In the early months of 2012, social media was flooded with the spectacle of Kony 2012. I donated money to the cause, tweeted the hashtag, and posted the red “Kony 2012” poster to show support. But ever since it was revealed to be a scam, I don’t know who to trust.
Yes, it has been almost a decade. And yes, it still impacts my quality of life and all my relationships.
I used to believe in the general good of humanity. Now I’m constantly looking over my shoulder to see if some white guy in California with a YouTube channel is going to convince me to donate money to his charity so he can singlehandedly change Ugandan politics. I guess I thought if the U.S Army can’t intervene in another countries politics, maybe a 30-minute YouTube doc could? I may have only been a child, but I’m still the fool who fell for Kony 2012, and the fool who, so many years later, still has deep-seated trust issues.
Should I go to therapy? Probably. But how am I supposed to trust them, either?
Since the whole Kony 2012 thing, I don’t even feel like I can trust myself. I keep my guards high. I avoid commitment; the only love I can accept is fast and vapid. Everyone is just a YouTube video or a tweet away from breaking my heart. And to think that all my relationship issues are because of a guy with a white savior-ass charity.
Of course, just because I’m a person with trust issues doesn’t mean I’m cruel. On first dates, I tell my suitors that I’m looking for a very lowkey chill fling because I trust no one after Kony 2012. My dates usually ask, “Did they catch Joseph Kony?” Nope! It was all for nothing, and I’m left with my cloying paranoia and Kony 2012 merch that I purchased with babysitting money in middle school.
Before Kony 2012, I was an easy-going kind soul. Now I don’t know who I am. Am I knowledgeable on the topic of Ugandan politics or history? Nope, but I am someone who thought I could trust everyone on my timeline and all the celebs who were raising awareness on Kony 2012. Like, they showed that video at a school assembly?!
Now I’m scorned because I thought I was making real change by tweeting Kony 2012. Turns out I was actually encouraging American interventionist imperialism in Uganda. Years after Kony 2012, I’m still careful with who I let into my heart. Kony 2012 taught me to isolate myself from others and to fact check the information I see on social media.
If your life was also shattered by the shady uncoiling of the Kony 2012 timeline, I would say reach out, but I really don’t trust your intentions!