There are many people in this world who have access to social media, who use their platforms with a purpose in mind, thinking that they are bettering the world in some small way.
And in minuscule ways, collectively we are doing that, we are changing the world by pushing our thoughts into the digital universe where they will remain forever in the history of the world.
My ninth grade Homeroom teacher once said that there will come a time when every person on earth will get their fifteen minutes of fame, even if that fifteen minutes only lasts three, each of us will be captured on camera at some point, for the world to see.
As it turns out he wasn’t wrong. We are a part of a digital age where people can become famous for drinking twenty gallons of milk, because apparently that’s impressive somehow.
The more people that follow me on Twitter the more I realize that I am choosing to use my platform with social responsibility in mind. I am more aware of the things that I say, and I am more outspoken than I am in real life.
I am finding my voice again, much like when I first started Podcasting, and it feels really good, but when I look at some of my friends I wonder if putting myself out there is really worth it.
The other day Michelle Guido, who constantly gets called a racist even though that’s her name, was told someone would totally be willing to sexually assault her, and that’s a direct quote. She gets a lot of hate, largely because she discusses racism, sexual abuse and trauma, and her healing journey.
Those of us willing to speak out about oppression will always face challengers who push us to either give up or fight harder, but I admit it’s frustrating to see so many women, specifically, being faced with sexual abuse in this digital age. We should be above that kind of behavior, but it feels like with social media it’s only getting worse.
Men, specifically, are growing more bold, and as we learn to find our voices, they are learning to hone their more toxic abusive ones, against those of us saying that this behavior is unacceptable.
It’s exhausting watching so many women suffer at the hands of abusive men, not being able to actively do anything to stop them. People can say whatever they want online, and with the rare exception cops aren’t going to care.
There are a few good exceptions though, like my friend Sue who is using her platform to showcase her experience as a Nurse working in the NHS. Or Madeline and Shelby who use their platforms to discuss politics, inspiring people to stand up against tyranny and authoritarianism.
There is a special group of people I follow, the ones that I love the most who do their best to post humor and laughter, who remind me to keep life light. Chief among them is Michelle, who posts nothing but memes because she wants to be a part of the world that reminds us to laugh.
Then there are @JDNero and @DamageDave, who I adore because they post music, or @ChrisFeliz_ who posts his photography, these people help remind me that there is a world in which art can be beautiful as well as political, and sometimes it’s just fucking beautiful.
I honestly think that how we use Social Media, matters as a whole to the collective human body. How we choose to share our experiences and voices matter because we come from societies that never had the choice.
When I think about how lucky I am, I think back to the empires of Rome and the slaves who were given what they got and rarely given a chance to complain. I think about the slaves brought over from Africa to the America’s and to Europe who were beaten and raped for daring to speak out, murdered if they were lucky, not that dying before your time is lucky.
I think back to all the Black people who never knew they were allowed to have a voice, who had to learn and to fight to be able to say the things we say so freely without a care today.
And I think to all the kids in Africa who are still fighting for their chance to be heard, who haven’t even heard of Social Media, I think about them all the time with every tweet I post, because I know how lucky I am to have access to the internet.
Yes, it fucking matters, so use it wisely my darlings, because it’s a powerful tool in the fight against tyranny.
How do you use your social media? Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall