These days, DHA, Karachi is facing gas load shedding for the first time. It is important to note that we use the gas that originates in Sui, Balochistan-and ironically that city itself has no access to it. Gas distribution is a leading cause of Balochi discontent which led to a lot of political rallying and is hence public knowledge. A gas shortage should have thus generated empathy. The response to this shortage on social media by the residents of DHA was very telling of who we are as a people. A Facebook post was put up to inform how a gas suction pump was illegal, and that it carried a fine of 100,000 rupees as well as imprisonment of six months. The comments were defiant, as they asked for the price of the pump and declared that it was necessary, due to the gas shortage. The extreme entitlement and a mindset of flouting any and every law or rule were due to having no regard for anything beyond self-interest. On a Pakistan wide book lovers group, someone posted about the illegality of the pdf downloads of books. The very first comment said that since Pakistan has no public libraries this was the only way to read. Another Pakistani’s self-serving religious entitlement takes the cake. He said and I quote: “Knowledge is the lost legacy of the true believer, and wherever he finds it, he must claim it.” When it was pointed out that even the Quran is not available for free as resources are used in printing copies and that Islamic scholars and authors are paid salaries and royalties, respectively. Copyrights and intellectual property rights were additionally pointed out. To this, the response was that there was nothing Islamic about selling knowledge. Another person haughtily stated that such illegal downloads of books are a favour to the author because the free availability attracts readers. A poor education that rewards rote learning, allows cheating and favours students on apple polishing, can never produce enlightened graduates. On another Facebook group, someone posted about the recent comment by the Chief Justice of Pakistan about the military renting out commercial weddings venues. One person commented how wedding halls should be closed down across the country. They suggested that weddings must be simplified to stop the wastage of resources and to remove economic pressure from the parents of daughters. This humane comment was met with an aggressive response by a woman who then began to hound the commenter. For an ego trip and to preserve self-interest-hiding behind anonymity-social media engagement etiquettes are non-existent. In one Facebook group, a person asked about the venues with the availability of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, as the Chinese vaccines were not accepted in many European countries, so those intending to travel needed the former. This was met with ignorant and hostile comments that termed it anti-Chinese propaganda. The post was removed by the admin. Groupthink is very common in Pakistani social media, and anyone who goes against the spirit of the group is muted or banned. There is no tolerance for a respectful difference of opinion. When it comes to accepting the rights and opinions of others, strong intolerance is seen on every level. One Facebook post suggested a ban on outsiders in DHA, Karachi, who arrive in droves at the beach on the weekends and create a lot of nuisance in the adjacent areas. When it was pointed out that such a ban is inhuman as the beach belongs to everyone, the responses were extremely rude employing foul four-letter words. As a nation, we have no manners and no ethics. We also love to crib, as it absolves us of all responsibility in improving our lot. On every Pakistani group, there is endless complaining. There is extreme intolerance to an honest assessment of any situation and any possibility of contributory negligence. When people endlessly complain about littered streets, they refuse to accept their role in littering their environment. The government is a perennially favourite scapegoat. During his election campaign, Prime Minister Imran Khan kept telling the people about the money looted by Zardari and Sharif and promised to bring the funds back to Pakistan. This pleased everyone greatly. PTI supporters were over the moon on social media. They thought that Imran Khan would somehow retrieve the money and it would circulate in Pakistan, where public projects such as roads, hospitals and schools would be built with it, improving their quality of life. They could then enjoy living in Pakistan while lying, stealing, cheating, evading taxes and being trashy citizens themselves. The conduct of westerners on all social media is civilized. Not only does this make the social exchange enjoyable but also educational as you learn about various perspectives on a single issue. Facebook groups are additionally well moderated and there is zero tolerance for abusive and vile behaviour. As opposed to this, even well educated Pakistanis are uncouth. In an alumni group of a leading Pakistani business school, the cancellation of Atif Mian’s lecture on the school’s premises led to much discussion. One senior alum wrote a post using advanced English vocabulary and expressed their opinion that an IMF man would not have to offer much beyond furthering the agenda of the Washington Consensus. It led to extreme cyberbullying by the graduates of a top business school. Their attacks were personal and truly vile. The reason d’etre for such vile ganging up was hurt egos. A poor education that rewards rote learning, allows cheating and favours students on apple polishing, can never produce enlightened graduates. It churns out a crop of cutthroat degree holders who are ignorant about global issues and are thus devoid of the capacity to have an opinion on them. They engage in hero worship to boast about any superficial engagement. Actual intellectual input threatens them to the core. Identical behaviour is displayed by dars veterans in neighbourhood dars sessions or even inside the sacred premises of a masjid. Being willful, lazy and ignorant, as a nation, we are aggressive, rude and unethical. We will remain bottom feeders hence. The Quran clearly says: “Verily, Allah will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their inner self.” (13:11) The writer is an independent researcher, author and columnist. She can be reached at email@example.com.