This week I’ve had a learning curve with social media and had a taste of what it feels like to be ‘Cancelled’.
I’ve written this post to show how damaging this ‘call out’ culture can be and how you never know what’s going on with someone or why they may choose not to take part in things.
All last week many influencers ‘muted’ themselves to instead share posts from people of colour to get their voices heard.
This began with many accounts posting black squares as a show of support. It happened around lunchtime on Tuesday.
When I post to Instagram I usually do it early in the morning before I go to work. So by the time I had become aware of this movement I had already posted my content for the day. However this caused many people to unfollow me, stating the reason was that I carried on posting my own content.
On Tuesday night I received the first of four messages. Some were a friendly why aren’t you joining in with the black lives matter campaign whilst others were more aggressive and told they were disgusted by my attitude and behaviour.
I posted three black squares that said Back Next Week on both of my platforms. To give space to people of colour and not post my own content for the next week.
I got negative comments about this too. The basic point of which was that I wasn’t doing enough. One comment even said that I had been given the chance to explain myself which it seemed was forewarning me of what was about to happen.
I had personal reasons for not taking part in the campaign, which as I’ve said before were private, however as a sign of respect I made space for people promoting the campaign.
In my real life I was in training for my new job I had ongoing assessments which I had to pass to become accredited and able to continue in this job. Due to these messages and comments which I was seeing each time I went on a break, there were periods of my training that I had no idea what the trainer was saying because I just couldn’t concentrate, constantly thinking over what I was being portrayed as on Instagram.
I’d like to say at this point that these anecdotes aren’t for sympathy but to point out how harmful ‘call out culture’ can be.
That night I had really bad period pain. I suffer quite badly with it. However I chose not to take any painkillers, because I felt like I deserved the pain because of what had happened on social media, a part of me felt I should be punished. This is not ok. I did not deserve to be punished and it sickens me that I even had that thought, more so that others who had been called out in the same way could do worse, did we learn nothing from Caroline Flack?
I decided to create a statement to justify my actions but I felt it was important to include that I had felt bullied into posting it. When I posted this I got some negative comments and messages, however a lot of comments were caring and people were identifying with me too, saying they’d had these call out messages and they too had felt badly. Some of these people are extremely vulnerable too and I was saddened to see them targeted.
You never know what is going on in someone’s like or what their history may be, so please do not force your agenda on them. By all means call out racism in people but do not come at people for not getting involved smashing through their self worth with your high horse.
This is not like the blogs I usually write but I felt it needed saying, thank you for reading… K xxx