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By ANWAR HADI
alltherage@thestar.com.my

AFTER a couple of haze-filled months, Malaysians all over Twitter and Instagram rejoiced at the return of visible blue skies by posting pictures of what they saw upwards and liking a whole bunch more while looking downwards at their phones.

It seems to be a lot to ask for us smartphone users to look at the outside world for more than twenty seconds, as the world inside our devices seems so much more engaging.

I suppose the most frustrating thing for me is that I can’t double-tap the sky, but a 1:1 picture of the sky on my phone is another matter altogether.

In spite of the haze, a lot of Malaysians have taken to vaping nowadays.

While some say they vape because it’s a healthier alternative to cigarettes, joining the #VapeOn movement in a quest to quit the cancer sticks, others are on it just to jump on the bandwagon. It was all good and dandy, until several vape shops were raided by the authorities.

As usual, most took to their social media to express their dismay at what they saw as an injustice.

They do, of course, have a case, as proper vape-selling guidelines were never communicated to them. And even if they were, they were not granted enough time to comply to said guidelines.

Conspiracy theorists would also argue that the crackdown on vape vendors were a way to keep the masses off vape and on the highly taxed cigarettes. The little guy got the short end of the stick yet again as big corporations get their way.

What else can the local startup business-people do but to express their distress through posting their pictures and feelings on their smartphones?

And then there are the more trivial matters taking up our time on social media – Drake’s new single Hotline Bling has been in our heads for a while now, for better or for worse.

The good part, for me at least, is that the virality of the song has also brought about a host of GIFs and JPEGs parodying the inang-like dance moves Drake dished out in the music video.

Another song that has been making waves on social media is Adele’s Hello. Old souls would probably follow up the song title with “is it me you’re looking for?”.

Alas, this is a completely different song; but it is doing a good job of replacing the Lionel Richie classic, at least in the minds of active Twitter users.

Parodies of the song have been going around social media and I, for one, have been enjoying them so much that the song has been playing on loop in my head for more than is desired.

Now that we’ve talked about Instagram pics of blue skies, the endless posts about vape and viral music videos, it’s time to get serious for a bit.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) was big news on social media too, with plenty of infographics being tweeted and retweeted, because for a hot minute, it was the “in” thing to do.

Most were concerned with the secrecy of the process, and how the agreement could potentially bite the layperson in the backside since we have largely been kept out of the process.

Some weren’t sure if the agreement was made with the people’s interests in mind at all. But, just as quickly as the issue trended, it died down and we were back to ooh-ing and ah-ing Twitter’s new poll feature.

Does this say something about our attention span? A) Yes. B) Ooh, squirrel!

Anwar Hadi is a vlogger who usually shares his two cents at youtube.com/IniAnwarHadi.

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