I was The Mean Girl. I didn’t turn my back on folks, I said shit, a lot of shit, and I said it behind their backs or to their faces, occasionally I got violent, but mostly I did whatever anyone else around me did and I followed the crowd.
With my Twitter account, I’ve tried to be the opposite, I’ve pulled back on my meanness, I’ve stopped swearing as much (okay I’m trying,) I’ve set myself free from being the person that follows the crowd, but I’ve noticed on social media, that doesn’t much seem to matter.
I’ve seen friends turn their 40k follower list into 100 person follower list, on purpose, by closing up larger accounts and hiding from the “fame” of social media attention because of how mean people can be, and honestly, I don’t blame them. I like having time to converse with my social media followers, I like hearing from them and learning from them, but here are a few things that irritate the crap out of me.
I can’t really tone police my followers, but I do comment when I think they are out of line, and if you expect me to do more than that, then you need to see yourself out because I really have no interest in being told how to run my social media, and that’s not going to change.
But you should be more professional – baby the whole point of Loud Mouth Brown Girl is that the professional world almost killed me. I am who I am because I stopped worrying about what other people think when it comes to my profession and started caring more about my health. I am never going back to that again. Ever. If you want professionalism call a Kardashian.
I’ve been defending myself for a really long time, and while it feels nice to have someone there to support me, having people bully other people on my behalf is really annoying, so please don’t do this. I hate it. I hate watching my followers in my mentions fighting each other and if you force me to choose a side, then you probably will end up being muted.
Meanness is not accepted by me and that’s because I know what it’s like to both face and be mean and I’m not interested in perpetuating that kind of support network.
There are lots of people I may not be huge fans of, and on the rare occasion I may vocalize that, but it’s possible to say “I don’t really like this…XYZ,” without being cruel about it, and that’s the kind of conversation and discourse that I want to cultivate.
I want to create spaces where people don’t necessarily like each other, but can still, and do choose, to be respectful to each other. I think that if we were all a little more relaxed then it would be easier to achieve this, but we’re all so stressed out that it’s easier to get angry online than it is to decompress from the reasons that we’re stressed. Mind you, I’ve been stoned for five years now.
I try really hard to be respectful, but sometimes you just gotta – as they say – go rattichity, because honestly otherwise you can’t quite convey the level of disgust that you have in the world.
Recently I read a tweet that said “Why the fuck should I pay farmers?” my friend Arturo responded with “you eat don’t you?” FFS, like you don’t pay for your groceries? you don’t pay for your gas? Why should farmers work 10 times harder for you to have fresh food without them receiving any sort of benefits? Come on now.
Every day I am seeing the result of more and more under educated, or under informed people having more and more access to the power centers of this world and I am starting to worry about what our children or rather your children are going to have to face.
I gave up the idea that I’d be feeling okay with raising kids on this planet a long time ago, but I still worry for the kids I’ve known or have yet to meet that matter to my journey for one reason or another. I still worry about the world that I’ll be leaving behind, so if I can inspire people to be kinder, nicer, and friendlier in their online interactions, maybe that tiny bit of light will spread to other corners of the internet.
I didn’t expect to pit myself up as an authority on anything, but repeatedly I’ve been told I’m a teacher, and so sometimes I have to take that responsibility seriously and say “enough is enough,” this is one of those times. I don’t want to have to lock up my social media accounts, I want to get to know all of you and Twitter is often the easiest way for me, and for some of you. So if we’re going to keep building together, the bullshit has to stop.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall