Social media has become powerful. It may even be more powerful than the regular media/news outlets. It has become a way for the people to be their own media.
I remember finding out what was happening in Michael Brown's hometown, after his murder, from a young lady who lived there and was filming the army trucks from her bedroom window. Although social media can be helpful to the public, it can also become dangerous in the hands of the ignorant. Naturally, the beliefs that mainstream media has forced upon the public has spilled onto social media.
My writing journey began due to the ignorant, uninformed and spillage. I wanted to help people realize that much of what has been fed to the public through the media is biased and untrue. Mainstream media (the news) doesn't really report the news. They get information and create a story from that information. It doesn't have to be factual because people will believe whatever is said, because it's on the news.
A perfect example is the term "black on black crime." That term was created by the media in the 1960s. Why? To make it seem as if black people were more violent than any other group of people. It was created to induce the public’s fear of black people, so when you see an act of wrongness by police, your subconscious mind will rationalize it as valid because you've been trained to think that black people are more violent.
That brings me back around to social media and its postings. The other day, a well known athlete made a post that said "black on black crime" is the real problem that needs to addressed. As if that inaccurate statement wasn't bad enough, a very popular black gossip/media entity reposted the athletes post on Instagram. That gave the comment an even larger platform. Although the gossip/news account posted it in the form of a question by asking their followers what they thought, it should have never been shared or even posted from the very beginning. Many people were willing to jump on the bandwagon with their negative comments about black people and the community, as well as culture. It seems that our own sources of media are striving for negativity because it gets the most reactions.
At what point do we hold ourselves responsible for writing, sharing and retweeting trash? Trash that isn't conducive to us as a society or as a people? It seems that the media outlets that have social media just post things for likes and shares. That can't be what we're passing off as journalism.
It's important for media owned and operated by black people to use their social media platforms to post the facts rather than opinions. We can no longer hold the larger media outlets responsible, because we have tools and resources to shape and share our own narratives!
So, be responsible for the content that you create, and be leery of those creating content to obtain attention that should be unwanted.