Local Facebook Food Groups or Biased Lobbies?

The power of Facebook groups is the same as the kid in the community, who has the ownership of the bat and the ball. Who gets to decide which kid gets to play and which doesn’t; who shall get to bat even after declared an out because he’s good friends with them. My most memorable experience with Facebook group admins started when I got blocked from a very famous Buy & Sell group that has now turned into a proper brand. Nevermind, the story’s the same throughout most prominent groups where the creators tend to not have any mercy towards their members and often show a very demeaning attitude towards the ones who tend to not fall in accordance with their set rules of not just the group but the society as well.

This recent incident where the creator of a very famous food group, SWOT’s (Guide to Karachi Resturants, Cafes, Dhabas, Khokas and Take-outs) commented on a genuine complaint made against a high-end eatery, posted by a member and pointed out that she couldn’t understand the rant since it wasn’t written according to her set standard of ‘English’.

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Calling out to the already distressed client that one cannot understand the complaint just because it had been composed bi-lingually? Which century are we living in? The era of the British. Pfft! The member quite innocently goes on to clear her point ahead, regarding the quality of service she had experienced at the eatery, etc. The argument further enfolded into a loyal vs. virgin customer. We all may agree to it, customer service is never dependent on the number of times you have visited an eatery! It is something that either wins or loses you a customer. The creator of SWOT later very beautifully responded to all the hate and critique received in various groups and forums that hit directly towards her disrespectful attitude.

19665530_480741708940274_3649155634667883328_n.jpgThe reply speaks for itself and needs no further explanation for ‘there are plenty of groups where the likes of you are welcome’, who really determines the ‘like’? There might be many, anxiously waiting outside to get into the group, sad enough, they remain unaware of the way this and many other groups are maintained with the sole monarchical mentality. Similar, biased incidents have happened in the past when a group of bloggers (swoggers) on the SWOT panel; a) refused to attend an event Pakistan Ka Dastakhuwan  (#PKDKhi) because the management had to switch the location from Clifton to Gulshan e Iqbal and b) spent the rest of the time bashing against the entire event without even having to attend it. Luckily, they were pretty much roasted online for their unnecessary attitude and reactions.

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There’s always respect for creators, admins and moderators for having the energy and temperament to get along with the daily nonsense that keeps on taking place within the group. But it never really gives them the power to demean, disrespect or dishonour a person on the basis of how they draft their review, rant, complain or query. These groups provide a greater avenue for foodies, critiques and silent readers who secretly build their opinion based on the reviews shared online.

How would you react if provoked for having used a skill that hadn’t been mastered by many around you?

The Twisted Tale of Viral Social Media Debate

It doesn’t take much for an innocent post to turn into an online dilemma, a heated topic and viral content later on that ends up on almost all the local media publishing pages. So what is it that makes a post questionable? What are some of the most debated, and #hottopics that may help you get some easy overnight fame on a Facebook group, maybe.. Consider the example below that shows how something completely ‘I would call it’ stupid, catches the attention of the ‘group-nazis’ and then the ripple keeps on getting wider and deeper.

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A supposedly ‘expert’ marketer found it highly ‘stupid’ and somewhat ‘offensive’ (on pure marketing merit) to have received a promotional SMS for a sanitary napkins campaign. What happens next? Well, the gentleman puts up a screenshot with a caption that just reads, ‘what the heck?’. Now the term WTH is pretty broad when it comes to trying to decipher the emotions enclosed. This is where it got attention from all the different angles available in any mixed gender, intellectual group!

a. The actually confused audience asking for clarification because duh, they can’t see the obvious

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b. The most common but the most important ‘feminist’ perspective

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c. A pinch of something sane that apparently fails to grab much attention

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d. The ‘popcorn’ worthy pro vs. anti-feminism, cat fight

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e. Then there are the ones who have a very good time adding their irrelevant 2 cents to the thread
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f. Some ‘on-point’ sarcasm or trolling, as we call it.

