Do you engage in ‘woke’ Twitter? | Inquirer Lifestyle
Friday, August 17, 2018
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Do you engage in ‘woke’ Twitter?

At its best, discourse on social media can be empowering, informative–at its worst, toxic
07:18 AM April 28, 2018

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—ILLUSTRATION BY MARIELLE FILOTEO

For people not familiar with the term, “woke” is Twitter slang for being socially and culturally aware. It’s about being “awake” to racial and social injustices committed daily.

The term is derived from African-American vernacular English, and can be traced to its use in the Black Lives Matter movement, which protests the killing of black people and racial inequality.

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And now, here it is floating around Twitterverse. If you’ve ever been told to “check your privilege” or “stay woke,” then you’ve most likely been exposed to “woke Twitter,” the newest Twitter subculture.

What do I think of it? It’s fantastic. We’re at a time when young people are engaging in political discourse and are actually being heard. We’re at a time when minorities are given a platform to speak up on the discrimination and prejudices they face. We’re at a time when people can come together and fight the system.

What I love about social media discourse is that I get to hear more stories from people who have been so clearly undermined all along. I admit, I was once very ignorant of these things. Talking to a variety of people and reading up on issues have helped me broaden my horizon.

Toxic feed

I love woke Twitter but it can get toxic. It’s okay to speak up—actually, it’s encouraged that you do, but to use your awareness of social politics to feel superior over others only shows that your wokeness is nothing but a call for attention.

Suddenly, to “stay woke” has become a competition of sorts, of who knows more about a culture. It’s reached a point where if you unknowingly say the wrong thing, you’re deemed as problematic and dismissed.

Of course, I think it’s important that people are slowly becoming more careful about the things they say. However, it’s become this thing where people are out there dragging others for things they’ve said. Shouldn’t the point of woke culture be to educate rather than to humiliate?

I’m not saying it’s bad to call out others for their mistakes, but the audacity of some people—the plain rudeness—is frustrating and draining.

To inform, educate

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The point of woke culture is to inform and educate people to make the world a better place. But if you’re using your wokeness as some sort of platform for your elitist ways, I have news for you: Get off your high horse because you’ve completely missed the point.

We’ve all done and said wrong things, so it’s unfair to blatantly call out people for their mistakes and not allow them room to grow.

It’s humbling to admit you were once ignorant because, once upon a time, we’ve all been there and there’s no problem with that. We’re only human, after all. There’s only so much that we are exposed to, that it’s hard to expect everyone to know everything all at once.

It’s important for some to admit that they’re not always right and their opinions can be flawed, as well. If the point of all this is to spread awareness, then how will humiliating and insulting others for their limited or misinformed knowledge be productive in any way? Hell, it might even encourage others to remain ignorant and unwilling to learn if we act like we know more.

There’s power in admitting you once made the same mistakes. In fact, growth wouldn’t even be possible if you aren’t willing to see your own flaws and learn from them.

This goes out to everyone: Educating others involves a lot of understanding. And without understanding, for instance, issues in political discourse, how does one learn about life?

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