After some time ago I uninstalled WhatsApp and tried so hard to resist the inner temptation of adopting it back in my daily routine of virtual communications (the peer pressure to be back was too huge), now I experimented with a milder strategy of controlled disconnecting in the time of hyperconnectivity.
This time I tried to leave some WhatsApp groups. But believe me, it is not because I despise those in them. They are kind and nice. Several verbal attacks might occur occasionally but are relatively forgivable.
At first, I thought this would be a successful strategy to restrict my WhatsApp data consumption, which according to my casual digital audit contributed the biggest percentage of my online activity. It dawned on me too that financially this has to be managed and controlled. It is not that I can’t afford the data plan but as I think more this
And then I wish to limit my screen time, too. I have done too much work with computers in all sorts. Laptops, Smartphones, both combined are so lethal and eye strain kills me at the end of the day. My eyes suffer. And the dark circles and eye bags don’t seem very nice on me. This is getting serious, I thought.
But apart from all that mentioned above, my relationships may suffer in some way. Because I left the groups announced, without any prior notice or – even worse- conflicts, I might be seen as impolite, uncivilized, overly sensitive ( baper as Jakartans call it), silly, eccentric, bizarre, even cocky and mentally unpredictable.
Mau drama dan lakon seperti apapun di panggung bernama Indonesia ini, pasti ada 3 aktor utamanya:Jawa, Arab dan China. Orang Jawa dominasinya di mana-mana, apalagi di politik dan birokrasi. Presiden-presiden kita banyak yang Jawa. Para petinggi bawahannya juga.
Orang berdarah Arab berkuasa lebih kuat hampir selalu di ranah keyakinan. Berbekal nama, rupa dan garis keturunan itu, dengan tingkat penguasaan ilmu agama yang relatif sama dengan orang alim yang bukan Arab, mereka pasti dipandang lebih istimewa.
Lalu orang berdarah China, sebagai rahasia umum, merajai sektor ekonomi. Mereka, meski tak semua, pintar mengelola dan mengembangbiakkan harta. Sebuah keahlian yang membuat iri etnis lain.
Kemudian datanglah masa perubahan ini. Semuanya dikocok ulang. Paradigma yang berlaku sejak masa kolonial di atas menjadi kacau balau karena ternyata ada China yang bisa mengelola pemerintahan dengan lebih bagus. Dan kalau tidak dihalangi, bisa saja ia melaju ke kursi nomor satu negeri ini. Bahaya sekali!
Mungkin jika ada Jawa yang sukses berbisnis, skala kegaduhannya tidak sebesar ini karena sekup dunia bisnis itu bisa dikatakan tak terhingga. Siapa saja bisa masuk ke dalamnya. Lain dari domain politik yang hanya bisa dilakoni oleh orang-orang yang lebih terbatas. Arena politik makin ramai dengan masuknya Arab yang juga tertarik masuk ke birokrasi.
Agama juga sama terbuka. Bahkan kalau ada China yang jadi ulama akan dianggap sebagai anomali yang menarik hati. Ambil saja Syafi’i Antonio sebagai modelnya. Lagipula agama mengajarkan kesetaraan. Yang bermakna cuma ketakwaan.
Dan sebagai alas dari panggung akbar ini adalah akar rumput yang ‘kering’ karena kemiskinan. Saking keringnya, kecokelatan hangus seperti rumput lapangan sepakbola kampung yang tak pernah diurus. Akibat sedikit gesekan langkah dan polah elit ketiga unsur tadi, musnahlah mereka. Lagi-lagi mereka tidak sadar menjadi tumbal bagi pertarungan sengit yang nanti juga bakal rujuk lagi jika ada kesamaan kepentingan. Tapi bukan akar rumput namanya jika mengenal kata ‘kapok’. Kebandelan mereka mirip bandelnya rumput teki yang meski diinjak-injak masih tetap bisa tumbuh lagi dan menyediakan keempukan bagi kaki-kaki para penginjaknya. Konyol.
Ya semua pola itu sudah, masih dan akan selalu berlaku di sini. Kita semua hanya cukup memaklumi jika suatu hari nanti akan terjadi kejadian-kejadian serupa itu lagi lalu mengingatnya sebagai “wolak waliking jaman” (terbolak-baliknya zaman). Ah, Jawa ini muncul juga. (*)
It was one fine morning when we got there. Anton was there with me. We just finished visiting and sightseeing at a tourist attraction which was spiritually fulfilling to me. The air was as pristine as it could be, the greenery was everywhere to behold and enjoy. I did enjoy every second of our visit there. No complaint whatsoever.
Just at the threshold of the exit, Anton bumped into another man earning a living from tourism. A curly-haired man with sunburned skin that I guess is from the eastern part of the archipelago. I didn’t intend to be physical but it was just a possible and easy way to identify his origin. And his accent simply justified my hunch.
As we sat together, they chattered some serious stuff. “What are you husy now with, Jerry?” Anton asked.
I made no remarks. I had no intention to contribute any ideas or topics to this conversation. I just acted silent and observant as well as curious at the same time.
Jerry exuberantly replied,”This time I’m ready for Raja Ampat. Are you in?”
He tried to talk Anton into the idea of guiding foreign tourists around the highly popular tiurist destination which I have never seen with my own eyes. To lure these tourists, he offered a very affordable getaway package price.
The more, the merrier, that is his marketing concept.
Intriguing, I must say. This is especially alluring to those Raja Ampat virgins like myself.
Jerry operates his own travelling agency. It was a startup but thanks to the connections of his throughout his career as a tourism worker for years, the business is going well. He and the startup target cost-sensitive tourists, hoping to get as much as discount as they can. The more they can save, the better. Even if that means stripping away the convenience features and surviving only with essentials. Not more. Not less.
Anton was a little bit taken aback. He may be surprised in a major way at how his friend approached tourism in one of the most exotic and hyped tourist destinations on the planet. The pricing is incredibly tempting yet somehow suspiciously low. But that’s what all of tourists who have budget restrictions desire in fact.
As we – Anton and I – were on our way home, he elaborated his arguments opn this and how he disagreed with Jerry in many fundamental manners.
Anton can’t and refuses to work with people with different ways of thinking and world view. And Jerry was one of them.
“He only wants to make as much money as he can off of Raja Ampat. I don’t think I can do the same. I just don’t want.”
While Jerry wants more and more people to come by puchasing his package of getaway , Anton shuns such a thing. Not as brutally agressive as Jerry is, he has in his mind and ethical approach to tourism.
“Mass tourism looks easy and promising at the beginning. But it takes quite a while to realize how destructive it can really become and impact on every element of ecosystem, particularly the living environment around the adjacent area of a increasingly-heavily-swarmed-and-exploited tourist destination.
“Can you imagine what happens to a place where no one inhabited or rarely visited back then and then at an alarming rate, more people start to flock there? I can’t!” he reasoned.
I nodded. He made his point.
Anton was very concerned as more people know and throng an untouched, naturally beautiful area, the risks of environmental sustainability also soars. It does make sense to me.
So how can we make use of these available resources and potentials without exploiting too much?
I started to think of applying quotas. Yes, it might be useful to apply quota system to control so as to prevent the environment and the entire fragile sea ecosystem from collapsing way too early and from being used up greedily by capitalism.
Should the government intervene? The sooner government interventions are to be made, the better I think things would turn out because when things are too late to recover and reorganize, the costs are much higher. This has always been the case in Indonesia: madly exploiting, profiting, realizing the mistakes and eventually regretting for ever. Repeated mistakes that no one seems to care must be prevented from occuring once again. (*)