Digital citizenship, online activism, slacktivism, privilege, marginalization, racism, discrimination, social justice, human rights, and silence. These are all topics we must consider throughout our everyday lives. As we sit down with our morning coffee and complete our morning ritual of the Facebook scroll, we must consider these topics. Why? You may ask. Because it is a privilege. It is a privilege to be able to scroll through Facebook and have that morning coffee without being attacked. How many times have you scrolled through your news feed and saw/read something unsettling or aggravating? I assume pretty often. But how often to you make a response to this? Do you share this unsettling or aggravating thing? Do you reply or respond in some way? Or do you remain silent and just keep scrolling? If you just keep scrolling you are most likely pretty privileged. Is your newsfeed full of cooking videos or funny memes? Or is it full of political injustices in the world? These questions in itself are indicators of how you use your privilege.
We keep scrolling because it is comfortable. We want to remain silent because then we are not judged, ridiculed, or even questioned. Instead, we remain neutral. But are we ever really neutral? I think not. There is a definite line between what is right and what is wrong. Take this video that appeared on my Facebook newsfeed this morning for example. Was this right? I think not.
Yes, this mother in this video probably wanted what was best for her child. I understand that. What I don’t understand is how race comes into play. Why are these Doctor’s being marginalized for their race or ability to speak English (Heck maybe some of these Doctor’s first language was English, but again why was that questioned? Because of their race?).
If we remain silent on issues such as this what does that show? Does it show that we are appalled by the inequities of the world? No. Now, I’m not saying if you don’t share or respond in some shape or form to these inequities that you are a bad person. I am saying that by not sharing or replying you are guilty. Guilty of being silent. Of not giving the marginalized your support or agreeing that they were wronged in any way. You were simply remaining neutral, but there is never neutral when it comes to right and wrong. No, liking, sharing, or responding on social media doesn’t change the world but it does help get rid of the stigma. It starts a conversation, it starts an opportunity to learn.