“Social media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.” – Brian Solis
So this isn’t about Twitter… but it started with Twitter. I figured it would be a great place to test my clever in 280 characters or less. I figured right, just a few days in my words were causing a little stir. I found it refreshing… even the insults. And when you are out here being Wonder Woman, slaying racists and hoteps with your Black AF bracelets and an invisible unicorn with faux dreads and ankh ankle bracelets, the insults are aplenty. I’m all free speech, all the time… but understand that goes both ways. You come for me, I’ll send for you. Twitter fingers do turn to trigger fingers, but we’ll keep it all digital.
Born out of the premise that an exchange of ideas, networking, could change the way we do everything from communicating to sharing ideas to business, the growth of social media… from its first site in 1997 to now … blew tf up. Social media is the biggest fad that never went away. It has gone from something young technology savvy kids (read socially awkward nerdy kids) used to become popular to something the 72 year old, rich, White, male and bigoted President of the United States (read socially awkward ignorant old man) uses to gain popularity. They say if you don’t grow, you die, and I agree. Some things, however, mutate and grow into cancer. A lot of what I see shared and boosted on social media is killing spirits, brain cells, and humanity one keystroke at a time.
Q-W-E-R-T-Y started this shit!
When I was learning to type in high school, I memorized the keyboard. I said QWERTY so much it became a word in my mind. So one day while dominating someone at Scrabble (cuz that’s what I do), I wanted to go out SKRONG and there was a triple word score free but I had to make a word that ended in something that would make a word with a solitary letter B. I had 6 tiles…TEWQYR and I was stuck. I knew my word had to end in E or Y to make BE or BY but there was nothing I could come up with until I rearranged the letters one final time. Now I figured QWERTY was not a real word, but fuck it, so went for it! Of course my big brained opponent challenged my word, but at that point you just grab your balls and don’t back down. So she was forced to look it up, and….
I was floored. How in the HELL was this made up shit a real word?!?!
Just like the QWERTY keyboard was invented to slow down typists by randomly placing the letters so the mechanics of the typewriter wouldn’t malfunction, social media set out to redefine the social world, for nerdy White guys with influence who wanted popularity they didnt have the social capital to buy. A made up world that we have invested in so much, many of us have lost our identities there… or created ones we could never live in real life. Yet social media has impacted and in many ways created every single facet of our lives, from love to health to our professional lives. Funny how we now use that same keyboard, once just a tool to better our lives even though it slowed us down, as a tool to create and simultaneously destroy lives. That’s what happens when you make shit up. You plan for the good… but you can’t control the bad. As great as social networking, gap bridging, and idea sharing tool has become, it’s also a feeding ground for insecurity, dishonesty, corruption, manipulation, harassment, taunting, and everything in between.
-We can broadcast and shed light on incidents of discrimination and racism across the world; In today’s #MAGA climate, it serves as a white hood for racists.
-We can discuss and mobilize around school shootings, the killing of unarmed Black children, prison reform, and social injustice; In today’s white supremacists empowered climate, it also weakens our mental state to watch images of our bodies and our children’s bodies desecrated and mistreated to the point of self harm.
-We can share messages of self-worth, images of ourselves that highlight all types of beauty, intelligence, and success; In today’s bullying climate, it serves as an insult room for the chronically insecure.
-We can educate the masses on who we all are and how diversity impacts innovation, creativity, and brings about a richer experience; In today’s #anti-difference climate, it provides a place to attack anything that isn’t like you to keep systems of superiority in place.
Be clear, I am in no way suggesting people should be censored on social media or even that it should be regulated. It was created by the people, for the people, and we can control how we use it and hold others accountable for how they use it. Influence does not breed popularity, but the money that influence brings might. So social media went from a communication and purely networking tool to a business resource. It made Mark Zuckerberg, perhaps the nerdiest White Boy in the land, a multimillionaire several times over. We use it to share and grow movements now more than ever.
It has morphed into many things, but a tool of hate is one purpose we shouldn’t stand behind. The open sharing of thoughts in a humane manner can change the way we think, learn, communicate, and do business. It already has. But we don’t have to make it a comfortable place for racists, hoteps, sexists, xenophobes, homophobes, rape apologists, or any other foul humans. Hold them accountable. Call them out. Be Superman, their kryptonite is truth. Be Aquaman, and drown them with facts. Be Catwoman, Eartha Kitt not Halle Berry, and lure them with your purr so you whip them into shape. Or just risk it all and be Black Panther, and stop them and their shit like a wall of steel. And while we’re at it, can we get that alphabetical keyboard back?!?
Back to Twitter:
There is far too much to respond to. Sometimes you just pick which one will allow you to use your 280 in the most profound way. Pistol Pete here wasn’t worth my 280 at the time, but it’s Sunday, and I’ve got a little time now.