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g. And last but not the least trying to save your sinking ship with an irrelevant Federal Public Notice!

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This is just one, petty example of how something very naive grabs the attention of the masses just because people mostly refer to the thread underneath while completely ignoring the question, topic, idea, referred to, with the post. Nazis, feminists, realists, haters, trolls have an equal share towards the agenda. Where, media publishing agencies are always bloodthirsty about content that creates more controversy than there already was, threads like these with added screenshots spread across different WhatsApp and social media groups; ladies and gentlemen, give you a viral ‘useless’ story!

#RoohAfzaEidMubarak the classic Mashroob-e-Mashriq

How many of you have actually grown old sipping onto a chilled glass of Rooh Afza served to you on parties, get togethers, random stopovers to family and friends? Having spent half of my lifetime abroad, I very distinctively remember the consistent flavour of the well-known mashroob-e-mashriq. The fancy, frizzy drinks had only become part of the desi household in the new millennium, before that, we only had the pleasure to gulp down chilled, sweet glasses of Rooh Afza.

Have a very vivid memory of my grandparents joyously grabbing our hand, taking us to the bakery, hand-picking all the stuff and then adding on a large bottle of Rooh Afza to take back home and have our formal welcome. Rooh Afza’s TVC for Ramzan resonates with so many of us, on so many levels. No matter how close or far away you live, your bond with your grandparents moves past any such barrier. This is what Rooh Afza successfully showed, along with the wisdom that is transferred through the generations, is simply the sweetest thing to watch

Getting to know more about Hamdard Pakistan through the campaign, it was an eye-opener to know that it is the only organisation that has been celebrating the independence of Pakistan according to the Islamic Calendar, as well. This year, just like the years before Hamdard Pakistan celebrated Pakistan’s independent existence on the 27th of Ramzan, one of the blessed days of Laylatul Qadr. The special TVC for which can be seen here. The struggles, the sacrifices of the era had been real and it was Late Hakim Saeed’s vision throughout his lifetime to celebrate Pakistan’s independence on the Islamic date, along with 14th of August.

This Ramzan, having that close connection with Rooh Afza throughout Iftaar, it was great to see Hamdard Pakistan and Rooh Afza presenting two amazing campaigns with #RoohAfzaRamzanMubarak and recently with #RoohAfzaEidMubarak. TVCs for both brought back quite a lot from the past, for all of us. The warmth, prayers and the shiny envelopes of Eidi handed over early morning by our grandparents, had been the best thing about childhood. Many bloggers participated and reminisced on all the good, old times spent with their grandparents along with the richness of flavour that had been consistent throughout, by Rooh Afza. Hamdard Pakistan definitely pulled off a great campaign, this Ramzan. TVC for #RoohAfzaEidMubarak campaign is shared below:

Jazzing up Ramadan Cricket with #JazzT20Cup

It’s more like Ramadan and cricket go hand in hand. Right from the beginning of Ramadan, the guys tend to come together in groups and initiate the night cricket challenge in the streets, compounds and even in proper cricket grounds. These night matches are highly taken accord of is nothing less than a battle for many! On a happier note, even corporations had taken up the challenge and as a result the T20Coporate Cup that is organised each year by the Moin Khan Cricket Academy with some of the top names amongst the players in each team. The team lineup is as follows:

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While the Press Conference and the logo reveal for #JazzT20Cup took place on the 5th of June, 2017. The celebrity match was disclosed to be on the 8th of June *can’t wait for it to happen’ between two teams which are a tribute to the legends of Pakistan, Junaid Jamshed and Amjad Sabri. With Moin Khan as the commander-in-chief at the conference, it was a pleasure to know what the sponsors had to say regarding bringing back night cricket and entertainment for the families in Karachi. The greatest thing about the tournament is that the entry is Free for families and you come and enjoy as many matches as you wish to! Below is yet another vlog from the event, watch and enjoy: