After everything that has occurred on our campuses and on campuses across the country the last few weeks, I think its interesting to look at how social media has been involved as well as what happens with social media. Through social media everyone gets to have a say in a sense because they can post their feelings or thoughts by posting on their Facebook, snapchat, twitter, blogs etc. Of course, not everyone is exactly heard if they aren’t retweeted or shared but still in a sense their is a place for any voice. Yet, because with the digital we lose the face to face interaction I think sometimes people also begin to feel more entitled and feel that their words will almost have less consequences. I had a friend who took to Facebook to post her blog where she had commented on the issues going on at CMC. Within moments hundreds of people liked her status with the blog post. Yet also within moments she began to receive emails from people she had never spoken to about how horrible her blog posts were etc. Some of the emails even included horrible language describing her. Its interesting to see how the internet gives everyone a voice but not everyone uses it positively yet at the same time that happens in person as well – just online it seems more people are comfortable when saying horrible things.

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4 responses »

  1. zainjazara says:

    I definitely wish people were more courageous to have face to face conversations. Unfortunately, those who are most racist (etc.) like to hide behind a computer screen where they can unabashedly tear someone apart but protect themselves from the backlash. People like to call direct dialogue “confrontational” and prefer to speak their minds from the comfort of anonymity or distance.

    Moreover, it’s not just bigots who hide behind screens. Many people I know at CMC had issues with a lot of things happening on campus (be it with or against the movement and so forth), but they only talked about it in small groups amongst their friends who tended to agree with one another. When I asked why they weren’t saying this out loud and to people who dont just agree with them, the response was “fear of getting torn apart.” People think debate and dialogue that goes against what is being said most audibly will result in some sort of verbal massacre or something. Unfortunately nothing changes and nothing gets solved w/ fear. I wonder what it will take to make people comfortable voicing their opinions without such fears.

  2. chloekissane says:

    Additionally, there were many comments via Yik Yak of people expressing themselves. Many of the comments were awful. It is upsetting to see that on an anonymous social media platform, people felt the freedom to say anything they wanted, no matter how offensive. The people who said those comments definitely would not express themselves the same way on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram because it is not anonymous.

  3. gabrielledas says:

    One “advantage” to this type of public, recorded commentary is that it acts as hard proof for the improvements that need to be made at the Claremont Colleges. They expose our “hidden” racism that is otherwise touted as a diverse, post-racial community. These offensive yik-yaks enable us to look pointedly and without question at our student body and say that there is a serious problem. And, ultimately, these ignorant remarks may inspire change in those who otherwise think racism on campus like its a “non-issue” or feel “apathetic” towards social change.

  4. jessicarice13 says:

    Social media also allows people to give the illusion that they are much more involved in an activist movement than they are precisely because a person’s online persona can be so different from how they present themselves in real life, especially if that online persona is in no way visibly connected to them. However, just as people perhaps feel more willing to support a movement online than in real life, others feel more comfortable expressing hateful thoughts online (like on Yik Yak, Facebook, and YouTube, as discussed above).

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