One look at you and they are convinced you are buoyant enough to fulfil their monetary needs.
Welcome to the world of online beggars.
These days, I am wary of responding to private messages from acquaintances or random social media contacts due to one ugly trend: Begging.
Wherever you turn, there’s someone itching to send you their account details.
They lurk on virtual alleys—from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram—seeking whom to fleece.
You could be ranting about COVID-19 and its impact on the world’s economy and someone would respond with their bank information asking you to do giveaway. The sense of entitlement and shamelessness displayed is something that should be studied in schools.
I have never understood the thinking behind requesting financial assistance from a complete or relative stranger except in desperate situations.
Sometimes, the ties do not extend beyond being connected on one of the social media platforms, yet folks have no scruples showing up in the DMs to entreat a relative alien to part with their hard-earned cash.
No category of people is exempt from this display of foolery.
Students, job seekers, and the working class tell tales of woe that are supposed to evoke pity and produce the end-result of making the perceived richer individual dole out cash.
When this subtle blackmail fails to elicit the response they desire, they switch characters. The “humble” fan mutates to an unforgiving antagonist.
And for those whose claims of penury are legitimate, there’s still the question of dignity.
I am sorry but begging strips you of your dignity. It is the lowest form of desperation to invade a random DM to demand money.
There are poor people who do not beg. Instead, they work hard and seek avenues to add value to others in exchange for financial reward—as it should be. They know that soliciting funds they haven’t earned opens them up to disrespect.
It’s the way the world works; nobody accords importance to a leech or a needy person.
This culture of online begging has produced a string of others who capitalise on the trend to initiate giveaways.
They are celebrated because they are perceived as generous. The ones who feel the pain of the “poor” and address it, unlike others who express cynicism about the genuineness of their claims.
It can also be argued that giveaways embolden more people to resort to begging.
Is this piece to disparage generous and kind-hearted individuals who are led to give? Not in the least.
However, I often wonder if these social media philanthropists are as magnanimous as they appear. I am curious because there’s hardly anyone who doesn’t have physical neighbours, friends, and family who are struggling to find the next meal.
People who do not need to be investigated because their poverty is glaring.
Whenever I have considered giving to strangers online, my conscience wouldn’t let me because I am reminded that there are persons in my life or around me who need my assistance more. Imean…how poor is an online beggar if he can still afford data?
I examine my motive for wanting to share with people who may even be more well off than me.
Many times, online philanthropists do it for the show. To announce to the world that they are doing something for their helpless followers who in turn shower them with accolades.
I wonder why they take pictures of the beneficiaries when they aren’t running NGOs or other sundry groups who have to demonstrate accountability through this gesture.
When people give to the poor in their personal capacity and go ahead to splash photos and videos all over Facebook or Instagram, what are they hoping to achieve?
The argument that they do it to encourage others to emulate them is watery.
People who are inclined to give always give; it doesn’t matter if they are well to do or scraping by themselves.
In recent times, we have even found that some of those who champion these giveaways are so “passionate” about it because it gives them the leeway to enrich themselves.
I daresay if you have relatives and friends who have needs yet come online to conduct giveaways, you are far from being open-handed.
No, you are a praise seeker. A charlatan.