The revolution will not be socialvised. Yes, I know it’s not a word (yet) but I’m coining it from this moment on. Your revolution will not be SOCIAL-vised; meaning the battles you fight on social media are rarely successful. The arguments that you participate in on social media rarely changes the opinion of your oppressor or those who refuse to understand the inequalities that you endure.
I get why you may be angry. Hell, I’m angry about the inequalities that I experience everyday as a black man, but just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean I hate you and just because I suggest a different solution to bridge the divide doesn’t mean I’m working against you. There are the oppressors and there’s the empathetic supporters and not being able to converse with your supporters without demonizing does more damage to your cause than helping it.
We’ve seem to have reached the pinnacle in human conversations through social media where we will either make little progress or make no progress at all in unifying our differences. Make no mistake about the next words you’re going to read. We’re at the apex of dysfunctional dialogue in regards to social media conversation and interaction.
I’m sure you’ve witnessed the emotional carnage left behind on facebook threads, news comment sections and 150 word tweet wars. Maybe you’ve drew the ire of a social media grown ass adult who doesn’t want to hear anything except their very own narrative and maybe you’ve even been the one dishing out the dysfunction. Whichever part you’ve played; whether the witness, the recipient or the deliverer you likely left that thread and/or comment section feeling like shit and if not like shit even more frustrated than you were before commenting or posting your status update wondering why you even bother.
Let’s be absolutely clear. When you interact with someone who CLEARLY has no interest in your cause, in your belief and in the very thing that’s causing you much pain, you should be confrontational. If they’re trying to shut you down or silence your voice you should deliver knowledge so powerful and bad ass to the racist, rapist,sexist, homophobic person and anyone else who discriminates against human beings that their mothers mother ancestors spirit materializes and they ask what happened because they felt pain in their bones resting in the grave. You owe it to yourself to stand for your rights.
Here’s the thing though; everyone isn’t against you, everyone isn’t trying to silence your voice and everyone isn’t trying to make you any less important than us. Some of us actually stand beside you, some of us actually march with you, some of us actually talk against the discrimination publicly because we ourselves are a living reminder of what discrimination feels like. We can stand for the same cause but have different solutions to move the agenda forward.
Honetly, If you can’t tell the difference between someone who’s got your back and someone who turns their back then you’re no better than the person trying to silence your voice. If you’re going to be confrontational with the very people empathetic to your cause just because they see things differently, then you’re actually hurting your own cause. It’s sort of like the person who says “come to church with me and come as you are” and then you get to church and the person who invited you to Church talks bad about the outfit you wore, making you feel bad.
That person who was attempting to be a supporter is likely never coming back to support something that they were trying to understand or get more involved in. So, take some advice from someone who’s experienced this first hand, don’t be a turn off to your own cause, because no matter what type of dance you call it, it’s still shooting at your own feet. The fact is, you can’t tell someone to come support your cause and then talk bad about them because they have a different perspective on it.
How I wear my perspective is to be respected and understood. How I come to you is how you accept me and help me do better and vice versa. Learn to educate without the anger, pain and ridicule. Learn to see another perspective that may help push the agenda forward collectively without you feeling attacked; because fresh eyes often bring fresh ideas and all causes can use fresh ideas.
Please, stop confronting the very people you need in your corner and start having non-confrontational conversations on social media if that’s the only place you have them. The truth is, too many people are typing to respond instead of reading to understand. Too many people are afraid that if another way is possible then their way must be wrong and that’s not the case at all.
Let me clarify, this is not for the people who say Blue Lives matter and don’t say black lives matter. This isn’t for the people who say look at the black on black crime but refuse to say look at the white on white crime. This isn’t for the people who say black people need to go back to Africa and refuse to tell themselves to go back to Europe.
This isn’t for the people who point out drug usage in the black community but refuse to see the opioid epidemic in white america. This isn’t for the people who never share a post or talk against discrimination online. For those people, you give them the cold hard truth. You give them every ounce of anger and frustration that you have because they’ll never change anyway.
The cold hard truth is that this confrontational epidemic isn’t just between black people and white people, this is a problem between Black on Black, White on White, Asian on Asian, Hispanic on Hispanic; it doesn’t matter the color, age or sexuality, this epidemic is hitting all of us. This epidemic is destroying the very spaces that were once created for us to be more connected and is causing more of us to be disconnected among the connected world.
So the questions I ask all advocators of a cause are these. Are people actually having fruitful conversations or are said people just playing make believe? Do they really want progress or do they just want to fight just to feel better about themselves? Are people just talking to the same people already shouting with them? Is anyone really reaching across the isle and helping one another to the same side or are all of you just arguing on social media with anyone who won’t say “yes you’re right”?
- tending to deal with situations in an aggressive way; hostile or argumentative.
Be better, do better and converse better because if you want someone to be confrontable you first must be that yourself. If you want someone to take on the pain you’re feeling you must first be willing to show them why it hurts. Girdha Joshi said “When two people are on the path of confrontation…an innocuous comment is taken as an accusation. And an innocent query is suspected as an accusation.” So remove your confrontational attitude in order to see the bigger picture. Create safer spaces for your current audience and also the audiences that you’re trying to bring into your circle.
The fact remains that you never know who your audience is, you never know who’s reading your comments and you never know who’s allowing you to educate them on the next steps. You don’t know who’s in your audience checking out your platform in order to decide their next steps. When you’re confrontational with anyone who disagree’s slightly with you, you create a thin wall between yourself and them.
Someone I know has become the most aggressive and confrontational person I know over the years and I’ve witnessed her audience dwindle because of it. In a thread the other day someone who was fighting for the same cause as her made a comment that said “notice how quiet it is on this thread because nobody wants to talk about it”
No, the truth is, nobody wants to comment and talk about the issues if all you’re going to do is attack them. You silence them when you attack and they in turn silence you by not sharing any of your post that could move your cause forward. The two people who commented on her thread the other day (me and another guy) were treated like the enemy and talked about in negative light and I don’t know about the other guy but they both lost any credibility for their cause with me because of the confrontational dialogue they presented to me. How did that benefit their cause?
In closing, you can’t blame others for your isolation if you find fault in everyone except yourself and if everyone continues down this path of blaming and shaming on social media all of us will be conversing with the same people we started with, wondering why the hell there’s no progress. We have to remember that progress comes to those willing to tackle the tough conversations and also being aware of displaced anger. Stop it from rearing it’s ugly head and bridge the gaps that are between you and your destination.
Let’s stop being so closed off and paranoid and let’s stop with the confrontational dialogue that people think is cool. It’s not cool and it wasn’t cool yesterday, today and it won’t be cool tomorrow. Direct your anger towards the people trying to shackle you down, not to the people trying to break chains with you. Your anger will shackle your mind, leaving you bounded and grounded.
I want to help you elevate but you have to help me too and we can’t do that until we understand that anger is a combination of emotions unreleased and feelings unexpressed exploding uncontrollably and until we get THAT under control, you have no control over your situation because no one is listening. Sadly, I see way too many people on social media com-busting and I’m pretty sure I know why….because everyone has tuned each other out.
“The revolution will not be socialvised-Jay Noetic”