spoken up against gun violence have been claimed as “crisis actors” by conspiracists. It’s a moment of madness. And when United States President Donald J. Trump spoke about the possibility of arming teachers, it’s hard to stay sane under these circumstances.

I feel for hundreds of children and women who were victims of sexual violence in Turkey. Numbers tell a horrendous story. According to the women’s rights activist platform “We Will Stop Femicide,” 409 women were killed in sexually related murders, 332 women and children were subjects of sexual violence and 398 children were molested or raped by men in 2017. Preventing sexual violence towards children and women has never been a priority in Turkey until today. Chemical castration is on the table now, fines and new laws against pedophiles and adultery law might be considered under the same framework, which is a big mistake. Chemical castration is a temporary solution. Adultery and pedophilia cannot be compared with one another.

When people feel unsafe where they live and develop a belief that laws fail to protect them, the survival story changes. Some people “fly,” find themselves a civilized place they can live; some people stay and “fight” with irrationality and political agendas and seek for equality.

There is a new way to survive in this era and unfortunately, many people have fallen for it.

It is the age of “the bubble.” For many, “bubbles” are the only way to survive in this dystopian world. People who have found the solution in “bubbles” choose their neighborhoods, friends, the places they go, the papers they read or the social media accounts the follow very carefully. As expected of them, they adopt selective deafness in their echo chambers over what has really been going on. They hear about incidents but act numb towards corruption, the lawlessness and politicians’ agendas. They feel sad for murders, corruption and the direction that their countries’ are headed but if they are not personally affected, sadness only exist in words or in hashtags.

But the thing about bubbles is, they are not “safe territories” where you will be unaffected no matter what. They could be destroyed by a powerful person, a politician or any authority in the glimpse of an eye if there is no real democracy and laws are not strong enough. Bubbles cannot protect you from violent men, molesters or murderers.

Living in a bubble distracts you from reality and damages your perspective. It changes how you look at your life. It makes you care less about others. If you stay long enough in the bubble, it becomes your prison. A prison that you willingly put yourself in, falling for an illusion that it’s a survival zone that needs to exist but in real life, reality actually exists outside of the bubble.

Abraham Maslow once said, “In any given moment we have two options—to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” But this time, in the era of bubbles, no one is safe. 

So, we only have one option: To step forward and to raise our voices.

melike karakartal, hdn, Opinion