Nowadays, discourse on social media has become a cycle of disagreements, soft blocks, and ego-bruising rants.
While some people use social media to break away from the real world, some use it for more purposeful, intellectual conversations. May it be about politics, social injustices, feminism, and sometimes, just daily inconveniences. Both sides aren’t necessarily bad if you think about it.
But being exposed to social media means being exposed to millions of people with differing beliefs or contradicting personalities. Since social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, have become an avenue for voicing out opinions, they have also become an avenue for hate.
When principles and beliefs are questioned, people immediately turn to hostility.
There is no room for questioning even for themselves. This is one of the most important factors when it comes to discourse. We engage in discourse in order to settle our differences and understand the other. However, the problem lies in the willingness of the other to learn.
In the case of Filipinos right now, especially in social media, those who share their opinions that are contradictory to theirs are met with statements such as “pa-woke,” “daming alam,” and the like. It’s problematic because the assertions they attack are inherently avenues for discourse. “Where did you get your information?” or “What’s your interpretation?”
What happens now is that there is a competition among those with differing stances.
This goes the same to the infamous Toxic Woke Culture
People categorized under this label exhibit an extreme lack of perception of the outside world and other people, as well as self-righteousness. Discourse, to them, is not a conversation, but it has become some sort of intellectual masturbation. They try to be superior over the other by spouting out information, preaches, and insults. Instead of making the other understand their position, they push them away.
Educate, don’t hate
As part of Gen Z and Millennials, we have seen how the internet changed the way people think and act. There’s no denying the impact social media has on our journey to becoming a more progressive world, but with this big of an impact comes consequences. It may feel good to be dogmatic; earning a couple hundreds or thousands of likes and retweets, but at the end of the day, what really is our intention?
As we become more open to a conversation on social media, let’s also remember that the people we talk to are also human. Choose the battles we fight and educate instead of hate.