It feels as if the world is in chaos: immigration bans and the war on women and nominations that don’t align with our country’s values, not to mention moving forward with DAPL and gaslighting tweets and police brutality and policy implementation that directly targets marginalized groups of people. The reality is, we are in a strange and terrifying time.
As bloggers and creatives with platforms of influence, it seems as if we have only two options: stay silent or use our voices to fight back. I’ve seen a few mentions lately of people who feel as if they are expected to stop writing or blogging or vlogging or tweeting or whatever because of this volatility that we are experiencing. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
There is a balance, however, between “business as usual” and using that platform for good.
Recognize Your Privilege
This is a HUGE one for me. Even if you don’t “feel” privileged, it really is very fortunate for you that you are able to turn on and off your fight or your outrage. Millions of people don’t have the luxury of choosing when and where to get angry because it affects their daily life and functioning.
To be clear: I’m not asking you to denounce your privilege. Just recognize that because of your socioeconomic status or sexual orientation or gender or biological sex or race or ethnicity or country of origin, you appreciate some privileges that others are not afforded. This is literally the first step in the fight.
I saw a tweet chat recently about how to create a lifestyle you love. Normally, this wouldn’t bother me, but considering the current political climate, it just seemed very tone deaf (and I know I wasn’t the only one). It is an important topic, to be sure, but perhaps tabled until things feel a little more settled, at least. The ability to curate a “beautiful” and “authentic” lifestyle is very much a privilege, and it should be regarded as such. There are people fighting for their lives (and no, I’m not being dramatic). A little more consideration is all that is asked of you.
Turn Off the Auto Tweets
Look, this is literally something so small that you can do, and you don’t even have to do it all the time! But when things are tense on social media, it’s probably a good idea to pause those promotional tweets for a bit. Engage with people instead; use your social media platform to listen rather than talk. It’s amazing what you might learn.
Consider How You Can Use Your Platform Proactively
Nobody is asking you to stop your outfit posts (I love them too, let’s be honest), but perhaps you can use your platform to create a dialogue. Donate a portion of your earnings to an organization. Ask the hard questions of your readers. Stop appropriating other cultures in your outfits and designs. And always go back to number one: recognize that privilege. Change the tone of your posts so that they are more inclusive and modest.
Life as we know it is in jeopardy, but we still need a sense of normalcy. The reality is, this is our new normal. You don’t need to be protesting in the streets on a daily basis. It starts with a little humility and a whole lot of introspection. So check that privilege. Reconsider how you engage on social media. And maybe even use your platform for good.