Technology is amazing. Through social media sites we can cut, crop and filter ourselves into whatever we want to be. Whether it’s a big booty ‘model’ or a seemingly wealthy life, we can pay for followers, likes and seemingly become someone of status, without putting in that hard work, sacrifice or dedication it takes to actually achieve success.
Social networking accounts and profiles are an extension of us. Just by viewing a person’s Instagram page one can get a great sense of who that individual is: their likes, dislikes, beliefs and the ever important #OOTD and #MCM. But these platforms can also be very misleading. (Check out my previous post on social media and how it can affect one’s self-esteem ). It’s almost TOO easy to become ‘someone’ and just as easy to change your mind, delete and become someone else.
Today you can screenshot and repost a cause or news report and feel like you’ve done all you could do. Think back though to a time when Facebook didn’t exist; before the internet and hashtags, when Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and the alike were literally fighting for our civil rights. They we’re physically standing up (and sitting in) for what they believed in – a Bigger Cause. They didn’t have the option to just repost a catch phrase or meme and then in turn wipe their hands of the issues. They were there at the front lines, sometimes not so peacefully, taking action, making progress and suffering the repercussions. Our Generation knows no struggle. We can’t even handle when Tumblr is down or when our Instagram feed refuses to load and that scary red bar appears at the top *no internet connection*. Yes, we’ve ‘marched’ and protested but to what outcome? We’ve produce t-shirts and hoodies with the faces of the slain, but ok…now what? Reposting isn’t enough. And not reposting shouldn’t mean you’re not down with the cause.
After a week of #kony2012 and #bringbackourgirls another incident occurs and we all move on. It’s no one’s fault, it just seems we can only focus on one tragedy at a time. I choose to discuss such events with other supporters face-to-face, on official forums or during meet ups. Is that enough? Absolutely not, but is any of it enough? The Generations before us fought for years and it seemed to be enough. However, current news stories, racially driven crimes and the sections of the United States that are still segregated today all seem to differ. Race is still a huge issue in this country.
Violence, police brutality, murders, homophobia, single mothers, deadbeat dads, sexual abuse, drugs, HIV awareness and yes even depression are all issues that plague the black community. They ALL are important to talk about and take action against, neither out weighing the other. But we have to realize the reposting isn’t enough. It can spread the word so others are aware, but then what? What are YOU going to do next to empower our generation? What are YOU going to do to help the cause? Yes, of course a change needs to happen. We as a people have to work together, speak up and figure out how we can end these senseless killings of our brothers and sisters and bring justice to those murdered. How will it come about? I have no clue. It’ll take real dedication and effort before any significant change. Most are afraid of hard work, most will choose to just screenshot and #repost before they stand up and actually DO something. And that’s fine, just don’t pass judgment on others because they seemingly aren’t making as much noise as your #regram or status update.
For more on some of these issues and to donate or volunteer: