Long time no see. I hope the month of September was not too painful and that most of you got to do the things they wanted to do. It is not because the world is slowing down that it stops you from achieving your goals. The proof is the world flew at a thousand kilometres per hour, with protests and raising up their voices for injustice or cancelling people… (let’s not get into this topic, I will GET MAD). While all this nonsense was going around on what we call SOCIAL media, I was peacefully watching some Sebastian Stan content on Instagram – because let’s be honest, if there is one thing quarantine has taught me, is that I LOVE THIS MAN TO THE MOON AND BACK!
Social Media… that name used to evoke peace and fun back when I was a teenager. I used it to have the latest news of the many fandoms in which I was: One Direction, Marvel, Once Upon A Time…… that’s about it. I loved coming home after school and rushing my homework just to be on my phone and talk with my Internet friends – I remember talking to this girl from Peru and we were having SO MUCH FUN fangirling over the boys from One Direction – and when I got fifteen, I loved being on Youtube and Facebook to catch the latest news on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies. Until I graduated from high school, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat, Vine (do I have fanatics of Vine up in here? Gosh, this app was the BOMB!!!) and Pinterest were my platforms. I was navigating through them, not in an insane way, but I was doing it like any other normal fanatic teenagers would… frantically…
Then, I got older… I became an adult, my fangirling and over obsessive thoughts calmed down. It was not about meeting them and marrying them and building a family (or whatever that ideology was) but the obsession was – and still is – centered on who they are as people in their environments. I focused my interests on how they reflected a part of my beliefs, how I viewed life, how I wanted to exemplify myself in public and with the world throughout their encouragement and ways of living. Fangirling became strategic. I brought the ratio down to a limited number of people I allowed myself to gush over because they were resembling the better version I wanted to become. And that is why social media became my best friend…
… and worst enemy all at once. How can something made for fun and exchange and diversity turn into the one thing you hate the most in life: lust, deceitfulness, lies, propaganda of false news and HATRED, pure HATRED. From the age of 18 up until almost me being 23, I have seen things that I wish my brain could erase forever but apparently modern technology does not allow it just yet.
So, Munchkins, let’s talk about social media. According to me, social media is a place of discovery and camaraderie, a place of exchange and safety. So how did it turn into the place where people deliberately type in whatever they feel necessary to type in. How come “my safe haven”, the place I would go to to escape the local or global news, became a hostile and uneasy terrain. It seems like yesterday they were there, smiling at us, telling us: “hey you’ve had a bad day, watch a few videos to forget and laugh, you know you want to laugh…”. Yet now, they look at us with a defying glance of “I dare you to scroll a bit too much and you’ll be disappointed”.
(Do not get me wrong, I still use my platforms, Instagram especially, (Facebook is dead to me, sorry not sorry, the only thing I love on Facebook is the B0LD Facebook page hehe), to spread awareness, to repost things I find funny and my followers can appreciate or post cute selfies because yes even I kind of like the idea of selfies, I’m a sucker for them and I have one too many of myself on my phone. Anyways… I use social media because I still believe that there is a great purpose in spreading the news and meeting people from across the world or participating in fandoms that share the same thoughts as you. )
It is easy today to sit behind a screen, like I am doing by writing this article, and say the worst things I want to say only to express my emotion and get on with my day, but do I know how bad the repercussions are? Let’s simulate this: Carole is an actress, Carole plays in a movie with Bob the actor and I hate Bob the actor. When Carole posts a picture of her and Bob, I just type in: “You’re such a bitch, I can’t believe you work with this….” and I insult both Bob and Carole as much as I want. Now I, Seb, am unknown. Nobody knows my story, where I live, how I act, but people see my comment. Some will defend Carole, some will take part with me and hate her too for something that is beyond MY, OUR understanding. A group will attack her because I had the audacity to post something false, crude and mean to express my anger and to ruin her. Do you see where I am going with this example?
If we are not allowing people to bully others IN PHYSICALITY, then why the eff are we letting people do it online? When has it become a bad thing to denounce hatred and insensitive people? When has it become wrong to report a page for false accusations and defamation of news. Bigger question: WHEN WAS IT EVER OKAY TO LET IT SLIDE AND NOT FIGHT BACK?
If you know me, you know that I stand by justice. I EAT IT like it’s the last good meal there is on this planet. And there are days when I cry because all I can do is share a post, hoping people will read and repost on their pages creating a wave… Because no, it’s not effin true that if you do not talk about a subject, such as the BLM, you are for Racism. I am A BLACK WOMAN myself and I did not speak about it for 2 weeks or so… Go on and cancel me because apparently, I am racist (believe me that I am laughing out loud on how absurd this is – and yes I’ve been told so before, go figure…)
This looks like I am ranting and I understand why it would give that impression, but I am expressing my concern towards something that might ruin us if we do not pay attention to its repercussions.
When you post something online:
- Make sure that you are not repeating something to EVERYONE just because you heard from the neighbor’s cousin. Make sure your information is valid and RELEVANT.
- It’s okay to share your content whatever that might be but make sure that you respect YOURSELF and the GUIDELINES of the platform you are using.
- Remember that people follow you and see you through a screen. I know for a fact that whatever I see on a screen is not always the truth but keep in mind that a generation of young kids roam the web (being unsupervised by their parents!!!!) and they do not know and they get educated by seeing false statements.
- When you want to comment on someone’s post, MAKE SURE you use your words properly and not insult the person. It is one thing to attack an argument, it is another to attack the person. In the end, you know, hate the sin, love the sinner…
- Remember to spread the truth about YOU. What I mean by that is, do not pretend to be something you are not. If you do not feel like posting on your Facebook page or Instagram or YouTube, that is your business and you owe an explanation to no one. In the end, the people who care about you and love you will not love you less because of your absence. Just be you
- If you see something that IS NOT TRUE or disturbing not only for you but for the people using the platform, just hit report or block the person. It only takes a click.
You do not have to follow what I am saying. If you want to be mean, go ahead and be mean, and if I am to be honest, I do share content with my friends that I know I judge wrong but because someone else did it, I find it less bad so I can laugh… but I am not better than the one who comments. A wrongdoing is wrongdoing, no matter how big or small it is. It is never easy to be 100% nice and forget yourself to be the better person, but it is always the right thing to do. And as my mom always says: “If it’s relevant speak. If not, forever close your mouth and move on”; to which a biblical verse can be added: “I can do everything but not everything is useful…” So, I can be mean and I sit down behind my laptop and tap whatever I wish to say, but is it okay? Is it the right thing to do? And how do we know that we have not hurt someone along the way? This also goes back to the Golden Rule: “Do not do to others what you wouldn’t want done to you…”
Remember to be wise and to follow people who better you and reflect a piece of who you are. Be sensitive to the subjects around you. Share and spread awareness, love and help, smile and enjoy the bits of life there are. Do not waste your energy on hating, but spend it appreciating the world around you. It is amazing what you can find and see if you only stop hating…
With all my love
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1 thought on “A thesis on perception and open-mindedness – Part 2”
[…] On things we learnt, we have seen not only the effects of social media but truly helpful guidelines to have a positive impact on your plateforms with Seb in her brilliant article : A Thesis on open-mindedness part 2. […]