Whether we like it or not, social media plays a pretty decent role in how people see us or even how we see ourselves. It’s become a battleground for labels- whether you’re a self-confessed such and such or whether it’s someone calling you a name after you voice your beliefs or interests. We often spend what feels like forever trying to come up with the perfect bio that sums us up as the person we want other people to try and see. Whether or not it actually is us, is another story in itself. In this day in age, so much of what we do ends up online- whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or somewhere else. Some of us just want to stay in touch with family, see what our old friends are up to or just have the accounts for the sake of having an account. Others of us just want to post photos of what we’re up to,where we are and who we hang out. I mean, I guess when you think about it there is a sense of showing off about it, especially when you’re on a holiday and everyone else is stuck doing their usual daily grind. Or, there are those photos when you’ve got a new hairstyle or you’re looking super fabulous and you wouldn’t mind a few more people commenting like “Gurrrrrl” or “*insert flame emojis here*”.
We’ve all gained solace from likes, which in the short term is satisfying but when you really think about it, it’s quite sad to see what society has become. But then again, technology and the likes of social media are the new age of communication. It’s basically an easier way for people to comment on your photos- instead of face to face when they’re holding a physical photo of you, they’re just doing it online.
Labelling and name-calling has become a bit of a thing on social media. Some people define themselves by how they’re viewed and that can either be a good thing or a bad thing. Well, usually it can be annoying more so than bad. You have the people who have online brands for their blogs that take a more business aspect to it which is fair enough. I mean, that’s what I’m working towards establishing. Then you have the activists who list every possible -ist that fits them that often leaves the average, non-Twitter or Instagram user reaching for the dictionary.
I’ve found with a number of political and human rights issues in particular, the name-calling is rife. I feel like many people are often wary of what they say online, both for the fact that they don’t want potential employers seeing something they wrote and disagreeing with them and also for the fact that they don’t want to be labelled as something deemed negative and frowned up. Or, more so, they just cannot be bothered taking part in an online feud that really gets nobody anywhere. Usually these feuds are filled with names, often dissing the opposing party for their views. Both sides of politics have been at fault for this and it is really, honestly, seriously so immature.
I’ve been deemed a social justice warrior. I’ve fallen into the class of a supposed snowflake. I’ve been considered anti-feminist. I’ve been considered as a radical feminist. If it was up to some people, I’d be named as a warmongering murderer. Even if you’re not directly called any of the above, when you see other people who have the same or similar views to you being labelled as such, you subconsciously class yourself by those labels too no matter how hard you try. The result is that you become hesitant to voice your opinions, often weighing up whether you can deal with being called a name with negative connotations.
So am I a social justice warrior? Am I a snowflake? Am I anti-feminist? Am I a radical feminist? Am I a warmongering murderer?
Well according to social media, it really depends who you ask.
Honestly, I really don’t care. Well, yeah I do in a sense. But then I also really don’t? I mean, yeah, I care enough to write this post because I’ve realised the dichotomy of name-calling that you can face when you use social media. But I don’t care enough to get riled up when I’m called a snowflake (trust me, I’m not) or if someone complains about my support for the defence force. More often than not, those people who do call me names or call others with similar views names generally just fly off the handle after a couple of words without getting the entire perspective.
Personally, I have a multifaceted view on political issues. There’s a reason I label myself as a centrist. I support elements of both the left and the right. I generally roll my eyes at the extreme left and the extreme right because you know what, that’s my right (well, supposedly). We’re all entitled to opinions. We’re all entitled to disagree with them.
But come on social media, I thought we left the name calling to the bullies in primary school. You have a brain, you have the internet that has a wide range of resources to do your research. Stay open-minded, articulate your point of view in an intelligent and understandable manner.
But please, grow up and get over the labeling and the name-calling.